How I Wrote My Song “Tonight We Dance”: A Songwriting Analysis


Listen to “Tonight We Dance” then read below.

This past weekend I wrote a song. I wanted to share the thought process and some of the “behind the scenes” workings of the song.
This new song is called, “Tonight We Dance.” The tempo is 132 bpm. The goal was to create a bridge that contrasted with the verse and chorus.
So I worked towards contrast in a number of ways.

First was the rhyme scheme. The verse is AABB. Chorus is TTTT. The Bridge is XAXA.

Harmonically there is contrast in both the chords used and also the Harmonic rhythm. The verse is in D mixolydian mode and the chords are basically 1 chord every 2 measures, except for the last two bars. Then, when you hit the chorus, I modulated to D Lydian mode and the chords come more frequently…contrast. Then in the bridge, I started on the Bm7 chord and the changes occur on every bar…again contrast. This change in harmonic rhythm makes momentum contrast.

Here are the chords:

Verse: ||D |D |G |G |C |C |Bm7 |Am7 ||
Chorus: ||D F#m7 |E || x4
Bridge: ||Bm7 |E |D |Esus4 || x2

Melodically I worked toward contrast in both pitch and rhythm. The verses start on notes that are in the chord. Starts on A and works up to the C and D. The rhythm is quicker, with more lyrics. Then when the chorus hits, it revolves around the D and C# notes….with more space. There is the modulation that occurs that brings in nice contrast. Then the bridge has longer and higher notes…again creating contrast.

Tonight We Dance
by Chad Sharp 4-23-11

Let’s take a nap so we can stay up late
Then get dressed up and go out and play
11:30 we’ll roll in the club
We’ll be turning heads we’ll be having fun

Tonight We Dance
Tonight We Dance
Tonight We Dance
Tonight We Dance

The lights are swirling as we work up a sweat
The Bass is pounding as low as it gets
DJ’s mixing with all hands in the sky
Feels just like heaven found us tonight


So lose yourself
Let it all go
Ride the rhythm
It’s about to explode


©2011 Chad Sharp – C-Sharp Productions
It is a fun dance song.

~ Chad

Need me to produce your song?


One Response to “How I Wrote My Song “Tonight We Dance”: A Songwriting Analysis”

  1. 1 Kristy

    You have an awesome voice, Chad! You definetly have what it takes to be a star!!!

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