Refrain

A refrain (from Vulgar Latin refringere, "to repeat", and later from Old French refraindre) is the line or lines that are repeated in music or in poetry; the "chorus" of a song. Poetic fixed forms that feature refrains include the villanelle, the virelay, and the sestina.

In popular music, the refrain or chorus may contrast with the verse melodically, rhythmically, and harmonically; it may assume a higher level of dynamics and activity, often with added instrumentation. Chorus form, or strophic form, is a sectional and/or additive way of structuring a piece of music based on the repetition of one formal section or block played repeatedly.

Jingle Bells refrain vector
Musical notation for the chorus of "Jingle Bells" Play 

Usage in history

In music, a refrain has two parts: the lyrics of the song, and the melody. Sometimes refrains vary their words slightly when repeated; recognizability is given to the refrain by the fact that it is always sung to the same tune, and the rhymes, if present, are preserved despite the variations of the words. Such a refrain is featured in "The Star-Spangled Banner," which contains a refrain which is introduced by a different phrase in each verse, but which always ends:

O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

A similar refrain is found in the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," which affirms in successive verses that "Our God," or "His Truth," is "marching on."

Refrains usually, but not always, come at the end of the verse. Some songs, especially ballads, incorporate refrains (or burdens) into each verse. For example, one version of the traditional ballad "The Cruel Sister" includes a refrain mid-verse:

There lived a lady by the North Sea shore,
Lay the bent to the bonny broom
Two daughters were the babes she bore.
Fa la la la la la la la la.
As one grew bright as is the sun,
Lay the bent to the bonny broom
So coal black grew the other one.
Fa la la la la la la la.
. . .

(Note: the refrain of 'Lay the Bent to the Bonny Broom' is not traditionally associated with the ballad of "The Cruel Sister" (Child #10). This was the work of 'pop-folk' group Pentangle on their 1970 LP Cruel Sister which has subsequently been picked up by many folk singers as being traditional. Both the melody and the refrain come from the ballad known as "Riddles Wisely Expounded" (Child #1).)

Here, the refrain is syntactically independent of the narrative poem in the song, and has no obvious relationship to its subject, and indeed little inherent meaning at all. The device can also convey material which relates to the subject of the poem. Such a refrain is found in Dante Gabriel Rossetti's "Troy Town":[1]

Heavenborn Helen, Sparta's queen,
O Troy Town!
Had two breasts of heavenly sheen,
The sun and moon of the heart's desire:
All Love's lordship lay between,
A sheen on the breasts I Love.
O Troy's down,
Tall Troy's on fire!
. . .

Phrases of apparent nonsense in refrains (Lay the bent to the bonny broom?), and solfege syllables such as fa la la, familiar from the Christmas carol "Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly", have given rise to much speculation. Some believe that the traditional refrain Hob a derry down O encountered in some English folksongs is in fact an ancient Celtic phrase meaning "dance around the oak tree." These suggestions remain controversial.

In popular music

There are two distinct uses of the word "chorus." In the thirty-two bar song form that was most common in the earlier twentieth-century popular music (especially the Tin Pan Alley tradition), "chorus" referred to the entire main section of the song (which was in a thirty-two bar AABA form). Beginning in the rock music of the 1950s, another form became more common in commercial pop music, which was based in an open-ended cycle of verses instead of a fixed 32-bar form. In this form (which is more common than thirty-two bar form in later-twentieth century pop music), "choruses" with fixed lyrics are alternated with "verses" in which the lyrics are different with each repetition. In this use of the word, chorus contrasts with the verse, which usually has a sense of leading up to the chorus. "Many popular songs, particularly from early in this century, are in a verse and a chorus (refrain) form. Most popular songs from the middle of the century consist only of a chorus."[2]

While the terms 'refrain' and 'chorus' often are used synonymously, it has been suggested to use 'refrain' exclusively for a recurring line of identical text and melody which is part of a formal section—an A section in an AABA form (as in I Got Rhythm: "...who could ask for anything more?") or a verse (as in Blowing in the Wind: "...the answer my friend is blowing in the wind")—whereas 'chorus' shall refer to a discrete form part (as in Yellow Submarine: "We all live in a..."). According to the musicologists Ralf von Appen and Markus Frei-Hauenschild,

