Song Structure (Form)

A song’s structure (or form) is a basically a blueprint; the sections arranged in such a way that best expresses the songwriter’s creativity and feelings. It’s also called song form.


The introduction is a unique section that comes at the beginning of the piece. Generally speaking, an introduction will contain just music and no words.


The words of a song.


The verse is the part of the song that tells a story. It gives listeners more insight leading to the main message of the song and it moves the story forward.


The chorus (or refrain) is the element of the song that repeats at least once both musically and lyrically. It is almost always of greater musical and emotional intensity than the verse. Normally the most memorable element of the song for listeners, the chorus usually contains the hook (a musical or lyrical phrase that stands out and is easily remembered)


A bridge may be “a transition”, but more often in popular music is a section that contrasts with the verse.  It expresses something different and helps to change up the sound of a song and keep it interesting.


A tag is a dramatic variation put in the last section of the song. A tag is a repeated musical idea which is built into the ending of an arrangement.


Thirty-two-bar form (AABA) uses four sections, most often eight measures long each (4×8=32), two verses or A sections, a contrasting B section (the bridge) and a return of the verse in one last A section (AABA).

“Deck the Halls”:

A: Deck the hall with boughs of holly,

A: ‘Tis the season to be jolly.

B: Don we now our gay apparel,

A: Troll the ancient Yuletide carol.

AABA form – “Yesterday” Does this form have a chorus? Listen to “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”

AAA form – “Amazing Grace” or “House of the Rising Sun”  What do you notice here?

ABA (verse/chorus or chorus/verse) – “Hotel California” Look at the lyrics, is there a bridge in this song?

What is the song structure or form of Take Me Home, Country Roads?  It’s ABABCBB Tag. Is there and intro?

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