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  1. #1

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    I was looking on the iRealPro forum and I saw a thread about people looking for the "verses" to standards:

    Verses for jazz standards

    What do they mean? The intros as they were originally recorded or something?

    I've read the whole thread and also googled and I'm still none the wiser.

    Thanks.

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  3. #2

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    Many standards are Broadway tunes...the verse is the part usually sung with minimal accompaniment before the tune as we all know it kicks in. They kind of set up the story of the tune. An "intro" in pop/rock is a good comparison.

    A lot of times they're scrapped when playing instrumentally. Many vocalists will keep them, at least the good ones.

    Some are great, like "Stardust." Some are downright forgettable.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
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    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

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  4. #3
    Ok thanks. What's the difference between the verse and the "head" then? I thought the heads were the bits that used to have words?

  5. #4

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    The terms Verse and Chorus meant different things in the Broadway tradition to how we now commonly use them.
    The verse is the preliminary musical introduction to bridge the spoken dialog of the play to the song. Melodically it was often more plain to match a musical speaking tradition that was used in opera with the recitative.
    The main body of the tune (often AABA or ABAC in form) made up what was called the chorus. Within jazz terminology this became known as the head. The head is distinct from the solo where the chord changes of the chorus are used to improvise over. In opera the Chorus would be the Aria.
    Within the chorus you may have a bridge if the structure is AABA.
    Verses fell out of favor as recordings of these songs became popular. Because the verses were a device to move from spoken dialog to singing within a play they were often not included in recordings by artists of the day. When Hollywood began making movie musicals the verse fell out of favor as well. Camera tricks and instant scene changes not possible for stage productions rendered the verse mostly obsolete.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by setemupjoe View Post
    The terms Verse and Chorus meant different things in the Broadway tradition to how we now commonly use them.
    ....and then the rest of the quote too:

    This is a great answer, thank you.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by padraig View Post
    Ok thanks. What's the difference between the verse and the "head" then? I thought the heads were the bits that used to have words?
    The head is the melody of the "chorus" which follows the verse.



    Check out Dinah here...the "I was a stranger, in the city" part is the verse. The "head" comes in on "A Foggy Day."
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  8. #7

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    A couple more examples I like to give.
    Mountain Greenery written by Rodgers and Hart in 1926 had two separate verses which was not uncommon at that time.
    Mel Torme sings both these verses in his version below.
    Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore give a more jazz/pop rendition from their tv show where the verses are excised completely.


  9. #8

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    For songs with an extended introduction before beginning, for example, the AABA form, that introductory section was formally called the sectional verse. It became called just the "verse" among jazzers when deciding whether to include it or not. Jazz musicians have called a full lap around the whole form a "chorus" for a long time, so they called the intro a verse.

    Verse used to mean the "A" part in music form... as in AABA.
    Chorus used to mean the "B" part, sometimes called the bridge.
    The series of verses were novel, different words or lines, carrying the story.
    The chorus was repetitive, sometimes called the refrain.

    This is an ancient idea going back to the Greek plays where the verses were the forward movement of the story line by dialogue spoken by the main characters. Periodically the chorus (like a choir of people speaking in unison) restated the big picture for the audience to help refocus or catch up those who had lost their place in following the story.

    I have encountered a lot of musicians that reverse this and insist on calling the periodic repeating parts the verse, and call the changing parts the chorus (and not in the way jazzers do).
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post
    For songs with an extended introduction before beginning, for example, the AABA form, that introductory section was formally called the sectional verse. It became called just the "verse" among jazzers when deciding whether to include it or not. Jazz musicians have called a full lap around the whole form a "chorus" for a long time, so they called the intro a verse.

    Verse used to mean the "A" part in music form... as in AABA.
    Chorus used to mean the "B" part, sometimes called the bridge.
    The series of verses were novel, different words or lines, carrying the story.
    The chorus was repetitive, sometimes called the refrain.