In German, the term, "Refrain," is used synonymously with "chorus" when referring to a chorus within the verse/chorus form. At least one English-language author, Richard Middleton, uses the term in the same way. In English usage, however, the term, »refrain« typically refers to what in German is more precisely called the »Refrainzeile« (refrain line): a lyric at the beginning or end of a section that is repeated in every iteration. In this usage, the refrain does not constitute a discrete, independent section within the form. [3]

In jazz

A large number of Tin-Pan Alley songs using thirty-two bar form are central to the traditional jazz repertoire. In jazz arrangements the word "chorus" refers to the same unit of music as in the Tin Pan Alley tradition, but unlike the Tin Pan Alley tradition a single song can have more than one chorus. Von Appen and Frei-Hauenschild explain, "The term, "chorus" can also refer to a single iteration of the entire 32 bars of the AABA form, especially among jazz musicians, who improvise over multiple repetitions of such choruses." [4]

Arranger's chorus

In jazz, an arranger's chorus is where the arranger uses particularly elaborate techniques to exhibit his or her skill and to impress the listener. This may include use of counterpoint, reharmonization, tone color, or any other arranging device. The arranger's chorus is generally not the first or the last chorus of a jazz performance.

Shout chorus

In jazz, a shout chorus (occasionally: out chorus) is usually the last chorus of a Big Band arrangement, and is characterized by being the most energetic, lively, and exciting and by containing the musical climax of the piece. A shout chorus characteristically employs extreme ranges, loud dynamics, and a re-arrangement of melodic motives into short, accented riffs. Shout choruses often feature tutti or concerted writing, but may also use contrapuntal writing or call and response between the brass and saxophones, or between the ensemble and the drummer. Additionally, brass players frequently use extended techniques such as falls, doits, turns, and shakes to add excitement.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Poems of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, inc. "Troy Town"". Archived from the original on February 25, 2004. Retrieved 2003-11-17.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ Benward & Saker (2003). Music: In Theory and Practice, Vol. I, p.317. Seventh Edition. ISBN 978-0-07-294262-0.
  3. ^ Appen, Ralf von / Frei-Hauenschild, Markus "AABA, Refrain, Chorus, Bridge, Prechorus — Song Forms and their Historical Development". In: Samples. Online Publikationen der Gesellschaft für Popularmusikforschung/German Society for Popular Music Studies e.V. Ed. by Ralf von Appen, André Doehring and Thomas Phleps. Vol. 13 (2015), p. 5.
  4. ^ Appen and Frei-Hauenschild 2015, p. 4.
Antiphon

An antiphon (Greek ἀντίφωνον, ἀντί "opposite" and φωνή "voice") is a short chant in Christian ritual, sung as a refrain. The texts of antiphons are the Psalms. Their form was favored by St Ambrose and they feature prominently in Ambrosian chant, but they are used widely in Gregorian chant as well. They may be used during Mass, for the Introit, the Offertory or the Communion. They may also be used in the Liturgy of the Hours, typically for Lauds or Vespers.

They should not be confused with Marian antiphons or processional antiphons.

When a chant consists of alternating verses (usually sung by a cantor) and responds (usually sung by the congregation), a refrain is needed.

The looser term antiphony is generally used for any call and response style of singing, such as the kirtan or the sea shanty and other work songs, and songs and worship in African and African-American culture. Antiphonal music is that performed by two choirs in interaction, often singing alternate musical phrases. Antiphonal psalmody is the singing or musical playing of psalms by alternating groups of performers. The term “antiphony” can also refer to a choir-book containing antiphons.

Ar-Rahman

Sūrat ar-Raḥmān (Arabic: سورة الرحمان‎, "The Most Merciful") is the 55th surah of the Qur'an with 78 ayats.

It has the refrain: "Then which of your Lord's blessings would you both deny?". There are 10 blessings which Allah has mentioned in Surah Ar-Rahman.

