Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video The refrain song form element, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: The Fundamentals.
- In the era of American Songbook,…the term refrain was synonymous with chorus.…In today's music, we see the refrain most often…in simpler verse-based song forms.…Bob Dylan is one of the greatest users of refrains.…"Blowin' in the Wind" and "Don't Think Twice,…It's All Right" are two excellent examples.…Typically the verse is 16 bars.…The refrain will come in the final 4 bars of the verse.…Whereas the hook is merely catchy,…the refrain differs as it will inform the song,…give it new meaning.…
The refrain and the hook for that matter…is often confused with the chorus…because sometimes it is the chorus.…When Mick Jagger sings…"I Can't Get No Satisfaction," it serves as…the refrain and the chorus at the same time.…But while the chorus and the verse are…structural elements of a song,…the refrain and the hook are functional elements.…
Professional musician Julian Velard starts the course with the building blocks of harmony: notes, scales, intervals, chords, inversions, and basic chord progressions. He then goes into voice leading—showing how to move from one chord to another by changing just one or two notes—and reviews common song forms, from the familiar verse/chorus/verse of pop to the simple verse of the blues. At the end of each chapter, Julian explains the songwriting techniques shown in the chapter within the context of his own original commercially released songs.
- Understanding scales, intervals, and keys
- Triads or three-note chords
- Triad inversions
- Common major-scale chord progressions and cadences
- Voice leading
- Song form elements such as verse, chorus, bridge, hook, and more
- Using common song forms in songwriting
Skill Level Beginner
1. The Building Blocks of Harmony
2. Triads and Chord Progressions
3. Chord Progressions and Voice Leading
4. Song Forms
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