A segue is a smooth transition from one topic or section to the next.
For written music it implies a transition from one section to the next without any break. In improvisation, it is often used for transitions created as a part of the performance, leading from one section to another.
For example, in live performance, the Grateful Dead would often splice together several songs as part of their jamming style. A striking example occurs on the Live/Dead album, with the transition from "St. Stephen" to "The Eleven", which requires a seamless change of time signature. On the concert film The Song Remains the Same, Led Zeppelin changes from the title track to "The Rain Song" seamlessly, with Jimmy Page using his Gibson EDS-1275 for the different tunings. U2 uses a similar technique with its two songs "An Cat Dubh" and "Into the Heart", which segue into each other not only on the studio versions but also at every live performance of these songs. Groups such as Blues Traveler, Phish, Spin Doctors, and Widespread Panic have performed together, executing segues between two bands without a break in the music. As the first band finished their set, members of the following act would replace one by one those of the first, until a complete band swap had occurred.
In recorded music, a segue is a seamless transition between one song and another. On Madonna's album Confessions on a Dance Floor, all of the songs segue into one another. The Beatles' album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band has a segue between the songs "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "With a Little Help from My Friends" on. In many Pink Floyd albums, particularly The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, many songs blend into each other without a break. A particular example is "Time/Breathe (Reprise)", with "Breathe" being a hidden track. On all of Side 2 of The Dark Side of the Moon, each song segues into the next. Green Day's songs "Jesus of Suburbia" and "Homecoming" are each examples of five mini-songs which segue one into the next, forming a suite. A similar approach was commonly used in the progressive rock of the 1970s. Progressive rock band Genesis used the segue technique for many of the songs on their 1974 concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Progressive metallers Symphony X has one segue in their V: The New Mythology Suite Album, with a great emotive and rich layers of classical and orchestal arrangements and progressions. Also, In Dream Theater's Album Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence we can hear a perfect sample of Segue in every song.The first four tracks of Daft Punk's albums Homework and Discovery all segue, as well as all 18 tracks on the album Since I Left You by Australian band The Avalanches. A segue is also a gradual and seamless transition between two principal audio sources, as one might hear in a nightclub when a DJ "mixes" music.
When viewing a track listing or set list a segue is often indicated by a > or a →. Fans of Phish often make a distinction between these two, where → denotes a true, seamless segue from one song to another, whereas > only denotes that the next song immediately follows the previous, without any improvisation or other form of transition between the songs.
Some bands will segue from one song into another, and then back into the first song. Widespread Panic will often do this with songs such as Driving Song > Disco > Driving Song or Chilly Water > Jack > Chilly Water.
In journalism, a segue is a method of smoothly transitioning from one topic to another. A segue allows the host or writer to naturally proceed to another topic without jarring the audience. A good segue makes the subject change seem like a natural extension of the discussion.
Segues can also be performed on televisual journalism, such as on news reports or current affairs programs. The Segue has been a popular topic on the Australian satirical program The Chaser's War on Everything, in which they mention, often ridicule, and to some extent glorify the segues performed by Anna Coren on Today Tonight. Their segment is known as Anna Coren's Segue of the Week.