Is there a name for a kind of song where a line is said, then there is an equivalent amount of time where there is no singing. You could sing exactly what the singer just said in the gap before the next lyrics.

Here are two examples: Rich Woman (Boz Scaggs) -

Sitting on Top of the World (Doc Watson) -

I hear it a lot more in Blues than other types of music, but that could be my own listening bias.


I usually hear the term "Call and response" for this type of pattern -- in the first example the sax and/or guitar etc. are providing the response. This pattern evolved in blues and gospel influenced music from the vocal call and response pattern used in church singing and work songs, especially within the African American community, which built upon its African roots, but it's roots probably run wide and deep beyond that.

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  • There is some evidence that the blues has roots in the Muslim call to prayer, and call and response is still an aspect of prayer in many faiths. – Todd Wilcox Dec 1 '17 at 23:19

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