HomeBlogsDocac's blogQuest For The A cappella Major- 100 Ways to Make a Medley

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A student came up to me recently, frustrated with the task of composing an interesting medley, as commissioned by another group. For him, and for everyone else looking to make your medley stand out from the crowd, I offer these helpful suggestions.

[ADDITIONAL NOTE: Clearly, there are areas in this list where I started to run out of ideas. Just ignore those...]

1) Songs from the same decade
2) Songs from the same genre
3) Songs from the same artist
4) Songs from the same composer
5) Songs from the same lyricist
6) Songs from the same show
7) Songs from the same movie
8) Songs from the same television show
9) Songs from the same block of television shows
10) Songs from video games
11) Songs you all love
12) Songs you all hate
13) Songs that, when you put the lyrics together, they tell a story
14) Songs with the same chord progression
15) Songs from commercials
16) Songs from the same region
17) One song covered by multiple artists
18) Songs with the same lyrical topic
19) Songs that have nothing to do with each other in any way
20) Songs where the verse of one song could be better complimented by the chorus of a different song
21) Songs that start with the same melodic interval
22) Songs with the same rhythm
23) Songs that demonstrate how uncreative an artists is, because every song sounds exactly the same
24) Songs performed at a specific concert
25) Songs from the same album
26) Songs that start in different keys, just to demonstrate how good your arranger is at linking them together
27) Songs you can dance to
28) Romantic songs
29) Power ballads
30) Songs with extreme guitar solos
31) Songs that all start with the same word
32) Songs from a specific holiday
33) songs that make you laugh
34) Songs that make you cry
35) Songs that feature one soloist singing with different voices
36) Songs that are popular with Karaoke singers
37) Songs with extremely difficult-to-sing melodies
38) Songs that have never been released
39) Songs that can be looped
40) Songs that change their harmonic progression by adding a different bass line
41) Songs in the same time signature
42) Songs that are typically covered by a cappella groups
43) Songs that are never covered by a cappella groups
44) Songs that someone told you could never be performed by an a cappella group, EVER.
45) Songs that are impossible to cover because you would need a specific instrument to make it authentic, and yet you cover it anyway
46) Songs from a specific license company
47) Songs that tell a story…a story that already has different songs attached to it
48) Songs that progressively get faster
49) Songs that progressively get slower
50) Songs from a specific culture
51) Songs in a different language
52) Songs first sung in English, then covered in different languages
53) Songs made up by weird, unusual sounds
54) Songs that annoy everyone
55) Songs that everyone in the audience knows the words to
56) Songs that describe one person, whether that person is real or fake
57) First song has a soloist, second song has a duet, third song has a trio, etc.
58) Songs chosen entirely at random in advance
59) Songs chosen entirely at random from the audience
60) Songs with very long intros, and you never quite get to the words
61) Songs that won awards
62) Songs that hit #1 on the Billboard or iTunes chart
63) Songs that you are sure no one has ever heard of
64) Original songs
65) Parodies
66) A medley of songs that are linked by a continuous solo countermelody
67) Songs in the style of a fugue
68) Theme and variations
69) Songs in AABA form
70) Songs covered by a specific a cappella group
71) A medley of medleys
72) Songs that allow for humorous dialogue interludes
73) Songs that could only be performed in a specific type of setting
74) Songs that require a specific type of technology
75) Songs that could be used for a Riff-Off
76) Songs that combine styles of music very well
77) Medleys of mash-ups
78) Songs with the same bass line
79) Songs that tie together a video clip
80) Songs with similar choreography
81) Songs that demonstrate unique choreography
82) Songs that could be staged like a play
83) A medley that comes full circle (Song 1-Song 2-Song 3-Song 2-Song 1)
84) A medley of songs, if they were sung by a different artist
85) A day in the life of a particular artist
86) A medley of songs with misheard lyrics
87) A medley of songs with the original lyrics, rhythm, melody, etc.
88) A medley of songs that blatantly stole from other songs
89) A medley of songs that only work with extreme dynamics
90) A medley of songs sung with heavy vibrato
91) A medley of songs sung with no words, just humming
92) A “name that tune” medley
93) A medley where the next song is determined by a roll of the dice or flip of the coin
94) A medley that forces everyone in your group to adopt a new, unfamiliar, personality
95) Songs all covered by a specific a cappella arranger
96) Songs in public domain
97) Songs that are popular at your local school
98) A medley of 100 songs in 3 minutes
99) A medley of songs all sung at exactly the same time
100) A medley of why you hate medleys

Marc Silverberg

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