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Millennial whoop

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    \tempo 4 = 120
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      r8 c'8( a8 c8 a8 c8) r8 c8 r8 c8( a8 c8 a8 c8 a4)
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Millennial whoop on an F major.

The millennial whoop is a vocal melodic pattern alternating between the fifth note — the dominant —and the third note — the mediant — in a major scale, typically starting on the fifth, in the rhythm of straight 8th-notes, and often using the "wa" and "oh" syllables.[1] It was used extensively in 2010s pop music.[2][3]


In the slavishly playlisted, gnat's-attention-span world of daytime radio, the Whoop has become a signalling device, often cropping up bang on cue around the one-minute mark, saying: "Hey wait! Don't run away just yet!"

—Music blogger Gavin Haynes[2]

The term was coined by the musician Patrick Metzger, who described it in a blog entry on The Patterning in August 2016.[1] He suggested that, while the millennial whoop gained popularity from the late 2000s to 2010s, it has probably always been around.[4] An earlier use can be heard in the 1984 song "Jungle Love" by The Time, and, arguably, in Baltimora's 1985 hit "Tarzan Boy".[5]

The 2017 song "Millennial Whoop" by American rock band the Pilgrims was written as a response to the idea of older generations looking down upon the younger for using such tropes: the song makes use of the interval pattern.[6]


In 2013 songwriter Ally Burnett sued Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City over their 2012 song "Good Time", arguing similarities to her 2010 song "Ah, It's a Love Song" and its use of the millennial whoop.[2] Jepsen settled out of court, but Owl City won.[2]


Songs where the millennial whoop appears include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Metzger, Patrick (August 20, 2016). "The Millennial Whoop: A glorious obsession with the melodic alternation between the fifth and the third". The Patterning. Retrieved 2016-09-19.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Haynes, Gavin (August 30, 2016). "The Millennial Whoop: the melodic hook that's taken over pop music". The Guardian.
  3. ^ Bui, Hoai-Tran (August 29, 2016). "What is the 'millennial whoop' and why is it in every pop song?". USA Today.
  4. ^ Bartleet, Larry (September 1, 2016). "What Is The Millennial Whoop? Once You Hear This Virulent Pop Hook You Won't Be Able To Unhear It". NME. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Epstein, Adam (August 27, 2016). ""The Millennial Whoop": The same annoying whooping sound is showing up in every popular song". Quartz.
  6. ^ "The Best Vermont Music of 2017 (So Far) – County Tracks". County Tracks. 2017-06-22. Retrieved 2017-10-23.
  7. ^ NerdSync. "Why the DUCKTALES Theme Song is Stuck in Your Head Right Now...", YouTube. 4 November 2017. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  8. ^ "10 Bollywood Movies With Blockbuster Soundtracks". MensXP.com. 2 May 2013. Archived from the original on 7 March 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  9. ^ Menta, Anna (August 30, 2016). "All Of Today's Pop Songs Are Basically The Exact Same, According To New Theory". Elite Daily.
  10. ^ a b c O'Donnell, Carey (August 29, 2016). "The Theory of the "Millennial Whoop" Might Be The Key To A Hit Pop Song". Paper. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  11. ^ "Best Original Song 2018".

External links[edit]