Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting/Hooks in Beatles's Yesterday?


Dear Sir,

I read about the concept of hooks in popular music, but it is not easy to apply it to real songs.

In the classic Yesterday by the Beatles, where are the hooks?

The reason for my question is that I love every phrase of the song, so it seems everything in the song is a hook. Is it true?

Thank you.


Thanks for your perceptive question.  

If you look at song structures (A=verse, B=chorus, C=bridge), the song forms where there is a chorus are:
ABABAB,  ABABCB,  ABABCAB (In some cases, there are 2 verses before the first chorus, or in some cases, the song starts with a chorus)

In songs that have a clear repeating chorus, the hook is typically the first or last line of the chorus, which is also usually the title of the song.

In addition to the above, there are two other standard song forms where there is not a chorus.

These are  AAA , like "The Rose",  or  AACA like your example of "Yesterday".

When there is no chorus,  the last line of each verse is often the same, and instead of a chorus can be called a refrain.  That becomes the hook.    However, that is not always the case.

In the verses of "Yesterday", the last line of the verses are not exactly the same, but they do each contain the the word 'yesterday', which is the title.  Songs in these non-chorus forms are often carried by having memorable melodies, as is the case with "Yesterday".

The AAA and AACA song forms are not used as often today as they were in the 1930-1960 era, but they are still considered standard and effective forms when used well.

There is additional information on song forms in "Songcrafters Coloring Book: The Essential Guide to Effective and Successful Songwritng"  (

I hope that helps clarify your question.


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Bill Pere


Can answer questions on : Technical aspects of lyric and music compostion; How to give and receive objective critique; Arranging and production; Concrete vs abstract imagery; Use of metaphor; Rhyme techniques; Song Structure; Collaboration; Songwriter Associations; Promotion; Guitar technique; Music Business;


Grammy-Award-winning songwriter; President of the Connecticut Songwriters Association and Director of the Connecticut Songwriting Academy; Named one of the Top 50 Innovators and Guiding Lights of the Music Industry in 2008 by Music Connection Magazine; Author of "Songcrafters' Coloring Book:The Essential Guide to Effective and Successful Songwriting." Named Independent Artist of the Year,by the 2003 national Independent Music Conference; 30 years as a professional singer-songwriter; 16 original CD's released;
Have had songs placed on other artists' CD's. Twice named Connecticut Songwriter of the Year.
20 years as Executive Director of the LUNCH Ensemble. Have attended more than 200 presentations by top industry professionals and have critiqued thousands of songs. Have written and produced dozens of stage plays and hundreds of concert events; Have coached hundreds of aspiring songwriters, and collaborated with several award winning writers. Have written commissioned songs as an Official Connecticut State Troubadour. Music Director of youth choirs and music camps.

Connecticut Songwriters Association (President); LUNCH Ensemble (Local United Network to Combat Hunger -- Exec, Director); CMEA (Connecticut Music Educators Association); Folk Alliance; Association For Psychological Type; Songsalive; WE R Indie; Creative Songwriting Academy;

Songcrafters' Coloring Book: The Essential Guide to Effective and Succesful Songwriting Songwriters Market (2001, 2002); Connecticut Songsmith; Contemporary Songwriter Magazine; Songwriters Musepaper;
Songcrafter's Coloring Book;   Strategies for Teaching Guitar;

Masters Degree Molecular Biology; Certified MBTI Practitioner (Myers Briggs Type Indicator); Connecticut Secondary Public School Teaching Certificate; Author: "Songcrafters' Coloring Book: The Essential Guide to Effective and Successful Songwriting"

Awards and Honors
2012 Grammy; Named one of the Top 50 Innovators and Guiding Lights of the Music Industry in 2008 by Music Connection Magazine; Independent Artist of the Year, (2003 national Indie Conference); Official Connecticut State Troubadour, appointed by CT Commission on the Arts, 1995 ; 1982 and 1992 CT Songwriter of the Year; 2000 Award for 20 years of Outstanding Service to Songwriters;
2002 CSA Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education through Music; Numerous awards for outstanding community outreach through music; 1997 Citation from Connecticut Legislature for exemplary dedication to community outreach through music. 1995 Renaissance Award for multiple music achievements in a single year.   Invited Presenter and Mentor at various Music Conventions

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