The human ear likes to hear descending half-steps (a half-step is the smallest interval between notes, e.g., going from C to B or G to G flat). I don’t know the science behind it, but something about descending notes pleases us. Last month I spoke about how artists commonly use descending major scales in music, but descending half-steps are no less commonly used.
In my search for examples for descending half-steps, the clear-cut victor is the guitar work by Jesse Harris on “Don’t Know Why,” a hit from Norah Jones’s 2002 album, Come Away With Me (Jesse also composed the song). On this song, in the key of B-flat, the guitar descends from the major 7th (the note A) all the way down to the major third (D). A full fifth! It’s one of those classic examples of “less is more,” a perfect selection of just the write notes.
Give a listen.
Descending half-steps are used in shorter runs all the time. Some songs that come to mind are Eric Clapton's "Tears In Heaven," Radiohead's "Paranoid Android," "My Way" - made famous by Frank Sinatra - and nearly every jazz song ever written. It's just one more thing to consider when listening to or performing music.