    This is an ancient idea going back to the Greek plays where the verses were the forward movement of the story line by dialogue spoken by the main characters. Periodically the chorus (like a choir of people speaking in unison) restated the big picture for the audience to help refocus or catch up those who had lost their place in following the story.

    I have encountered a lot of musicians that reverse this and insist on calling the periodic repeating parts the verse, and call the changing parts the chorus (and not in the way jazzers do).
    Well, sort of. I have plenty of sheet music that calls the „extended intro“ the verse, just as described in some of the posts above. I have no indication that within an AABA structure, the A part is called the verse and the B part the chorus. Do you have any examples?

    One meaning of „versus“ in Latin is something like „recurring“ or „periodically repeating“. I don’t think a similar word exists in Greek but I may be wrong. The chorus in Greek tragedy was what we would now call the choir (see the etymological relation?) that commented on the action. So historically speaking, you‘re mixing two different, albeit related, traditions.


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  11. #10

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    consider the form ABABCAB (common in vocal pop)

    The lyrics in the A part is typically different each time as the story unfolds.
    The B part is the catchy part, the hook, where everyone can sing along and the lyrics typically doesn't change.
    The C part is a variation, maybe instrumental, a solo or a tempo change etc.

    Where I come from we call A "verse", B "chorus", C "bridge".

    Some Jazz follows a simple structure ABAB where a theme is played in the first (and often the last) A part, rest is improvisation. The B part may then be referred to as the "bridge".

    -Is this diferrent where you come from?

  12. #11

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    The verse in standards is that which gets you to "...and that's why..."

    ;o)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  13. #12

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    I like the example given useing montain greenery . for me the changeing lines are the melodey and the constant lines are harmony.

  14. #13

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    My favorite source of recordings with verses is Wesla Whitfield's albums, always with her husband Mike Greensill on piano. If the verse was good, Wesla would sing it, beautifully.

    Wesla passed away last year, but her recordings are wonderful, and her husband Mike is still actively playing in Napa and SF, I just played with him last winter, he sounds great.

  15. #14

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    So the definitions of verse, bridge, and chorus can vary depending on genre. Note that swing era jazz musicians often referred to the B part as the “channel”, or at least the one I played with did.
    Jazz Glossary

    One of my favorite verses (in the jazz sense) is from “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most.” I’ve been working on that tune lately. I don’t understand why Kenny Burrell discarded the verse from his version.

  16. #15

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    I love Ella's version of "Anything Goes."



    The verse ends with, "(In)stead of landing on Plymouth Rock / Plymouth Rock would land on them."
    The chorus begins with "In olden days, a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking."
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCat View Post

    The lyrics in the A part is typically different each time as the story unfolds.
    The B part is the catchy part, the hook, where everyone can sing along and the lyrics typically doesn't change.
    The C part is a variation, maybe instrumental, a solo or a tempo change etc.

    Where I come from we call A "verse", B "chorus", C "bridge".
    That's the way I've gotten it since a child, from all over.
    I don't get these folks who exchange the meaning of verse and chorus...!?
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  18. #17
    In folk, rock, country etc., the verse is that section which repeats with different words each time, But it's still more like a "chorus " than the verses in standards.

    The VERSE on these old standards is more analogous to recitative in opera.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCat View Post
    consider the form ABABCAB (common in vocal pop)

    The lyrics in the A part is typically different each time as the story unfolds.
    The B part is the catchy part, the hook, where everyone can sing along and the lyrics typically doesn't change.
    The C part is a variation, maybe instrumental, a solo or a tempo change etc.

    Where I come from we call A "verse", B "chorus", C "bridge".

    Some Jazz follows a simple structure ABAB where a theme is played in the first (and often the last) A part, rest is improvisation. The B part may then be referred to as the "bridge".

    -Is this diferrent where you come from?
    You’re confusing different eras and musical idioms. The conversation is about the American Songbook era and broadway songs in particular.
    According to your description ‘All of Me’ a song by Gerald Marks from 1931 which is written as an ABAC song is Verse, Chorus, Verse, Bridge. This is of course totally incorrect.

