Standard (music)

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This article is about the musical term. For other uses, see Standard (disambiguation).

In music, a standard is a tune or song of established popularity.[1]

Because of the subjective quality of the term, which songs are considered standards is ambiguous. However, a general character of such songs is that they remain in popular currency for several decades, and that they are performed by several different musicians or bands. Another common (but by no means definitive) aspect of 'standards' is crossing genres.

The term can be compared to the use of the word 'traditional' in Folk Music literature, though not all standards of folk music are traditional.

Examples of songs described in this wiki as 'standards' (regardless of genre) include

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (6th ed.), Oxford University Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0-19-920687-2 

Further reading[edit]

Printed music

Books on the subject
  • Morath, Max. The N.P.R. [i.e. National Public Radio] Curious Listener's Guide to Popular Standards, series Grand Central Press Book[s] and also Perigee Book[s]. First ed. New York: Berkley Publishing Group, cop. 2002. xvi, 235 p. ISBN 0-399-52744-3