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This article is about the musical composition (with vocals). For other uses, see Song (disambiguation).

In music, a song is a composition for voice performed by singing or alongside musical instruments. A choral or vocal song may be accompanied by musical instruments, or it may be unaccompanied, as in the case of a cappella songs. The lyrics (words) of songs are typically of a poetic, rhyming nature, though they may be religious verses or free prose.

A song may be for a solo singer, a duet, trio, or larger ensemble involving more voices. Songs with more than one voice to a part are considered choral works. Songs can be broadly divided into many different forms, depending on the criteria used. One division is between "art songs", "pop songs", and "folk songs". Other common methods of classification are by purpose (sacred vs secular), by style (dance, ballad, Lied, etc.), or by time of origin (Renaissance, Contemporary, etc.).

A song is a piece of music for accompanied or unaccompanied voice/voices or, "the act or art of singing," but the term is generally not used for large vocal forms including opera and oratorio.[1] However, the term is, "often found in various figurative and transferred sense (e.g. for the lyrical second subject of a sonata...)."[1] The noun "song" has the same etymological root as the verb "to sing" and the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines the word to mean "that which is sung" or "a musical composition suggestive of song." The OED also defines the word to mean "a poem" or "the musical phrases uttered by some birds, whales, and insects, typically forming a recognizable and repeated sequence and used chiefly for territorial defence or for attracting mates." [2]

Cultural types[edit]

Art songs[edit]

Main article: Art song

Art songs are songs created for performance in their own right, usually with piano accompaniment, although they can also have other types of

accompaniment such as an orchestra or string quartet, and are 

always notated. Generally they have an identified author and composer and require voice training for acceptable performance. German-speaking communities use the term art song ("Kunstlied") to distinguish so-called "serious" compositions from folk song ("Volkslied"). The lyrics are often written by a poet or lyricist and the music separately by a composer. Art songs may be more formally complicated than popular or folk songs, though

many early Lieder by the likes of Franz Schubert are in simple 

strophic form. They are often important to national identity.

Art songs feature in many European cultures, including but not limited to: Russian (romancy), German (Lieder), Italian (canzoni), French (mélodies), Scandinavian (sånger), Portuguese (canções), Spanish (canciones). There are also highly regarded British and American art songs in the English language. Cultures outside of Europe that have a classical music tradition, such as India, may or may not feature art songs. The accompaniment of European art songs is considered as an important part of the composition.

The art song of the period in which they originally flowered is often a duet in which the vocalist and accompanist share in interpretive importance. The pieces were most often written to be performed in a home

or salon setting, although today the works enjoy 

popularity as concert pieces. The emergence of poetry during this era was much of what inspired the creation of these pieces by Brahms, Schumann, Schubert and other composers. These composers set poems in their native language. Many works were inspired by [[Johann Wolfgang von

Goethe]] and Heinrich Heine. Another method would be to write new 

music for each stanza to create a unique form; this was through-composed form known in German as [[:de:Durchkomponierte Form|durchkomponiert]]. A combination of both of these techniques in a

single setting was called a modified strophic form. Often romantic 

art songs sharing similar elements were grouped as a [[song cycle]].[3]

Folk songs[edit]

Main article: Folk music

Folk songs are songs of often anonymous origin (or are public domain) that are transmitted orally. They are frequently a major aspect of national or cultural identity. Art songs often approach the status of folk songs when people forget who the author was. Folk songs are also frequently transmitted non-orally (that is, as sheet music), especially in the modern era. Folk songs exist in almost every culture.

Popular songs[edit]

Modern popular songs are typically distributed as recordings and are played on the radio, though all other mass media that have audio capabilities are involved. Their relative popularity is inferred from commercially significant sales of recordings, ratings of stations and networks that play them, and ticket sales for concerts by the recording artists. A popular song can become a modern folk song when members of the public who learn to sing it from the recorded version teach their version to others. Songs that are popular may be called pop songs for short, although pop songs and/or pop music may instead be considered a more commercially popular genre of popular music as a whole.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Luise Eitel Peake. 1980. "Song". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, sixth edition, 20 vols., edited by Stanley Sadie, Vol. 17: 510-523. London: Macmillan Publishers; New York: Grove's Dictionaries. ISBN 1-56159-174-2.
  2. ^ The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 1993, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-861271-0. p. 2947
  3. ^ Kamien, Roger (August 1, 1997). Music: An Appreciation (3rd edition ed.). McGraw-Hill. pp. 217–18. ISBN 0-07-290200-0. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Marcello Sorce Keller (1984), "The Problem of Classification in Folksong Research: a Short History", Folklore, XCV, no. 1, 100- 104.

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

18396151 news items

NPR

NPR
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 00:28:41 -0700

1619 Broadway is one of the most famous addresses in music. Near Times Square, nestled among the glass skyscrapers that have been built in recent years, the Brill Building is left over from a slightly older world. Recognizable by its golden art-deco ...
 
Deadspin
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 07:48:45 -0700

So what do you get for your money here? There's moldering oldies like Rupert Holmes's yoga-dissing "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" and cherished oddities like Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky" and evergreens like the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 01:04:18 -0700

I had so much resistance to going back into writing and performing publicly again that I realised I wasn't going to be able to break through it until I literally wrote a song about the resistance itself. We worked it into a love song, and the emotion ...
 
BuzzFeed
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 14:05:36 -0700

The Rembrandts tell BuzzFeed News about the version of “I'll Be There for You” that was deemed too dark for TV, the original music video concept that the cast didn't like, and how they learned to love the song they can't escape. Plus, the band puts the ...

USA TODAY

USA TODAY
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 05:56:15 -0700

Boyz II Men is heading below the surface, premiering new song Underwater on usatoday.com. Taken off upcoming album Collide, out Oct. 21, "Underwater is not about being heard – it's about the ultimate disconnect in a relationship, so much so that words ...
 
BuzzFeed
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 08:11:15 -0700

Teenage goalkeeper Rory Watson made Hull City's match-day squad for the first time at the weekend and the night before the game was made to stand on a chair and sing a song as part of his initiation. Video available at: ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 03:30:00 -0700

In a poll of 1,000 people, 35% said the song is their, and their children's, favourite. A similar number rated Pharrell Williams' Happy, while 8.2% cited the Bare Necessities from The Jungle Book, 7.8% The Lion King's Hakuna Matata, and 6.5% Under the ...
 
NPR
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 01:21:51 -0700

The story of the song begins in 1978. Allee Willis was a struggling songwriter in LA — until the night she got a call from Maurice White, the leader of Earth, Wind & Fire. White offered her the chance of a lifetime: to co-write the band's next album ...
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