    Within a pop idiom your analysis is closer to what is correct but this is post 1960’s.

    Also pre-20th century folk songs such as My Darling Clementine fell into a common verse - chorus form which we can write as ABAB etc and falls into what we call a strophic form.

  20. #19

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    Some very well known tunes including their rarely sung verses.






  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by setemupjoe View Post
    You’re confusing different eras and musical idioms. The conversation is about the American Songbook era and broadway songs in particular.
    According to your description ‘All of Me’ a song by Gerald Marks from 1931 which is written as an ABAC song is Verse, Chorus, Verse, Bridge. This is of course totally incorrect.

    Within a pop idiom your analysis is closer to what is correct but this is post 1960’s.

    Also pre-20th century folk songs such as My Darling Clementine fell into a common verse - chorus form which we can write as ABAB etc and falls into what we call a strophic form.
    I posted here for the sole purpose of avoiding confusion. I try again:

    It almost appears like each member has his own definition of this terminology. This probably depends on where we were born, our native language, musical traditions and the cultural context; the people we play with, where and what music we play. I assume this is why OP hasn't been able to sort it out.

    Consider the Great American Song Book and the common AABA structure on 32 bar form. 4 sections x 8 measures. The A section is called the "Verse" and the B section is called the "Bridge". But the word "bridge" is used in all kinds of ways in music. In my language, the direct translation is used to describe a transition, sometimes just a single bar. (My folks use another word for the contrasting B-part in the common AABA form. A word also used to describe a contrast in contemporary pop)

    ABAC is an example of form, a song structure. The music is repetitive in a certain sequence. These letters don't automatically translate into terms like "verse" and "bridge", i.e we cannot compare the form of two different tunes and expect for example the letter B to always represent a "bridge" (the way you interpreted my post).

    A block of bars is often referred to just as "the A part" or "the B part" etc, especially in instrumental music, since terms like "verse" and "chorus" indicate the presence of lyrics.

    "Chours" is often synonymous with "Refrain". People that play instrumental music like Jazz and classical, seldom like to think they are playing refrains, (not even when interpreting songs that originally were released with a strong refrain in focus.)

    Now, anything that's not a "bridge" or a "chorus", an "intro" or an "outro" has to be the "verse", right? Nope. Jazzers as well as classical musicians like to talk about the "theme", a short melody that identifies the piece. the theme from the A part may repeat itself in the B part. Sometimes the theme is played like an intro and an outro and anything in-between is improvisation.

    The word "verse" in music originates from ancient literature/poetry/drama and means there are words (lyrics) supposed to be read or sung. However, some music, including certain standards, are through-composed, non repetitive and cannot be structured in a letter sequence even though there may be lyrics.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    Some very well known tunes including their rarely sung verses.
    I had played this lovely song for many years before I connected it with the rarely sung first part. Fast forward 1 minute to cut to the chase. Not many people would understand what I meant, If I referred to the first 60 seconds as "the verse".


  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCat View Post
    Not many people would understand what I meant, If I referred to the first 60 seconds as "the verse".
    Yes, but that is because it is the technical term used only in relation to this kind of song. You’re only likely to know it if you are involved in performing a show-type tune of this nature. Even then you may not be aware of it if you only hear jazz instrumental versions which often omit the verse.

    It was a long time before I understood what ‘verse’ meant in this context.

  24. #23

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    So in conclusion, the term verse is ambiguous in the context of the Great American Songbook.

    A verse of a Broadway song in Real-book may be something different than the verse of the same song on Broadway.

    Compare with the two modes of classic Opera:

    Recitative - musically boring passage driving the plot forward

    Aria - The formal melodic highlight.

    (And just for the record, referring to the OP and subject title, not every standard in the book is a Broadway standard.)

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by JCat View Post
    Consider the Great American Song Book and the common AABA structure on 32 bar form. 4 sections x 8 measures. The A section is called the "Verse" and the B section is called the "Bridge".
    No. The term "verse" isn't used that way in this context, with this type of tune. Every A section isn't referred to as a "verse".

