In music, a song is a composition for voice or voices, performed by singing. 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 or voices or, "the act or art of singing," but the term is generally not used for large vocal forms including opera and oratorio. However, the term is, "often found in various figurative and transferred sense (e.g. for the lyrical second subject of a sonata...)." 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."
Famous quotes containing the word song:
“There is the falsely mystical view of art that assumes a kind of supernatural inspiration, a possession by universal forces unrelated to questions of power and privilege or the artists relation to bread and blood. In this view, the channel of art can only become clogged and misdirected by the artists concern with merely temporary and local disturbances. The song is higher than the struggle.”
—Adrienne Rich (b. 1929)
leaning on the john door in the 5 SPOT
while she whispered a song along the keyboard
to Mal Waldron and everyone and I stopped breathing”
—Frank OHara (19261966)
“I shall not sing a May song.
A May song should be gay.
Ill wait until November
And sing a song of gray.”
—Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917)