How the Musical Structure of the Pink Floyd Song ‘Comfortably Numb’ Works to Further the Narrative

Music theorist and musician 12tone analyzed the iconic Pink Floyd song “Comfortably Numb” and explained how functional harmony was employed to tell the song’s story. The verses subsist of external dialogue happening around a rather disoriented Pink and are represented by a lack of musical resolution, while the chords of the chorus, which encompass Pink’s personal thoughts, come to full resolution.

Comfortably Numb. It shows the main character trapped within his own head, and juxtaposes the doctor trying to pull him back against his own internal monologue, but how? Musically speaking, what’s the trick? Well, with some very clever uses of relatively simple musical ideas, the song manages to create two wildly different harmonic worlds to carry the two halves of the song’s story.