Ballade (forme fixe)

The ballade (; not to be confused with the ballad) is a form of medieval and Renaissance French poetry as well as the corresponding musical chanson form. It was one of the three formes fixes (the other two were the rondeau and the virelai) and one of the verse forms in France most commonly set to music between the late 13th and the 15th centuries.

The formes fixes were standard forms in French-texted song of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The ballade is usually in three stanzas, each ending with a refrain (a repeated segment of text and music).The ballade as a verse form typically consists of three eight-line stanzas, each with a consistent metre and a particular rhyme scheme. The last line in the stanza is a refrain. The stanzas are often followed by a four-line concluding stanza (an envoi) usually addressed to a prince. The rhyme scheme is therefore usually ababbcbC ababbcbC ababbcbC bcbC, where the capital "C" is a refrain.

The many different rhyming words that are needed (the 'b' rhyme needs at least fourteen words) makes the form more difficult for English than for French poets. Geoffrey Chaucer wrote in the form. It was revived in the 19th century by English-language poets including Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Algernon Charles Swinburne. Other notable English-language ballade writers are Andrew Lang, Hilaire Belloc and G. K. Chesterton (at Wikisource). A humorous example is Wendy Cope's 'Proverbial Ballade'.

Do not go gentle into that good night

"Do not go gentle into that good night" is a poem in the form of a villanelle, and the most famous work of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1914–1953). Though first published in the journal Botteghe Oscure in 1951, it was written in 1947 when Thomas was in Florence with his family. It was published, along with other stories previously written, as part of Thomas' In Country Sleep, And Other Poems of 1952. The poem was also included in Collected Poems, 1934–1952, first published by Dent in 1952.

It has been suggested that the poem was written for Thomas' dying father, although he did not die until just before Christmas 1952. It has no title other than its first line, "Do not go gentle into that good night", a line that appears as a refrain throughout the poem along with its other refrain, "Rage, rage against the dying of the light". The poem currently remains under copyright, although the text is available online.

Fritz Kreisler

Friedrich "Fritz" Kreisler (February 2, 1875 – January 29, 1962) was an Austrian-born violinist and composer. One of the most noted violin masters of his day, and regarded as one of the greatest violinists of all time, he was known for his sweet tone and expressive phrasing. Like many great violinists of his generation, he produced a characteristic sound which was immediately recognizable as his own. Although it derived in many respects from the Franco-Belgian school, his style is nonetheless reminiscent of the gemütlich (cozy) lifestyle of pre-war Vienna.

Instrumental

An instrumental is a musical composition or recording without lyrics, or singing, although it might include some inarticulate vocals, such as shouted backup vocals in a Big Band setting. Through semantic widening, a broader sense of the word song may refer to instrumentals. The music is primarily or exclusively produced using musical instruments. An instrumental can exist in music notation, after it is written by a composer; in the mind of the composer (especially in cases where the composer himself will perform the piece, as in the case of a blues solo guitarist or a folk music fiddle player); as a piece that is performed live by a single instrumentalist or a musical ensemble, which could range in components from a duo or trio to a large Big Band, concert band or orchestra.

In a song that is otherwise sung, a section that is not sung but which is played by instruments can be called an instrumental interlude, or, if it occurs at the beginning of the song, before the singer starts to sing, an instrumental introduction. If the instrumental section highlights the skill, musicality, and often the virtuosity of a particular performer (or group of performers), the section may be called a "solo" (e.g., the guitar solo that is a key section of heavy metal music and hard rock songs). If the instruments are percussion instruments, the interlude can be called a percussion interlude or "percussion break". These interludes are a form of break in the song.

Kibōteki Refrain

"Kibōteki Refrain" (希望的リフレイン, also "Kibouteki Refrain", lit. Hopeful Refrain) is the 38th single by the Japanese idol girl group AKB48. The personnel that were chosen to sing in the song was revealed during the group's fifth rock-paper-scissors tournament. The song premiered during All Star Kanshasai 2014 on TV channel TBS. It was released in Japan on November 26, 2014. It was the second best-selling single of the year in Japan, with 1,156,706 copies.

Little Busters!

