A song is a musical composition, often with vocals. It consists of the melody (the melodic structure and tone) and lyrics (words used to set it to music).
The form of a song includes repeats of verses and choruses, and the music is usually accompanied by instrumental accompaniment. There are many forms of songs, including chants, folk songs, and popular songs.
Various genres of music, such as opera and classical music, employ song in their repertoire. Among them are recitative, in which the words are entirely free, and aria, in which the words and music have a more elaborate character.
Lyrics are written specifically for a song, and they usually include the main theme of the composition. They may also describe the mood, tempo, and instrumentation of the music.
The melody of a song is a series of notes that rise and fall at distinct pitches. There are two types of melodic motion: conjunct, which progresses by step from one scale degree to the next; and disjunct, which moves by leap.
Most music consists of both conjunct and disjunct motion, which gives it a unique personality. But a few songs, such as “The Greatest Man in the World,” are characterized by conjunct motion only, while others, like “Goat Head,” are a combination of both conjunct and disjunct melody.