Here we will answer what is a chorus, why they are important, see examples, and find out where they belong in a song.
A chorus is a section of words in a song that gets repeated multiple times throughout an entire song, conveying the overall theme. The chorus is usually the most memorable part of a song. A chorus will commonly appear 3 to 4 times after each verse of the song.
Let us dig deeper into the importance of choruses and see what makes them such a critical part of any song.
What this post covers:
- What Is a Chorus in a Song
- Why Are Choruses Important
- Examples of a Chorus
- Hook vs. Chorus
- Why is it Called a Chorus in a Song
- Chorus vs. Verse vs. Bridge
- How Long is a Chorus in a Song
- How Many Choruses
- Can You Start a Song With a Chorus
What Is a Chorus in a Song?
Ever wondered what makes you remember your favorite song or any song for that matter? The human brain thrives on repetition.
That is exactly why linguists, teachers, trainers, coaches, or instructors from any walk of life use repetitive exercises in their work; simply to make it easily memorable or to enhance the effectiveness of what is being said or told.
The chorus is an integral part of the song as it is the most repetitive part as well as the one part that makes it possible for the audience to identify a song.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the chorus is the part of a song we typically remember all the words to.
Not only does a chorus make a song stand out, but it also gives rhythm to it, making the entire composition ‘music to the ears’ (pun intended!).
The reason why choruses catch attention is that they are known to start on very powerful, high notes.
A chorus typically is sung after the lyrics or in the middle of a song, the chorus can also fit at the very intro of a song, after the first verse, in the middle, or at the very end of the song. In some cases, the chorus occurs throughout the entire song.
It depends on the composer and how they wish to incorporate the chorus into their song. Whatever the position of the chorus may be in a song, needless to say, that it gives life to the entire song with its powerful music, catchy song lyrics, drums, chords, and rhythms.
Choruses are popular in all music genres such as pop songs, rock songs, Hip Hop, and almost every other music genre.
Why Are Choruses Important?
The chorus of a song is usually the most memorable part of a song.
Since it is the most repeated element in any song, the chorus is written and composed to deliver the real meaning that a song intends to convey.
A chorus can make or break a song which is why songwriters invest so much time into creating a catchy and memorable hook.
Many musicians will begin their songwriting process by creating the chorus or hook, and then build the song around that idea.
Also, the hook usually matches the name of the song.
So the chorus is extremely important. The chorus can be a determining factor on whether a song is a success or not and gets on the radio.
Related: Best Chorus VST Plugins
What is An Example of a Chorus in a Song?
A very popular example of a chorus known all over the world is from the Disney movie Frozen: “Let it Go”.
It’s catchy, repetitive, and get’s stuck in your head even if you don’t want it to.
Even after almost a decade after its release, the song continues to be a favorite amongst millions, the reason being the universality of its message and catchy lyrics accompanied by music.
What’s The Difference Between a Hook & Chorus?
Now that we know what a chorus is and what makes it important in a song, let us look at a similar yet different element that listeners usually confuse with the chorus.
The chorus simply refers to the words that are repeated at least a few times in a song and often contain the song’s title.
On the other hand, the hook is a part of the chorus that usually catches the listeners’ attention and gets them hooked.
The word itself is self-explanatory.
That line of the song that gets you hooked is “the hook” of that song.
It may be the name of the song, or the most repeated words or phrase in the chorus.
Another notable characteristic of a hook is that it can be a lyric as well as an instrumental note that the listener may find appealing.
Why is it Called a Chorus in a Song?
The use of ‘chorus’ as a word has an interesting history since it has been used for centuries, way before musical structures were given names.
If you are familiar with theatre and plays, you must be aware that there is a group of singers that perform during a play.
They sing and dance together and the function is to highlight something critical to the play and its overall meaning.
Likewise, a chorus in a song, though it came to be used as a musical element much later, aims to do the same.
Through repetition of a certain set of lyrics, a chorus indicates the main idea of a song and tells the listener that the song has reached its climax.
What’s the Difference Between a Chorus, Verse, & Bridge?
A verse refers to the part of a song that contains a similar melody but different lyrics.
There are usually two to three verses in a song, and each time the verse plays, there is a new set of lyrics.
If compared to the chorus, verses tend to vary whereas the chorus maintains the lyrical pattern throughout the song.
As for the bridge, it is that part of a song that follows right after the second chorus and bridges the song to its next verse.
The bridge can give a new feel to the song as it usually contains different lyrics, melody, and music as compared to the rest of the song.
This way, as catchy as the song gets, the bridge also provides a break to the ears from the repetition of similar melodies and lyrics.
Related: What is A Bridge In A Song?
How Long is a Chorus in a Song?
While there is no hard and fast rule, a chorus generally consists of 8 bars.
As it is repeated throughout the song at least 2 to 3 times, the length of a chorus can be too short or too long as that would disturb the entire composition of a song.
There are many songs that have long choruses. It all comes down to the song with all its elements in total.
How Many Times Should a Chorus Be in a Song?
A chorus is usually repeated two to three times in a song.
Depending on the entire length of a song, musicians and composers decide how many times they require a chorus.
If you are trying to limit the length of a song, then you may want to limit the chorus to two times. If there aren’t any time restraints, then do what you feel sounds right, there are no set rules.
Can You Start a Song With a Chorus?
While many song intros do not start with a chorus, the ones that do give an instant boost of energy to the song and the listener of course.
One song that perfectly substantiates the statement is Havana by Camilla Cabello. The song starts with a chorus and immediately grabs the listener’s attention and makes them listen.
All in all, the chorus at the beginning might be tricky but always a great idea.
Summary of Choruses
A chorus in music is the most popular and catchy part of a song, which encourages you to sing along because it is a section of words that is repeated multiple times throughout the song. Choruses convey the theme of a song and appear 2 to 3 times in a song after each verse.
We hope you now have a clear understanding of what a chorus in a song is.
If we missed anything, please let us know in the comments.