Millennial Whoop

Millennial Whoop

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Updated Mar 22, 2017 at 10:01PM EDT by Don.

Added Aug 30, 2016 at 11:51AM EDT by Don.

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The "Millennial Whoop" is a neologism referring to any sequence of notes alternating between the 5th and 3rd notes on a major scale, which are often heard during vocal segments in a variety of contemporary pop songs.


On August 20th, 2016, The Patterning published an article by musician Patrick Metzger of the band The Apple Kickers,[2] which coined the phrase "millennial whoop" to identify "a sequence of notes that alternates between the fifth and third notes of a major scale." For examples of the sound, Metzger initially cites portions of the "California Girls" (heard at :51) and a parody song by The Lonely Island (heard at :40).

In a subsequent article update, Metzger provided a list of songs identified by readers as having the Millennial Whoop:

Frank Ocean – “Ivy” (2016, Millennial Whoop at 2:53)

Dagny – “Backbeat” (2016, Millennial Whoop at 0:00 as part of longer melodic phrase)

AURORA – “Running With the Wolves” (2016, Millennial Whoop at 1:11)

Berlin After Midnight – “All Night Long” (2016, Millennial Whoop at 0:52)

twenty one pilots – Ride (2015, Millennial Whoop at 0:48)

Tove Lo – “Habits (Stay High)” (2014, Millennial Whoop at 0:48)

Of Monsters and Men – “Mountain Sound” (2014, Millennial Whoop at 2:15)

Andy Grammer – “Forever” (2014, Millennial Whoop at 3:15 at the beginning of a longer melodic phrase)

Fifth Harmony – “Anything Is Possible” (2014, Millennial Whoop at 0:20)

CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share” (2013, fragmented Millennial Whoop at 0:00, standard Millennial Whoop at 0:33)

Filter – “Burn It” (2013, Millennial Whoop at 1:10)

One Direction – “Heart Attack” (2012, Millennial Whoop at 0:37)

One Direction – “Live While We’re Young” (2012, Millennial Whoop at 0:53)

The Lumineers – “Ho Hey” (2012, Millennial Whoop on the word “heart” at 0:58)

Rebecca Black – “Sing It” (2012, Millennial Whoop at 0:03)

Chris Brown – “Turn Up the Music” (2012, Millennial Whoop at 1:30)

Big Tree – “Storm King” (2011, Millennial Whoop at 2:24)

Outasight – “Tonight Is the Night” (2011, Millennial Whoop at 0:52)

The Head and the Heart – “Down in the Valley” (2011, Millennial Whoop at 1:48)

Justin Bieber – “Baby (featuring Ludacris)” (2010, Millennial Whoop at 0:46)

Michou – “Growing Younger” (2010, Millennial Whoop at 0:37)

Alejandro Sanz – “Looking for Paradise (featuring Alicia Keys)” (2010, Millennial Whoop at 0:14

Kings of Leon – “Use Somebody” (2009, Millennial Whoop faintly at 0:02, louder 1:28)

Cymbals Eat Guitars – “And The Hazy Sea” (2009, elongated Millennial Whoop at 0:00)

Mates of State – “Goods” (2007, Millennial Whoop at 0:20)

Green Day – “Are We the Waiting” (2004, Millennial Whoop at 0:34)

Death Cab for Cutie – “Lightness” (2003, Millennial Whoop at 0:32)

The Rasmus – “In the Shadows” (2003, Millennial Whoop at 0:12)

The KLF – “Last Train to Trancentral” (1991, Millennial Whoop at 1:00)

Baltimora – “Tarzan Boy” (1985, Millennial Whoop at 1:11)

Morris Day and the Time – “Jungle Love” (1984, Millennial Whoop at 0:38)


On August 26th, Redditor breadvelvet submitted The Patterning article to the /r/popheads[4] subreddit. On August 27th, 2016, Quartz released an article about the song riff along with a video highlighting various examples (shown below).

On August 28th, Redditor philamignon submitted the article to the /r/NewsOfTheWeird[3] subreddit, referring to it as an "annoying whooping sound." In the coming days, several other news sites published articles about the pop music cliche, including USA Today,[5] AV Club,[6] Refinary 29[7] and Slate.[8]

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Top Comments

Fatty Bunter
Fatty Bunter

Hey look a submission documenting that trend in modern music with sources that aren't shitting on millennials. Most of them even talk about the classical history of the note frequency, defending it.

Comments: God why does everybody hate millennials


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