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"Do you see how we're building to a shuddering climactic ending? Can you say 'Bolero'?"
The Capitol Steps, "This is the House O.J. Built"

When the same rhythmic beat is played repeatedly over a long crescendo, during which the music goes from simple and quiet to loud, blaring and borderline cacophonous.

Similar to Variable Mix.

Examples of Bolero Effect include:
  • Maurice Ravel's "Bolero" is the Trope Namer and Trope Maker.
  • "Abbadon's Bolero" by Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
  • "Ewigkeit" from Tanz der Vampire.
  • Carmina Burana, the suite whose "Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi" is the Trope Codifier for Ominous Latin Chanting, does this.
  • Done intermittently over the course of the second Dream Sequence of Lady in the Dark. The beat disappears for some fairly long stretches, though it sounds like "Bolero" tweaked into Common Time.
  • The repeated chorus of "Hey Jude" employs a very similar effect.
  • "In The Hall Of The Mountain King" by Edvard Grieg does this.
  • A major part of the first movement of the Seventh Symphony ("Leningrad") by Dmitri Shostakovich. It even suddenly shifts away from the main tune at the climax, like "Bolero".
  • Russian folk tune "Polyushko Polie" employed this effect to liken the effect of a Cossack cavalry canter. Different versions exist, but most keep the same effect.
  • "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging" from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.
  • "Take a Bow" by Muse.
  • "Tubular Bells" by Mike Oldfield (and its successor incarnation TB 2) have a finale which, like the original Bolero, add a different instrument each loop until everything is playing beneath the majestic entry of the titular instrument.
    • Oldfield also does this in "Ommadawn" and Music of the Spheres.
  • The Objects Floating in the Sky, "X" also does this.
  • This is a favourite trope of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers; start with a haunting melody by a lone piper, then the other pipes join in, then the drums and the electric guitar. They even have a track called "Celtic Bolero".
  • Sufjan Stevens:
    • "The BQE, Movement III: Linear Tableau with Intersecting Surprise" is nothing but buildup, and the crescendo only comes in "Movement IV: Traffic Shock".
    • "Djohariah" does this over the course of about 17 minutes, building up to a crescendo twice before turning into a quiet acoustic song.
  • The Discovery Channel's The World is Just Awesome has a piano backing in the first stanza, adds strings in the next, and tops it off with a choir.
  • Gustav Mahler's First Symphony "The Titan" has this in its' third movement on the tune of Frère Jacques.
  • "The Claw" by Randy Newman from Toy Story 3.
  • "The Ectasy of Gold" by Ennio Morricone.
  • "Face the Fat Reality" by the thrash metal Hades has a second half that starts with a grinding riff that is first played slowly but gradually gets faster and faster until it reaches well over 200 BPM at the end, while the guitars become ever louder and denser and the drums more hectic.
  • "Carol of the Bells".
  • A shorter example, but "The Bolero of Fire" from The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time.
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