Verse–chorus form

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Verse–chorus form is a musical form common in popular music, used in blues and rock and roll since the 1950s,[1] and predominant in rock music since the 1960s. In contrast to 32-bar form, which is focused on the verse (contrasted and prepared by the B section), in verse–chorus form the chorus is highlighted (prepared and contrasted with the verse).[2]

The chorus often sharply contrasts the verse melodically, rhythmically, and harmonically, and assumes a higher level of dynamics and activity, often with added instrumentation. This is referred to as a "breakout chorus".[3] See: arrangement.

Contrasting verse–chorus form[edit]

Songs that use different music for the verse and chorus are in contrasting verse–chorus form. Examples include:

Simple verse–chorus form[edit]

Songs that use the same harmony (chords) for the verse and chorus, such as the twelve bar blues, though the melody is different and the lyrics feature different verses and a repeated chorus, are in simple verse–chorus form. Examples include:

Simple verse form[edit]

Songs which feature only a repeated verse are in simple verse form (verse–chorus form without the chorus). Examples include:

and with a contrasting bridge:

Both simple verse–chorus form and simple verse form are strophic forms.

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Michael Campbell & James Brody (2007), Rock and Roll: An Introduction, page 117
  2. ^ Covach, John. "Form in Rock Music: A Primer", p.71, in Stein, Deborah (2005). Engaging Music: Essays in Music Analysis. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-517010-5.
  3. ^ Doll, Christopher. "Rockin' Out: Expressive Modulation in Verse–Chorus Form", Music Theory Online 17/3 (2011), § 2.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Covach (2005), p.71–72