Little Busters! (リトルバスターズ!, Ritoru Basutāzu!) is a Japanese visual novel developed by Key. It was released on July 27, 2007 for Windows PCs and is rated for all ages. Little Busters! is Key's sixth game, along with other titles such as Kanon, Air, and Clannad. An adult version of the game titled Little Busters! Ecstasy was released on July 25, 2008 for Windows, unlike Kanon and Air, which were first released with adult content and then had later versions with such content removed. Ecstasy was later ported to the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation 3. An English version for Windows was released on Steam in 2017. The story follows the life of Riki Naoe, a high school student who has been a member of a group of friends named the Little Busters since childhood. Riki brings multiple girls at his school into the Little Busters to have enough people to play a baseball game.

The gameplay in Little Busters! follows a branching plot line which offers pre-determined scenarios with courses of interaction, and focuses on the appeal of the six female main characters by the player character, which increases to nine in Ecstasy. There are additional minigames added into the gameplay, such as battle sequences that resemble fighting games or baseball batting practice, which serve to give the characters experience, obtain accessories to use during battle, and improve their statistics. Both Little Busters! and Ecstasy ranked as the best-selling PC game sold in Japan for the time of their release, and Ecstasy would go on to sell over 100,000 units. Key went on to produce an adult spin-off called Kud Wafter in June 2010, which expanded on the scenario of Kudryavka Noumi, one of the heroines from Little Busters! and Ecstasy.

There have been 14 manga adaptations based on Little Busters! and Ecstasy published by ASCII Media Works, Kadokawa Shoten and Ichijinsha. Comic anthologies, light novels and art books were also published, as were several music albums. There have been two Internet radio shows hosted by the voice actors of Rin and Kyousuke Natsume and Kudryavka Noumi. J.C.Staff produced two anime television series and an original video animation series between 2012 and 2014.

Music of Neon Genesis Evangelion

The Neon Genesis Evangelion (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン, Shin Seiki Evangerion) franchise has had various soundtracks, remix albums and compilations released around it. The franchise has sold more than 9 million albums and singles.

Shirō Sagisu composed most of the music for Neon Genesis Evangelion and for the original TV show's three OST albums. He received the 1997 Kobe Animation award for "Best Music Score". King Records and their label Starchild (specializing in music, animation and film) distributed most of the albums, singles and box sets. For the anime series, Yoko Takahashi performed the song "A Cruel Angel's Thesis" which was used as the opening theme song for the series. The song "Fly Me to the Moon" originally by Bart Howard was performed by various voice actors from the anime series and these versions of the song were used as the ending theme song for the series. Theme songs were also granted for the films in the franchise Evangelion: Death and Rebirth, its follow-up The End of Evangelion and three installments of the Rebuild of Evangelion film series.

Probation

Probation in criminal law is a period of supervision over an offender, ordered by the court instead of serving time in prison.

In some jurisdictions, the term probation applies only to community sentences (alternatives to incarceration), such as suspended sentences. In others, probation also includes supervision of those conditionally released from prison on parole.An offender on probation is ordered to follow certain conditions set forth by the court, often under the supervision of a probation officer. During the period of probation an offender faces the threat of being incarcerated if found breaking the rules set by the court or probation officer.

Offenders are ordinarily required to refrain from possession of firearms, and may be ordered to remain employed or participate in an educational program, abide to a curfew, live at a directed place, obey the orders of the probation officer, or not leave the jurisdiction. The probationer might be ordered as well to refrain from contact with the victims (such as a former partner in a domestic violence case), with potential victims of similar crimes (such as minors, if the instant offense involves child sexual abuse), or with known criminals, particularly co-defendants. Additionally, offenders can be subject to refrain from use or possession of alcohol and drugs and may be ordered to submit alcohol/drug tests or participate in alcohol/drug psychological treatment. Offenders on probation might be fitted with an electronic tag (or monitor), which signals their movement to officials. Some courts permit defendants of limited means to perform community service in order to pay off their probation fines.

