Verse-chorus form

Verse-chorus form

Verse-chorus form is a musical form common in popular music and predominant in rock since the 1960s. In contrast to AABA (thirty-two-bar) form, which is focused on the verse (contrasted and prepared by the bridge), in verse-chorus form the chorus is highlighted (prepared and contrasted with the verse). [1]

The chorus often sharply contrasts the verse melodically, rhythmically, and harmonically, and assumes a higher level of dynamics and activity, often with added instrumentation. See: arrangement.


Contrasting verse-chorus form

Songs which use different music for the verse and chorus are in contrasting verse-chorus form. Examples include:

Simple verse-chorus form

Songs that use the same music for the verse and chorus, such as the twelve bar blues, though the lyrics feature different verses and a repeated chorus, are in simple verse-chorus form. Examples include:

Simple verse form

Songs which feature only a repeated verse are in simple verse form (verse-chorus form without the chorus). Examples include:

and with a contrasting bridge:

Both simple verse-chorus form and simple verse form are strophic forms.


  1. ^ Covach, John. "Form in Rock Music: A Primer", p.71, in Stein, Deborah (2005). Engaging Music: Essays in Music Analysis. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-517010-5.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Covach (2005), p.71-72

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