A song cycle is a group of songs designed to be performed in a sequence as a single entity. As a rule, all of the songs are by the same composer and often use words from the same poet or lyricist. Unification can be achieved by a narrative or a persona common to the songs, or even, as in Schumann's second Liederkreis, by the atmospheric setting of the forest. The unity of the cycle is often underlined by musical means, famously in the return in the last song of the opening music in Beethoven's An die ferne Geliebte.
The term originated to describe cycles of art songs (often known by the German term "Lieder") in classical music, and has been extended to apply to popular music.
Famous quotes containing the words song and/or cycle:
“Death could drop from the dark
As easily as song
But song only dropped,”
—Isaac Rosenberg (18901918)
“The lifelong process of caregiving, is the ultimate link between caregivers of all ages. You and I are not just in a phase we will outgrow. This is lifebirth, death, and everything in between.... The care continuum is the cycle of life turning full circle in each of our lives. And what we learn when we spoon-feed our babies will echo in our ears as we feed our parents. The point is not to be done. The point is to be ready to do again.”
—Paula C. Lowe (20th century)