Refrain (Lys Assia song)

"Refrain" was the winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1956, co-written by Émile Gardaz and Géo Voumard, performed by Lys Assia representing Switzerland. It was the first-ever winner of the Contest, but not the first-ever performance by Switzerland. This apparent anomaly is due to the rules of the 1956 Contest allowing (for the only time to date) each competing country to be represented by two songs. Assia represented Switzerland singing both songs (one of only two performers to do this), and had previously performed "Das alte Karussell" in German ("Refrain" was sung in French).

The song is in the classic chanson mode and laments the lost loves of the singer's "adolescence" (the French original reads "vingt ans", which can also be rendered "twenties" in English).

The song was performed 9th on the night of the contest, following the Netherlands' Corry Brokken with "Voorgoed voorbij" and preceding Belgium's Mony Marc "Le plus beau jour de ma vie". It was the winner of the contest, however the number of points given to it was never revealed.

The song was succeeded as Contest winner in 1957 by Corry Brokken representing the Netherlands singing "Net als toen".

The song was accompanied at the 1956 contest by Assia with "Das alte Karussell" and was succeeded as Swiss representative at the 1957 contest by Assia with "L'enfant que j'étais".

Refrain (Stockhausen)

Refrain for three players (piano with woodblocks, vibraphone with alpine cowbells, and amplified celesta with antique cymbals) is a chamber-music composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, and is number 11 in his catalog of works.

Rondeau (forme fixe)

A rondeau (plural rondeaux) is a form of medieval and Renaissance French poetry, as well as the corresponding musical chanson form. Together with the ballade and the virelai it was considered one of the three formes fixes, and one of the verse forms in France most commonly set to music between the late 13th and the 15th centuries. It is structured around a fixed pattern of repetition of material involving a refrain. The rondeau is believed to have originated in dance songs involving alternating singing of the refrain elements by a group and of the other lines by a soloist. The term "Rondeau" is today used both in a wider sense, covering several older variants of the form – which are sometimes distinguished as the triolet and rondel – and in a narrower sense referring to a 15-line variant which developed from these forms in the 15th and 16th centuries. The rondeau is unrelated with the much later instrumental dance form that shares the same name in French baroque music, which is an instance of what is more commonly called the rondo form in classical music.

Samanera

A sāmaṇera (Pali); Sanskrit śrāmaṇera, is a novice male monastic in a Buddhist context. A female novice is a śrāmaṇerī or śrāmaṇerikā (Sanskrit; Pāli: sāmaṇerī).

Shining Resonance Refrain

Shining Resonance Refrain is a Japanese role-playing game developed by O-Two Inc. and published by Sega. Originally developed by Media.Vision, it is an entry in Sega's Shining series of video games, and an expanded and remastered version of the Japan-only Shining Resonance released for the PlayStation 3 in 2014. While the original PS3 release was not translated into English, Refrain was released in July 2018 for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One platforms.

Song structure

Song structure is the arrangement of a song, and is a part of the songwriting process. It is typically sectional, which uses repeating forms in songs. Common forms include bar form, thirty-two-bar form, verse-chorus form, ternary form, strophic form, and the twelve-bar blues. Popular music songs traditionally use the same music for each verse or stanza of lyrics (as opposed to songs that are "through-composed"—an approach used in classical music art songs). Pop and traditional forms can be used even with songs that have structural differences in melodies. The most common format in modern popular music is introduction (intro), verse, pre-chorus, chorus (or refrain), verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge ("middle eight"), verse, chorus and outro. In rock music styles, notably heavy metal music, there is usually a guitar solo in the song. In pop music, there may be a guitar solo, or the solo may be performed by a synthesizer player or sax player.

The foundation of popular music is the "verse" and "chorus" structure. "Pop and rock songs nearly always have both a verse and a chorus. The primary difference between the two is that when the music of the verse returns, it is almost always given a new set of lyrics, whereas the chorus usually retains the same set of lyrics every time its music appears." Both are essential elements, with the verse usually played first. Exceptions abound, with "She Loves You" by The Beatles being an early example in the rock music genre. Each verse usually employs the same melody (possibly with some slight modifications), while the lyrics usually change for each verse. The chorus (or "refrain") usually consists of a melodic and lyrical phrase that repeats. Pop songs may have an introduction and coda ("tag"), but these elements are not essential to the identity of most songs. Pop songs often connect the verse and chorus via a bridge, which as its name suggests, is a section that connects the verse and chorus at one or more points in the song.

