A hook is a musical idea, often a short riff, passage, or phrase, that is used in popular music to make a song appealing and to "catch the ear of the listener". The term generally applies to popular music, especially rock music, R&B, hip hop, dance music, and pop. In these genres, the hook is often found in, or consists of, the chorus. A hook can be either melodic or rhythmic, and often incorporates the main motif for a piece of music.
One definition of a hook is "a musical or lyrical phrase that stands out and is easily remembered".
While some melodic hooks include skips of a eighths or more to make the
line more interesting, a hook can be equally catchy by employing
or other devices. A hook may also garner attention from listeners from
other factors, such as the vocal timbre or instrumentation, as in the
case of the Beach Boys' use of an unusual theremin-like instrument in "Good Vibrations". Some hooks become popular without using any unusual elements. For example, in the song "Be My Baby", performed by The Ronettes, the hook consists of the words "be my baby" over the conventional I-vi-IV-V chord progression of the chorus. Hooks in hip hop almost always refer to the chorus between verses.