Is there a word for a song about a noun, object, or a specific person?

I was reading that an ode expresses an emotion, but if I had a song about coffee, what could it categorized as?

Edit: Also, what if the song has no lyrics? Eg: An interpretive song about the life of a coffee bean.


Ode is a literary term that originated with the ancient Greek theatre, and specifically the songs/chants of the chorus as they moved across the broad, open area in front of the stage. Formally, it has three parts: The Strophe, Antistrophe and the Epode. The first accompanied dances to one far side, the second to the opposite side, and the third to the center.

In the Romantic literary tradition, it was not so formal, but became an extended study or contemplation of an idea. Keats wrote the masterworks, and looking over his Odes - on Melancholy, to the Nightengale, on Autumn - could help you see if it is the term for you.

However, without lyrics, "Ode" does not strike me as the best term for your piece.

Etude ("study") or, depending on the mood you are depicting, a Caprice (a fun piece), a Celebration, or some other term might do better.

Italian is often the language of choice for such titles, but there is no reason you can't make it in English, or whatever your native tongue may be.

Ask yourself, what would YOU call it? That may be the very ticket.


An ode, at least as far as the lyrics of the song go. "An English ode is a lyrical stanza in praise of, or dedicated to someone or something that captures the poet's interest or serves as an inspiration for the ode. The lyrics can be on various themes." Wikipedia

You'll note that odes have been written to, among other things, nightingales, Grecian urns and the West wind...

  • Would you think ode would describe what I'm looking for? What if the song has no lyrics? – Clark Kent Feb 2 '15 at 17:30
  • Not really a song then, is it? Instrumental, eh? Still... If the piece is, in a metaphorical sense, about coffee (and I say "in a metaphorical sense" because there are no lyrics that specifically tie it to coffee), then, in the same metaphorical sense, it is an ode to coffee. If that doesn't work for you, mess around a bit with the concept of coffee (or whatever the subject is): "Aubade to my Morning Cup", "No Life Before Coffee", "Meditation on Coffee", or maybe just plain "Coffee"... There isn't a set form for this sort of thing. – user16935 Feb 2 '15 at 21:25

I'm not sure about the strength of conncetion to an emotion, but "Hymne" might be more universal having at least "Nationalhymne" (national anthem) as non-emotion related example.

  • 1
    I think Hymn would give more of a 'praise' meaning to the object, but that's not exactly what I'm looking for. – Clark Kent Feb 2 '15 at 15:39

There is a modern convention where you can simply name your music what ever you wish. (Of course this has always really been true). I once named pieces things like "Toy" and "Whisper", you in turn could name your piece "Bean" or "Coffee Bean". Without any further description.

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