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Structure of a song

Determining the structure of a song

Structure of a song



The structure of a song depends on its balance and its impact on the listener.
In general, the structure of the songs see the alternating verses and choruses interspersed with sections such as the introduction schedules, bridges, breaks and instrumental coda.



a.      The introduction


The introduction opens the song and sometimes reappears in it, as an instrumental break, a breath.
Usually instrumental, vocal sometimes, it is based on a melodic element of the verse or chorus, but can be as le-rythmeic or harmonic
without any thematic element. 

The introduction sets the tone, tempo, style, character or theme of a song. Its role is often twofold:


·        Intro 1 =   installation of harmony and le-rythme

·        Intro2  =   draft of a thematic element of the verse or chorus


                  Its duration should not be too excessive and is between 4 and 16 measures, but the total absence of introduction is possible because many songs begin directly by a chorus or verse.


b.      The verse


It exhibits its theme and is sometimes doubled when it is too short. Composers are such that its intensity does not exceed that of the chorus to leave a priority memory to last in the listener.


c.       The chorus


Centerpiece of a song, the chorus should remain remembered by all.
After several appearances during the song, he often finds it "ad libitum", that is to say, repeated two or more times decrescendo ("Fade out").


d.      The breaks


These are real breaths of the song, and generally express the instrumental or vocal soloists. Of duration and variable numbers, they should not forget the main themes of the verse or chorus.


e.      The bridge


This is a transition section which generally provides the link between verse and chorus. It can be built on a genuine third theme and often appears as a natural extension of the verse.


f.        The coda


Net or progressive ending song, it can be built on a borrowed item in the previous sections, but can also be free of any theme when based on a le-rythmeic or harmonic grid.



            Example :


            The structure of "You were there" extends approximately 82 steps and includes
            10 sections organized as follows:


              Introduction 23 measures ( 3/4)
              Verse 1 8 measurements
              Verse 2 9 measurements
              Chorus measures 6 1/2
              Verse 3 8 measurements
              Break 7 steps
              Chorus measures 6 1/2
              Break 9 measures
              Chorus measures 6 1/2
              Chorus + Solo measures 6 1/2


            Notes :


            On his end, it installs the le-rythme of the song before the entry of the first verse.
            The bridge comes later between verse 3 and the following chorus.
            The break is located 3/4 of the song prepares last 2 choruses transposed ad libitum.
            odd measures (verse 2, bridge and break), are used to develop le-rythmeic transitions to prepare the chorus.
            measures 6 1/2 choruses install an original break by inserting a penultimate measure 2/4.



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