The Verse Chorus Song Form
Learn the definition and structure of the verse chorus song form
The verse chorus song form, also called ABAB song form or pop song form, is without a doubt the most commonly used song form today. 90% of the songs you hear today on the radio will be this song form or a slight variation of it.
In this section, you will learn about:
- Why the verse chorus song form is so popular and widely used today
- A closer look at the structure and layout
- Examples of songs which use this popular song form
The Verse Chorus Song Form Explained...
The most familiar song form to most people in Western culture is the verse/chorus song form (or pop song form). Chances are you are extremely familiar with it whether you realize it or not. Why? Because it has been the most common song form in popular music since the 1960s.
This song form makes the chorus the focus of the song, and uses repetition to get the listener's mind to remember the song easily.
With this song form, the opening verse is setting up the theme of the song. Generally there will be eight lines in the verse, with the last line leading in to the chorus of the song. This is done in order to get to the chorus as quickly as possible, as this is going to be where theme of the song is fully established.
The theme of the song is picked up in the chorus, which also generally contains the title of the song. Generally speaking, the chorus contrasts with the verse, although sometimes it does carry over with the same melody. The chorus is repetitive, helping it to stick in the mind of the listener.
Finally, just because of its name, it doesn't mean a song written in this form must only contain a verse and a chorus. Most songs written in this format have some sort of variation, be it an added intro, pre-chorus to add a lift or outro to play her out gradually.
Some good examples of songs written in this song form are:
- "Lego House" by Ed Sheeran
- "Little Things" by One Direction
- "For The First Time" by The Script
- "Umbrella" by Rihanna
- "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen
- "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson
- "Boyfriend" by Kelly Clarkson
- "When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars
- "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift
- "Someone Like You" by Adele
Although some of these songs might add song parts such as intro, pre-chorus or outro, at the core they are still based on the verse/chorus song form.