…Baby One More Time – Some analysis of rhythmic-motivic work in melody

Britney Spears mega-hit …Baby One More Time from 1999 is written by Max Martin and produced by Martin, Rami Yacoub and Denniz PoP. It’s a great example of the production and writing style of Cheiron Studios in 90’s Stockholm. As a composition Baby One More Time is example of using very restricted amount of musical material.

Lets listen…

Opening piano riff is just genial! And the piano riff is core in motivic development of this song. Actually rhythmically this motive is similar to opening motive Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony…

Just adding two extra eight-notes we get ”ooh baby baby”-motive. The first eight bars are rhytmically different placements of this motive – just adding two quarter notes at the end of phrases. Next four bars uses that motive backwards (”show me…”).

Chorus is combination of these things with very strong ending phrase.

There is lot of short 3:4 polyrhythms here – along with the strong rhythmical motives common in Max Martin tunes.

About sounds – I think there is lots of Korg Trinity…

I don’t know how much Martin knows about classical techniques in musical composition, but there is very similar – if not exactly same – techniques in for example in Schubert Lieder and classical period composers tunes.

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