The verse and chorus are usually repeated throughout a song though the bridge, intro, and coda (also called an "outro") are usually only used once. Some pop songs may have a solo section, particularly in rock- or blues-influenced pop. During the solo section, one or more instruments play a melodic line which may be the melody used by the singer, or, in blues or jazz an improvised line.

Strophic form

Strophic form, also called verse-repeating or chorus form, is the term applied to songs in which all verses or stanzas of the text are sung to the same music. The opposite of strophic form, with new music written for every stanza, is called through-composed.

The term is derived from the Greek word στροφή, strophē, meaning "turn". It is the simplest and most durable of musical forms, extending a piece of music by repetition of a single formal section. This may be analyzed as "A A A...". This additive method is the musical analogue of repeated stanzas in poetry or lyrics and, in fact, where the text repeats the same rhyme scheme from one stanza to the next, the song's structure also often uses either the same or very similar material from one stanza to the next.

A modified strophic form varies the pattern in some stanzas (A A' A"...) somewhat like a rudimentary theme and variations. Contrasting verse-chorus form is a binary form that alternates between two sections of music (ABAB), although this may also be interpreted as constituting a larger strophic verse-refrain form. While the terms 'refrain' and 'chorus' are often used interchangeably, 'refrain' may indicate a recurring line of identical melody and lyrics as a part of the verse (as in Blowing In The Wind: "...the answer my friend..."), while 'chorus' means an independent form section (as in Yellow Submarine: "We all live in...").Many folk and popular songs are strophic in form, including the twelve bar blues, ballads, hymns and chants. Examples include "Barbara Allen", "Erie Canal", and "Michael Row the Boat Ashore". Also "Oh! Susanna" (A = verse & chorus).Many classical art songs are also composed in strophic form, from the 17th century French air de cour to 19th century German lieder and beyond. Haydn used the strophic variation form in many of his string quartets and a few of his symphonies, employed almost always in the slow second movement. Franz Schubert composed many important strophic lieder, including settings of both narrative poems and simpler, folk-like texts, such as his Heidenröslein and "Der Fischer". Several of the songs in his song cycle Die schöne Müllerin use strophic form.

The Internationale

"The Internationale" (French: "L'Internationale") is a left-wing anthem. It has been a standard of the socialist movement since the late nineteenth century, when the Second International adopted it as its official anthem. The title arises from the "First International", an alliance of workers which held a congress in 1864. The author of the anthem's lyrics, Eugène Pottier, an anarchist, attended this congress.The original French refrain of the song is C'est la lutte finale / Groupons-nous et demain / L'Internationale / Sera le genre humain. (English: "This is the final struggle / Let us group together and tomorrow / The Internationale / Will be the human race."). "The Internationale" has been translated into many languages.

"The Internationale" has been celebrated by anarchists, communists, socialists, democratic socialists, and social democrats.

Verse–chorus form

Verse–chorus form is a musical form common in popular music, used in blues and rock and roll since the 1950s, and predominant in rock music since the 1960s. In contrast to thirty-two-bar form, which is focused on the verse (contrasted and prepared by the B section), in verse–chorus form the chorus is highlighted (prepared and contrasted with the verse)."Musically, most Civil War songs were cast in the verse–chorus patterns that had been popularized by Foster and widely imitated by his peers and successors, with their choruses set in four-part harmony."Thus, while in both forms A is the verse and B is the chorus, in AABA the verse takes up most of the time and the chorus exists to contrast and lead back into the return of the verse, in verse–chorus form the chorus often takes much more time proportionally and the verse exists to lead into it. For example: ABABB(B) [approximates: "Be My Baby"], rather than thirty-two-bar form's AABA.

The chorus often sharply contrasts the verse melodically, rhythmically, and harmonically, and assumes a higher level of dynamics and activity, often with added instrumentation. This is referred to as a "breakout chorus". See: arrangement.

Verse–chorus form
Other musical elements
Electronic dance music and techno

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