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Refrain Vs Chorus


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Hey

To me a refrain was always the repeated lines within music, and a chorus is a type of refrain. The difference for me is that a chorus is a distinct section in itself, where as a refrain in the traditional sense was repeated lines within a larger structure, namely a verse.

Cheers

John

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Hey

To me a refrain was always the repeated lines within music, and a chorus is a type of refrain. The difference for me is that a chorus is a distinct section in itself, where as a refrain in the traditional sense was repeated lines within a larger structure, namely a verse.

Cheers

John

so if its a verse then why dont we just call it a verse ?

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For me, what I call a refrain, is a complete thought that can usually be said in 2 bars. I use it to complete a section, and usually as the hook and title.

What I call a chorus, is also a refrain, but the thought needs more than two bars, usually 8 bars but not always. It is also repeated, contains the hook and almost always the title. I sometimes will write 4 bars and finish up each A with them as the refrain. If it doesn't repeat, it's not a chorus or a refrain.

This is that area where terminology fusses up the mix. I use them the same meaning wise. AABA structure, for me, will almost always have what I've come to use as a refrain at the end of the A sections. VCVCBC is really almost the same structure, the refrain is longer.

I think if you listen to the song, AABA will contain the same melody for each A section and a different one for the B section. Using the refrain/title/hook in the A sections will allow me to repeat it more often. I may or may not use it in the B section.

Whereas a VCVC song would have differing melodies in the V and C sections and so would alternate between them more often. Add a bridge with yet another melody and you can put a lot of interesting music together. With the chorus section lasting longer than 2 bars, you have more time to build thoughts and sink a hook.

Sometimes you need to build the refrain, sometimes you don't.

Just about everything I talked about is an arguable point. No, it isn't. Yes, it is.

Edited by McnaughtonPark
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I am gonna write this as i understand it

intro - section that leads into main song

Verse- story section

Chorus - the hook section

bridge -section that leads you to the next part ie from verse to chorus

outro - leads to the end of the song

and thats how simple i look at it

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Here's a WRAP on the whole thing:

(Start that funky beat . . . .)

Refrain is the thing that makes your song sizzle

Repeat lines to stanzas that you drizzle

You can add them to the front

Or add them to the back

But D says, "Boys, do we care about that?"

Re Re Re Re Re Refrain

So Lazz defines the meaning to the word

John goes "Girl haven't you ever heard?"

You can add it to the front

But you should add it to the back

Refrain, girl, you should care about that

Re Re Re Re Re Refrain

Word to your mother!

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  • 2 months later...

I've always just thought a refrain is a repeted line or two in the song (usually the hook) that is shorter than a chorus.

A typical example would be the last line of every verse in the VVBV format. The last line of every verse is likely to be the hook and will probably be the same, or a variation of the same thing, every time. That would be a refrain.

I try to think of myself as fairly well versed in these matters. Ba dum tisch!

I'll be here all week. Try the veal.

Edited by preachingblues
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