I’ve seen a movie somewhere where a character was discussing how things end. In that particular situation it was about a relationship. The speech was something to the effect of things tend to end badly, otherwise they would never end. I’m not sure that’s always the case, but I can certainly understand how it’s possible to have that viewpoint. That could be why so many movies have happy endings. Most people wouldn’t go see a movie if the ending was depressing. Could be why hollywood does so well, they are the kings of the happy or uplifting ending.
In music endings can vary in terms of the harmony or melody, but as a production piece, there’s really only two or three kinds of endings. One is the long drawn out ending that fades over time. Another is a button ending. That’s where the whole band stops at once without some long fade. Sometimes there’s a combination of the two where the song will fade then as it’s gone silent, it will come back on and button to a stop.
My Easter had a bit of a fade ending to the function I was at. People eventually slowly left one by one. I wasn’t the last but I was darn close. I capped my evening off with renting a movie that had a combo ending, it slowly faded, then came back to button off. My night last night did the same sort of thing. After the movie, which I was fading thru, I had a bit of work that came in, then it was over and I zonked out.
If ever there was a band that was the king of button endings I would have to say it’s Collective Soul. So many of their songs end with a real tight button ending without long fades. Maybe it’s part of the style and how they have really tight rhythms with their writing. As you’re listening to Why, Pt. 2 think about the crispness of the rhythm you’re hearing. Then notice how the song caps itself off at the end. Very rhythmic. An epitome of a button ending. You are left with no question as to if the song is done.
I’ve once heard a musician say that fade ending are for writers who can’t figure out how to end a song. I don’t believe that’s always the case, I think there are times when it’s great for an effect. Though I can certainly understand how he could come to that conclusion. I’ve probably been guilty of letting a song linger myself and used a fade ending to get out.
Maybe that’s also the case for other things in life. People let things fade because they don’t know how to end it, or they’re scared to end it. What do you think?