    It's not "ambiguous" in referring to the great American songbook tunes, even if it's different from modern pop songs. See setemupjoe's original post on this. Great explanation.

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by setemupjoe View Post
    The terms Verse and Chorus meant different things in the Broadway tradition to how we now commonly use them.
    The verse is the preliminary musical introduction to bridge the spoken dialog of the play to the song. Melodically it was often more plain to match a musical speaking tradition that was used in opera with the recitative.
    The main body of the tune (often AABA or ABAC in form) made up what was called the chorus. Within jazz terminology this became known as the head. The head is distinct from the solo where the chord changes of the chorus are used to improvise over. In opera the Chorus would be the Aria.
    Within the chorus you may have a bridge if the structure is AABA.
    Verses fell out of favor as recordings of these songs became popular. Because the verses were a device to move from spoken dialog to singing within a play they were often not included in recordings by artists of the day. When Hollywood began making movie musicals the verse fell out of favor as well. Camera tricks and instant scene changes not possible for stage productions rendered the verse mostly obsolete.
    This is a really a clear explanation.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    This is a really a clear explanation.
    Thanks, I get it. But GASB is larger than old Broadway songs following an opera tradition.
    Neil Hefti's "Splanky" for example. Verse and Bridge, (or just A and B part). Nobody's talking about a "head", because there is nothing but an A and a B.

  28. #27

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    The A section is NOT the verse, even on tunes where the verse is always played--like "Lush Life."

    I don't know why people want to complicate this. You can't apply the language of pop and rock music to jazz, even if it's what you're more familiar with.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
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    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  29. #28

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    Does this qualify as verse, in speaking tradition, with some Ya Ya - s:

    ^ ^ ^
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    v v v

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCat View Post
    Consider the Great American Song Book and the common AABA structure on 32 bar form. 4 sections x 8 measures. The A section is called the "Verse" and the B section is called the "Bridge".
    This is incorrect. I've never heard anyone refer to the A section of, say, "Satin Doll" or "I Got Rhythm" as the verse.

    The "B" section IS often called the bridge. But the A section is NOT often called the verse. I think you're the only person I've heard do that. (And many standards don't have a bridge: "Just Friends" and "There Will Never Be Another You" are prime examples.)

    Look at it this way. When we speak of a soloist taking (or blowing) a "chorus" on, say, "Oleo" we mean once-through-the-form. For "Oleo", that's 32 bars of rhythm changes.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    This is incorrect. I've never heard anyone refer to the A section of, say, "Satin Doll" or "I Got Rhythm" as the verse.

    The "B" section IS often called the bridge. But the A section is NOT often called the verse. I think you're the only person I've heard do that. (And many standards don't have a bridge: "Just Friends" and "There Will Never Be Another You" are prime examples.)

    Look at it this way. When we speak of a soloist taking (or blowing) a "chorus" on, say, "Oleo" we mean once-through-the-form. For "Oleo", that's 32 bars of rhythm changes.

    OK, So what do you call the A-part? When you guys "blow the chorus" or play the "head" on Splanky -Do you refer to the melody of the A-part or the whole shebang? Solos are always played over the A part, and the B-part is always played according to the written melody (or should I say "the head of the B-part").

    As I mentioned in a previous post, there are different words to describe the various sections in each language. The American Song book is from America, and I would be happy to use the appropriate english language.

  32. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by JCat View Post
    OK, So what do you call the A-part? When you guys "blow the chorus" or play the "head" on Splanky -Do you refer to the melody of the A-part or the whole shebang? Solos are always played over the A part, and the B-part is always played according to the written melody (or should I say "the head of the B-part").
    You're using a much less well-known tune to argue about common practice on jazz standards? Never heard of that tune. Why are you using some obscure tune as an example?

    The A section isn't referred to as the "verse" in a standard 32 bar form, AABA etc. There are outliers and exceptions for anything, but that's not what we're talking about here.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    You're using a much less well-known tune to argue about common practice on jazz standards? Never heard of that tune. Why are you using some obscure tune as an example?
    Obscure tune? Lol. You are joking right?

