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What is the difference between 'chorus' and 'refrain'?

It gets more complicated. The term 'refrain' comes from a time when poems were routinely set to music, and it is more appropriately left for the discussion of Classical and Romantic songs. At the ...
Areel Xocha's user avatar
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16 votes
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How many movements can be in a suite, and how long / short can they be?

There's an element of historical performance practice to consider when answering this question. In the early days of the "suite" idea, the movements were not pre-determined. Rather, a ...
Richard's user avatar
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14 votes
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Is there a name for the extra measure that they like to put into country songs?

This is an issue of what we call hypermeter; specify, we can call it a hypermetrical extension. By hypermeter, I mean a metrical structure not at the level of the beat, but at the level of the entire ...
Richard's user avatar
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11 votes

Is there a good way to denote nested repeats?

Repeat barlines for the short repeat, DS for the big one. Probably with some explanatory text. Or just write the 8 bars out twice. You'll find this sort of thing (picture) too, but with even more ...
Laurence's user avatar
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11 votes

Is there a good way to denote nested repeats?

In this case, especially since your A section is only eight measures long, it's an easy enough thing to just write out the A section a second time without using repeats. (I can think of several ...
Richard's user avatar
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11 votes

Horse hooves sound in the song background

In the old days, someone woud have two halves of a coconut shell, and tap them on a hard surface. As pointed out by Tetsujin, this was back in the day - 1957, so I suspect here, it's produced in that ...
Tim's user avatar
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11 votes

How to tell the beginning and ends of phrases when there is no significant rest in the music?

I'll focus on "written theory" concerns first, before approaching it in a different (but more helpful) way later. In this particular example, I would argue that there are two issues at play: ...
Richard's user avatar
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11 votes
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Full bar rest at the end of piece

Analysis The idea that the piece is in ternary form comprising three eight-measure phrases is correct. It just needs to be taken further. First, note that if one counts from the anacruses to the notes ...
Aaron's user avatar
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10 votes
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How do I use efficient repeats in sheets for pop music?

You could try something like this, using just repeat signs and volta brackets: |-1.,3.-|-2.,4.-| || intro ||: A | B :|| C :|| outro ||
Matt L.'s user avatar
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10 votes
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Is there a way to notate the repeat of a larger section that itself has repeats in it?

You can introduce symbols (most often the "dal segno" sign pictured below; rehearsal marks are also not uncommon) to indicate the start of a repeated section, and then use a "to [sign]&...
Aaron's user avatar
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10 votes
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How would I notate this custom repeat scenario with sheet music?

You can use DS, DSS, coda, double coda but why? The song as is is only 27 bars. Eliminating a road map would add 16 bars (an extra verse and chorus if I’m reading it right) and avoid any possible ...
John Belzaguy's user avatar
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Can a bridge be repeated?

This is entirely opinion-based, however… People will tell you, you can't eat sprouts & custard, or put pineapple on pizza. Sure you can, if that's what you like. There's literally no rule, law, or ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
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Is coda the same thing as a cadence?

I've seen some websites define a coda as a sort of "extended cadence" Well, yes. But very 'sort of'. A cadence comes at the end of a musical phrase, a coda comes at the end of the whole ...
Laurence's user avatar
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9 votes

Is there a good way to denote nested repeats?

Write the following: (segno sign) [: A :] B C (D.S. con rep.) I would never use nested repeats. Better use this sort of navigation aids. The segno sign is traditional, the other way is to write a ...
yo''s user avatar
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8 votes

Composing a Piano sonata

The word "sonata" may refer to different things. In the Baroque period a sonata was just an instrumental piece (like Scarlatti's sonatas). I suppose, though, that the OP may be referring to the term ...
José David's user avatar
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8 votes

What are the rules of improvisation in Indian ragas?

I'll try to be specific and use terms in carnatic music to describe each aspect Each Raaga provides key phrases which are set forth by the notes which are allowed in the raaga. Aarohanam: notes(...
Vignesh's user avatar
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8 votes

What is the difference between 'chorus' and 'refrain'?

Strictly speaking of pop/rock music I think there is a difference between chorus and refrain. A chorus is a full blown section that has harmony, lyrics, and melody that is repeated and generally ...
b3ko's user avatar
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8 votes

Any tips on writing the structure of a song for a band which does not read music?

Rather than AABA, why not write "Verse Verse Chorus Verse"? Or even more descriptive, you could write "Verse (16 bars) Verse (16 bars) Chorus (24 bars) ..." Try that first. There ...
Edward's user avatar
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8 votes

How many movements can be in a suite, and how long / short can they be?

A suite can have any number of movements (at least two). There's no upper limit, but a suite with more than about ten movements would be highly unusual. They can be as short or as long as you want.
PiedPiper's user avatar
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7 votes

The meaning of Coda

Coda means "tail" in Italian. It's a tail-end part of a longer piece. A coda may be used however a composer wishes: to extend a cadence, to recapitulate some material, even to introduce new material.
ttw's user avatar
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7 votes

What determines the overall key of a work with multiple movements and key changes?

Heinrich Schenker's notion of the "auxiliary cadence" (Hilfskadenz) starts to answer this very question: it tries to explain how a movement can begin away from tonic. I don't have firm data for this,...
Richard's user avatar
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7 votes

When improvising should one have a musical form in mind?

TL;DR: I think the answer you are looking for is yes. If you want to improvise for a specific audience, then having a form, some kind of structure, your piece would not seem "random", because it's ...
Shevliaskovic's user avatar
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Are there any sonatas with only two sections?

Two leading music scholars of our generation, Jim Hepokoski and Warren Darcy, formulated what they call Sonata Theory (note the capital S and T!) to better understand the sonata process. They list ...
Richard's user avatar
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7 votes

Is there a way to notate the repeat of a larger section that itself has repeats in it?

Sort of. A song often has internal repeated sections and an overall 'next verse' repeat. This can be shown by a D.C. (or D.$) al fine (or al coda). Sometimes this is simplified to just a segno &...
Laurence's user avatar
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6 votes

More than one D.S.?

D.S. and D.SS. are sometimes used. Same for codas. Possibly useful for saving paper when a score won't have to be sight-read! But, in these days of computer score preparation, it's little extra ...
Laurence's user avatar
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6 votes
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Developments in musical form in mid-nineteenth - early-twentieth century music

Actually, the standard forms from the Classical tradition are still largely in play in the mid-nineteenth and into the twentieth century. Seth Monahan recently published a very well-received book, ...
Richard's user avatar
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6 votes

What is the meaning of 'chorus' in terms of a 12 bar blues?

It means once through the 12 bars. "Chorus" typically means once through the form that you solo on in any improvisational context like blues or jazz. So if the form were different and lasted 32 bars, ...
user37496's user avatar
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6 votes
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what is a "leitmotif" and by whom has it been introduced into music language?

Leitmotiv is a term, borrowed from the original German, that is often literally translated as "leading motive." More colloquially, it's a motive that serves to represent some aspect of a musical drama:...
Richard's user avatar
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6 votes
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If fugue voices are in different keys how come they don't clash?

The subject of a fugue is first stated alone, then a second voice is added which re-states it at a different pitch (typically a 5th higher). If this 'answer' is literally transposed it's called a '...
Laurence's user avatar
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6 votes
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What are Antecedent & Consequent Phrases in Music?

This answer repeats a lot of what I wrote in... Where is the antecedent and consequent phrase in this melody? My understanding is antecedent and consequent are the two parts of a period. The two ...
Michael Curtis's user avatar

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