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Song Form (the chart)

Student NotesThere is another short group that we need to talk about. You probably ran into this group in your counting practice from the preceding lesson. This group is called the "Intro." "Intro" is an abbreviation for "The Introduction." This grouping of bars is usually shorter than the "Head" or the "Bridge" and it occurs at the beginning of the song. When you were counting songs you may have heard some "Intro's" that confused your counting of 8 bars. The "Intro" is usually 4 to 8 bars long and most commonly based on the last 4 or 8 bars of a song. Do not confuse the "Intro" with the "Head." The "Head" is always the main melody line of a song. The "Head" is usually the first notes of a song written by a composer and the rest of the song is constructed around the "Head."

Let's look at some common forms with and without an "Intro."

Form without "Intro."

(A) (A) (B) (A)
Form with "Intro."

(Intro) (A) (A) (B) (A)

Songs that include vocals are very commonly written in the form example above with an "Intro." In a song with vocals, (A) is called the "Verse" and (B) is called the "Chorus."

It should be noted that when a song is in the form (A) (A) (B) (A), the first 2 (A) usually have slightly different endings for the last few measures in each group. This is not always true, but it is a common enough form that we should learn about it. In this case the form would look like:

(A1) (A2) (B) (A2)

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