What is a Song?

A song is a musical combination of melody and lyrics. It typically also has other musical elements such as harmony, rhythm and a beat. It also usually has a specific structure, such as verses and choruses. Historically, songs have been sung or played on instruments for entertainment and ceremonial purposes. Many of these songs have long histories and have had a significant influence on the culture that created them.

The Library’s collections include songs in a variety of styles and genres, from Irish folk songs to African storytelling songs to Christian hymns and Heavy Metal music. These songs have varied topics and themes, including social change, immigration and work, and even religion and politics. The Library has developed four functional categories to help users navigate the vast variety of song: Popular Songs; Parlor and Concert Stage; Traditional and Ethnic Music; and Worship and Praise. Each of these topic areas has an analytical framework that provides teachers and students with a different way to understand the song.

A bridge is a part of a song that often serves to keep the energy up and build anticipation for the chorus. A bridge is not used as frequently in rock music as it is in other genres of music, but when it is used, it can add a lot to the overall emotion and meaning of a song. A bridge may also serve to “reset” the listener after a heavy verse or chorus.