Learning About 'Song Form'

The Music Telegraph | Text 2019/12/06 [16:01]

Learning About 'Song Form'

The Music Telegraph| 입력 : 2019/12/06 [16:01]

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Learning About 'Song Form'

 

Listen to "Burn" (by Usher) as you read the lyrics provided below. 

 

The "Form" of this Usher track is typical Pop Song form. The form is "Intro / Verse / Chorus / Verse / Chorus / Bridge / Chorus / Outro". In almost all cases, these sections are typically 8 bars long or 16 bars long. As you listen to the song, count the bars starting at the beginning and indicate what bar you think the sections start on in the space provided above the lyric sections.

  

 

1. Intro

This is the introduction to the song. In many pop songs, the introduction is instrumental (no vocal) or contains talking. In this case, no surprise, Usher is talking about his never-ending girl troubles.

 

Intro: What bar does it start on? (I'll tell you. This songs start on the downbeat of bar 1. Most, but not all songs start on Bar 1, Beat 1.)

 

I don't understand why

 

See it's burning me to hold onto this

 

I know this is something I gotta do

 

But that don't mean I want to

 

What I'm trying to say is that I-love-you But I just

 

I feel like this, is coming to an end

 

And its better for me to, let it go now than hold on and hurt you

 

I gotta let it burn

 

 

 

2. Verse

In most pop songs, the verse is the less memorable part. Lyrically, it gives you background information that will help you understand why the vocalist feels the need to sing a chorus about the topic. For example, if I were to write a chorus listing all of my favorite foods, Big Mac and Fries, Apple Pies, Ploughman's Sandwich and Pepperoni Pizza, it would seem odd out of context.  However, if the first verse was about all of the places me and my girl used to eat, it would make sense. A good verse prepares you musically and intellectually for the chorus.

 

Verse: What bar does it start on? __________

 

It's gonna burn for me to say this

 

But it's coming from my heart

 

It's been a long time coming

 

But we done been fell apart

 

Really wanna work this out

 

But I don't think you're gonna change

 

I do but you don't

 

Think it's best we go our separate ways

 

Tell me why I should stay in this relationship

 

When I'm hurting baby, I ain't happy baby

 

Plus there's so many other things I gotta deal with

 

I think that you should let it burn

 

 

 

3. Chorus

The Chorus contains the part of the song that everybody remembers. A good chorus is instantly memorable the first time you hear it. This is the part of the song that sells, which is why it is  often referred to as the "hook". 

 

Chorus: What bar does it start on? __________

 

When your feeling ain't the same and your body don't want to

 

but you know gotta let it go cuz the party ain't jumpin' like it used to

 

Even though this might bruise you

 

Let it burn

 

Let it burn

 

Gotta let it burn

 

 

Deep down you know it's best for yourself but you

 

Hate the thought of her being with someone else

 

But you know that it's over

 

You know that it's through

 

Let it burn

 

Let it burn

 

Gotta let it burn

 

 

 

4. Verse 2 

In most pop songs, the second verse has the exact same music as the first verse with only different. When you are producing a song, realize that you can save a lot of time by simply copying all of the tracks except the vocals from the first verse. Lyrically, the second verse usually puts a  different "spin" on the context of the first verse or simply reinforces the lyrical message with more examples.

 

Verse 2: What bar does it start on? __________ 

 

Sendin' pages I ain't supposed to

 

Got somebody here but I want you

 

Cuz the feelin' ain't the same find myself

 

Caught myself callin' her your name

 

Ladies tell me do you understand?

 

Now all my fellas do you feel my pain?

 

It's the way I feel

 

I know I made a mistake

 

Now it's too late

 

I know she ain't comin' back

 

What I gotta do now

 

to get my shawtay back

 

 

Ooo ooo ooo ooooh

 

Man I don't know what I'm gonna do

 

Without my booooo

 

You've been gone for too long

 

It's been fifty-leven days, um-teen hours

 

Imma be burnin' till you return

 

 

 

5. Chorus 2

The second chorus typically has not only the same music, but the same lyrics. Many producers  simply copy and paste the first chorus complete. Other producers use the first chorus as a base  and then add more vocal or instruments for extra flavor. Some producers insist on recording an entirely new take of the second chorus because they feel the emotion should be different now that the listener has heard verse 2. See if Usher's Chorus 2 is indeed the same as Chorus 1.

 

Chorus 2: What bar does it start on? __________ 

 

When your feeling ain't the same and your body don't want to

 

you know gotta let it go cuz the party ain't jumpin' like it used to

 

Even though this might bruise you

 

Let it burn, let it burn, let it burn, (You gone learn) Gotta let it burn

 

 

Deep down you know its best for yourself but you

 

Hate the thought of her being with someone else

 

But you know that it's over

 

You know that it's through

 

Let it burn

 

Let it burn

 

Gotta let it burn

 

 

 

6. Bridge

The Bridge usually only happens once in a pop song. It might contain a different instrumentation with some instruments dropping out. We would then call this kind of bridge a "Break". This is where the term "Break Beat" comes from. It could be called a "Bridge Beat" but that doesn't  sound as cool. The Bridge might also contain a new melody, new lyrics or new chords. In any event, the "Bridge" is designed to take the listener's mind off of the chorus for a moment without boring them with another verse. When musicians say "Take it to the bridge", they mean that they are ready for a "Change up".

 

Bridge: What bar does it start on? __________

 

I'm twisted cuz one side of me is tellin' me that I need to move on

 

On the other side I wanna break down and cry (ooooh)

 

I'm twisted cuz one side of me is tellin' me that I need to move on

 

On the other side I wanna break down and cry (yeah)

 

 

[Breakdown x2]

 

Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh oooh

 

Ooh ooh oooh (can ya feel me burnin'?)

 

 

Ooh ooh ooh oooh ooh oooh

 

 

to many days, so many hours

 

I'm still burnin' till you return

 

 

 

7. Chorus 3

At this point, it's only a matter of how many times do they repeat the chorus. Some songs repeat and fade while others have a definite ending. Often, the vocalist will solo over the top of the  chorus or add extra "attitude" in the background vocal tracks on the final chorus.

 

Chorus 3: What bar does it start on? __________ 

 

(Lyrics are repeated as other choruses)

 

 

 

8. Outro

This section is optional and usually only found on "Repeat and fade" ballads. The outro typically contains instrumentals only. In Hip-hop and R&B, this is where people shout out their production company name.

 

Outro: What bar does it start on? __________

 

 

 

 

 

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