Rebecca Vineyard
August 28, 2016 7:40 am
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

If you feel as though popular songs all sound the same, you’re not alone. Studies prove that music has been getting progressively less original; instead, it follows similar patterns, so many popular songs will inevitably sound similar.

We basically knew that before we knew about “The Millennial Whoop,” a phrase coined by musician and product manager Patrick Metzger. According to QZ.com, it refers to a specific melodic sequence that somewhat resembles a whooping sound; it’s in a surprising number of popular songs. In a post on his blog, aptly called The Patterning, Metzger said:

“It’s a sequence of notes that alternates between the fifth and third notes of a major scale, typically starting on the fifth. The rhythm is usually straight 8th-notes, but it may start on the downbeat or on the upbeat in different songs. A singer usually belts these notes with an ‘Oh’ phoneme, often in a ‘Wa-oh-wa-oh’ pattern. And it is in so many pop songs it’s criminal.”

Katy Perry’s “California Girls” is a classic example of the pattern; you first hear it about a minute into the song.

Another example of the “Millennial Whoop” in action is the Lumineers’ “Ho Hey.”

Basically, once you hear it, you realize it’s everywhere. “Use Somebody” by King of Leon? Yep.

Demi Lovato’s “Really Don’t Care”? It’s there too.

In fact, artists including CHVRCHES, Frank Ocean, Fifth Harmony, and Fall Out Boy have all used this “Millennial Whoop” — and that’s not even a comprehensive list. As Metzger points out, it’s kind of crazy that this pattern appears in so many songs, and most of us haven’t even noticed.

In fact, the trend has been around for ages — it’s even in ’80s songs like Morris Day and The Time’s “Jungle Love” (which just makes us want to watch Purple Rain, but that’s another story).

We’re glad we know about the “Millennial Whoop” — but we are a little nervous that now that we’re aware of it, we’ll never stop hearing it.

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