Common Terms in Song

07 May

I was listening to Chrisye this afternoon while doing my final project. I’ve just realized that old songs really have poetical lyrics. Not like songs nowadays. But that’s not what I want to share in this post. I’d like to share about common terms used in a song.

Commonly, a song has this kind of schematic :

Intro – Verse 1 – Chorus – Verse 2 – Chorus – Ending

Well, every song has it’s own scheme. Now, I will try to explain some terms commonly used in a song. CMIIW

    1. Intro
    This is the part when the song begins. It’s also called the opening of the song. Usually intro is consisted of instrumental music which notes are taken from the song itself.

    2. Verse
    Verse is the initial of the song. Commonly it uses one pitch and rhythm with repeating notes, only changes the lyrics. Verse is the start of storytelling of the song.

    3. Bridge
    Bridge’s role is as the link between verse and intro. Songs these days usually have different levels between their verses and choruses. Between the verses and choruses there are too far note-gaps. If the verse already has ascending note, then it will be easy to entry the chorus. But mostly songs nowadays have flat notes, that’s why they need bridges to build the excitement of the song. In certain case, a songwriter purposely erases the bridge part between verse and chorus and let the gap in high level to create a different sensation. This case is happened in Adele’s song “Someone Like You” where there is a big gap between the last note of the verse and the first note of the chorus.
    Not only between verse and chorus, bridge can be used between chorus 1 and chorus 2, just in case the songwriter makes different chorus in a song.

    4. Chorus
    Or refrain. Most people say chorus is the same with refrain, although it has a different meaning.
    Chorus can be told as the core of a song. Usually, the lyrics in chorus are what the song wants to tell about. It has a more higher level of excitement than verse, and commonly associated as the top of the song. It is the long-awaited part of a song.

    5. Refrain/Reff
    The term refrain is used in arrangement context. The meaning of refrain is the repetition. It means there is a pert of a song that sung over and over again. In this case, commonly the chorus is sung repeatedly to make people remember the main story of a song. But not every refrain is a chorus. That’s why sometimes people mixed up between refrain and chorus.

    6. Interlude
    Interlude is like “intro” in the middle of a song. Usually it’s used to fit delay between verse and verse, or verse and chorus. Interlude has no lyrics or specific melody in it, and usually contains only some bars (4, 6, or 8 bars) or chord patterns.

    7. Solo Instrument
    The part of a song that shows the instrumental playing. There’s no singing in this part, except for a slightly back vocals. This is the part where instrumental playing is put forward.

    8. Ending
    The closing part of a song. Commonly it is in the form of Fade Off, or looping, or the end of the bar.

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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Songs


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