What Are Song Sections?

Song sections can be confusing. Sometimes the terms can get mixed up (is it called a pre-chorus or a bridge?) or certain songs can work to free themselves of the definition of sections. Here is a guide to understanding song sections so you can use them effectively and break the rules as you like.

Verse:

  • Telling the story
  • Can also be describing the emotion
  • Lots of descriptions, imagery and metaphors
  • Often more “showing” than “telling”
  • Can be the conflict point of the song

Pre-Chorus:

  • May not occur in every song
  • Section comes before the Chorus
  • Bridges the gap between the Verse (the conflict) and the Chorus (the resolution)
  • Usually quite short, sometimes even just one line
  • Usually moves upward in the melody and stays unresolved, leading to the Chorus

Chorus:

  • The main idea and emotion of the song
  • Can resolve the conflict in the Verse
  • The title of the song is almost always in the Chorus
  • Usually a lot more “telling” than “showing”
  • Often is the highest point of the song in terms of melody

Post-Chorus:

  • If the title of the song is not in the Chorus, it might be in the Post-Chorus
  • Usually a shorter, repetitive section
  • Might repeat the title of the song several times
  • Might not have the higher notes that a Chorus might have
  • Always comes after the Chorus
  • Might be more instrumental than other sections

Bridge:

  • Usually comes after the second Chorus
  • A new part of the song, often harmonically different
  • Often has a new angle of the story or emotion in the song
  • Can also be just another Verse (a song with three Verses)
  • Can be an instrumental solo or vocal “oohs/ahhs/etc.”
  • Can have notes even higher than the Chorus for peak emotion
  • Sometimes ends with a Pre-Chorus to lead back into the Chorus

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