Wondering Why?

Why do songs fade out?

Whether a song is played on the radio, an MP3 player, or the CD player, most of them fade out in the end.  “Fading out” refers to the decreasing of volume as the song ends. Because of this common “thing” among songs, many people have also questioned why this is so.  When the music industry’s experts are also asked, many have responded with various assumptions rather than definite answers on why fade-outs are used in recording songs.

There are actually a variety of possible reasons that songs are recorded with fade-outs at the end.  Some people believe that this is so because some songs don’t have an exact or definitive ending.  To solve this concern, recording studios will then decrease the volume of the song during its last few seconds letting the song simply fade out into the air.  In this way, the song will have a so-called graceful and identifiable ending.  In fact, people are so accustomed to the fading out of songs that it is even considered “abnormal” to have songs end abruptly.

Other people also believe that fade-outs were used in the past because of the three-minute limit in many radio stations.  It was said that a song should not last more than three minutes, and so those being played on the radio are designed to last up to three minutes only.  Anything that goes beyond the maximum time is faded out in the end.

There are also some experts who find it logical for the song to fade out at the end rather than end abruptly with a note.  This is especially applicable when recording a string of songs successively.  In order to determine the ending of one song before it is succeeded by another, the fade-out will be used to sort of separate one song’s ending with another’s beginning.

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