Common Song Form
A song is a melody designed to be played by the entire human voice. This is most often done in fixed and varied tones with silence and different rhythms. Songs can contain many types, including those that feature the repeated and unique manipulation of melodic elements.
Verses are what make a song. They are the words of the song that tell a story and explain what the listener is supposed to feel or think. There are many different verses in a song; these verses tell a story and have the ability to either increase the meter (such as the verses of a ballad) or break it down (the refrain). The word “verse” comes from the Latin verb passim, which means “with another.”
A chorus is a repetition of the same phrase or refrain. While most songs have a chorus, not all do. “Chorus” comes from the Greek word chaste, meaning “not drunk.” The verse of a song usually repeats a phrase or a whole statement while a chorus tends to play more than one phrase or a line.
Compound song forms are those that are comprised of several elements. Compound songs tend to be less formal than single verse and single chorus songs. Most songs that fall under this category tend to tell a theme or a story. A rock song may feature a character’s voice telling a story or trying to get a point across to the audience. A pop song may focus on a single phrase or be a catchy unit of lyrics and melody. A rhythm genre will focus on one type of rhythmic unit like hi-hat or bassline.
Aaba: This type of song has three parts. The first is the aaba, which is played as the accompaniment to the main melody. It can also be the first note in the progression of a song. The second part, the raga, is played at the same time as the first aaba, creating a thread that ties together the song. Finally, the cadence, or last note, is played just before the cadence of the first part ends.
Popular songs are those created by popular music artists. These types of song forms are considered “popular” because they have gained enough popularity to have repeated hits on radio and TV. Because of the wide variety of popular songs, there are countless forms that artists can explore. Many of the most popular music artists in history have released their own versions of popular songs. Some of these are: Elvis Presley, Bob Marley, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Queen, The Who, Nirvana, and many more. As you can see, there are many different musical forms out there to explore.