What is the science behind “overlapping” in songs, and how they make it sound nice?


I was listening to “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from the Disney movie Encanto, and in the end all the main characters sing different parts of the song at the same time. It sounds chaotic, but in a great way, so I was wondering what they had to pay attention to when composing the song, so that this part will be enjoyable.

In: 4

I haven’t seen the movie you mention but it looks like the word you look for is a canon. (Very) basically the idea is that you compose your song / melody so the overlapping parts form consonant chords of the scale you use an it sounds good (easier said than done obviously)

To learn the specifics of how someone can make music like that, you’d need to learn about two important musical concepts, harmony and counterpoint.

If you sit down at a piano and hit two different keys at the same time, some combinations will sound good, and some will sound bad. Playing multiple notes at the same time and whether they sound good or bad is called _harmony_. Over the last several hundred years we’ve settled on some basic rules about which harmonies sound good, which sound bad, and how to use different types of harmony.

OK, now let’s say you write two different melodies. If you play two random melodies at the same time, it will sound like a muddled mess. But if you are careful how you write the melodies, when you play the two melodies together, the notes of the two melodies will form harmonies with each other. And if you take a class about music writing, you’ll learn techniques on how to do this. When you write more than one melody and play them together, this is called _counterpoint_. There are some fairly straightforward methods to doing this, it just takes some time to learn.