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If you have two different choruses, where one is a more mellow version of the "real" chorus. What do you call it? For instance on this form: Verse, X, Verse, Chorus. What do you call X?

It's not a prechorus, because those occur right before a chorus. And it is certainly not a bridge. Nor is it an intro or outro.

An example is the song Mördarvals by Dia Psalma.

The verse starts at 0:45, X at 1:00, next verse at 1:10 and the main chorus at 1:25.

That's my main question, but I'm also a little curious about the other parts. I have analyzed it like this:

0:00 Prelude
0:09 Intro
0:27 Z, Y, Verse, X, Verse, Chorus
1:41 Z, Y, Verse, X, Verse, Chorus
2:55 Z, Prechorus 
3:12 Chorus, Chorus
3:43 Outro

What would you call the Z and Y? Is one of them a "preverse"? And is my analysis correct?

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When I think of a chorus I think of a section with lyrics that's repeated between verses. By that definition the whole 'Z, Y, Verse, X, Verse' sequence is one verse and X is a short section that is the same in each verse.

I can't prove the negative, but I don't believe there's any common name for that kind of a section in a song. It's common enough to repeat a phrase in each verse. Similar things are often done in folk songs. I can't tell for sure but it sounds like the words in the X section have no meaning, which fits the folk song pattern. You could just call it the 'whoooa whoooa' part, because that's what it sounds like.

I've never heard of a preverse or a prechorus, either. 'Intro' and 'outro' are slang terms. I'd probably call them 'introduction' and 'conclusion', in formal language.

As far as your analysis, I think you've accurately broken the song down into repeated sections and I would agree with your identification of the chorus, intro and outro sections. Otherwise you might be overanalyzing it. There are an infinite number of ways to combine bits of music together. It would be too confusing to try to assign specific names to different sections in all of their different combinations.

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I think the term would be a "refrain"

From https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/refrain

refrain noun
Definition of refrain (Entry 2 of 2)
1 : a regularly recurring phrase or verse especially at the end of each stanza or division of a poem or song : CHORUS
also : the musical setting of a refrain
2 : a comment or statement that is often repeated

Most people would consider a chorus and refrain to be the same, just like in the definition from Merriam-Webster above. But I think for your situation, we could differentiate them as "the actual chorus" (chorus) and "a smaller repeated phrase." (refrain)

  • Personally, I like to use chorus for when more than one voice sings the part. Refrain being a repeated section of the lyric. But, as you say most people treat chorus as synonymous with refrain. I think is the case especially with pop/rock music. – Michael Curtis Jun 27 at 22:17
  • Is this just a personal suggestion, or something that you know is used by musicians or songwriters? (In French or German, "refrain" is simply the translation of the English "chorus", i.e. the repeated part of a song). – Your Uncle Bob Jun 28 at 3:54
  • A bit of both, I suppose. I mean, I know linguistically there's no difference, and the English is probably the translation, not the other way around. But you can find examples in both contemporary and classic music which differentiate them. Nobody would call the "I sold my soul to the open road" line in Downfall of us All by A Day to Remember the chorus, because the chorus is clearly the repeated bit that starts with "You won't find me in the same spot..." But it's repeated throughout the song, like a refrain. – 3d12 Jun 28 at 12:27
  • For another example, Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits doesn't have a "chorus" but they repeat the line "Sultans of Swing" at the end of each verse like a refrain that anchors each verse to the song. – 3d12 Jun 28 at 12:32

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