Created By: Tropeless on February 22, 2012 Last Edited By: Tropeless on March 6, 2012

Standard Pop Songwriting Format

Most songs nowadays are all the same in terms of when choruses and special parts are used.

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Intro* --> Verse 1 --> Chorus --> Verse 2 --> Chorus --> Middle 8** --> Chorus --> Ending*

This format is what most songwriters seem to base their songs on in terms of how they sing it, judging by their works. Whether it's planned or not is not determined... but with the sheer amount it sure looks like it. (*)The Intro and Ending aren't set in stone, but it's common for them to be the chorus (usually the intro, see Lyrical Cold Open) or a variant (usually the ending, and may lack some instruments). The ending may also be the chorus over and over, fading out after a couple rounds. (**)This more than likely takes the form of the chorus but with less of the instruments, which will re-enter either after the part is over, midway through it, or partially through it and the rest at the end.
Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • February 23, 2012
    yogyog
    I think Bridge is the word for Special Part.
  • February 23, 2012
    Tropeless
    I've heard that before, but I've heard more that it's the part after verses but before the chorus.
  • February 23, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Also known sometimes as the "middle 8" after the fact that it's often 8 bars long.
  • February 24, 2012
    reub2000
    Do we need more articles on how all pop songs are the same?
  • February 24, 2012
    hotrods4ben
  • February 24, 2012
    Noaqiyeum
    This isn't strictly limited to pop. First example to come to mind: I Wish I Had An Angel, by Nightwish.
  • February 24, 2012
    JobanGrayskull
    The special part can be a bridge but it doesn't have to be. Breakdowns also fall into the special section.
  • February 24, 2012
    MetaFour
    Honestly, this article probably doesn't need any examples. Even if we listed aversions and variations we'd be here all day. There are entire genres (Hi, Progressive Rock! Hi, Post Rock!) devoted to averting it.
  • February 24, 2012
    Tropeless
    Edited. And yeah, since they are the same in many different ways.
  • February 28, 2012
    MetaFour
    Back in the late 80s, The KLF wrote The Manual, telling aspiring musicians how to record a single and get it to the top of the UK charts. They include four Golden Rules that the song itself needs to adhere to, and the third is: "It must consist of an intro, a verse, a chorus, second verse, a second chorus, a breakdown section, back into a double length chorus and outro."
  • March 6, 2012
    Tropeless
    So I should change the title again to The Third Golden Songwriting Rule or similar? And is it otherwise okay to launch?
  • March 6, 2012
    Generality
    A bit more: typically, each verse is a quatrain (set of four lines) with a paired or alternating rhyme scheme (AABB or ABAB) and the chorus is a couplet (two rhyming lines). The last chorus is usually repeated twice, as sometimes is the penultimate chorus. Songwriters who are struggling with the lyrics often skip the last verse and just go "double chorus > different part > double chorus".

    Also, the Bridge is usually a single line that leads the verse into the chorus, but apparently it can be any bit that leads one part to another.
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