    There are 1000 Standards in Real book, I don't know them all and neither do you.

    I just hope that OP got wiser. I, for one, have learned a few things.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCat View Post
    OK, So what do you call the A-part? When you guys "blow the chorus" or play the "head" on Splanky -Do you refer to the melody of the A-part or the whole shebang? Solos are always played over the A part, and the B-part is always played according to the written melody (or should I say "the head of the B-part").

    As I mentioned in a previous post, there are different words to describe the various sections in each language. The American Song book is from America, and I would be happy to use the appropriate english language.
    The A part is the A section. That's what we call it. The whole 32-bar thing (for most standards) is known as the chorus. Or a chorus, as in 'take a solo chorus,' that means all the way through whatever all the way through is. "Cherokee" is 64 bars and I believe "Night and Day" is 48. "All the Things You Are" is 36 bars long. In Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm" (when sung) it's 34 bars. ("Who could ask for anything more?" is said twice. But when played instrumentally the tag is dropped and it's 32 bars.)

    There's nothing hard about this. The A A B A stuff is not a division of the LYRIC but of the musical form.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  35. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by JCat View Post
    Obscure tune? Lol. You are joking right?

    There are 1000 Standards in Real book, I don't know them all and neither do you.

    I just hope that OP got wiser. I, for one, have learned a few things.
    Of course it was a joke. I mean, who DOESN'T know splanky?

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Of course it was a joke. I mean, who DOESN'T know splanky?
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  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    The A part is the A section. That's what we call it. The whole 32-bar thing (for most standards) is known as the chorus. Or a chorus, as in 'take a solo chorus,' that means all the way through whatever all the way through is. "Cherokee" is 64 bars and I believe "Night and Day" is 48. "All the Things You Are" is 36 bars long. In Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm" (when sung) it's 34 bars. ("Who could ask for anything more?" is said twice. But when played instrumentally the tag is dropped and it's 32 bars.)

    There's nothing hard about this. The A A B A stuff is not a division of the LYRIC but of the musical form.
    Thanks Mark, I appreciate it,
    It was not my intention to add to the confusion.

    This is from Wikipedia

    "Thirty-two-bar form uses four sections, most often eight measures long each (4×8=32), two verses or A sections, a contrasting B section (the bridge or "middle-eight") and a return of the verse in one last A section (AABA)."

    Song structure - Wikipedia

    Since people seem to get emotional about the subject, the text should probably be revised.

  38. #37

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    Splanky is just a blues though, or there is another Splanky that's not? 12 bar blues, there is no A or B.... just a blues.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCat View Post
    Thanks Mark, I appreciate it,
    It was not my intention to add to the confusion.

    This is from Wikipedia

    "Thirty-two-bar form uses four sections, most often eight measures long each (4×8=32), two verses or A sections, a contrasting B section (the bridge or "middle-eight") and a return of the verse in one last A section (AABA)."

    Song structure - Wikipedia

    Since people seem to get emotional about the subject, the text should probably be revised.
    There is a good overview of the whole thing here. The useage of ‘verse’ does seem to be quite confusing. In practice I think everyone just calls the A section ‘the A section’ in jazz.

    Thirty-two-bar form - Wikipedia

  40. #39

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    Interesting thread. To add to my confusion, I can remember having a collection of sheet music for Frank Sinatra tunes in which the "recitative" (where printed) was marked "refrain". I therefore thought that part of a song was correctly called the refrain (even though I knew that "refrain" was more commonly used to refer to something else).

  41. #40
    The Wikipedia article isn't jazz specific, not to mention that I think it's just wrong anyway.

    From that article:
    "Examples include "Deck the Halls":
    A: Deck the hall with boughs of holly,A: 'Tis the season to be jolly.B: Don we now our gay apparel,A: Troll the ancient Yuletide carol."

    No one would ever talk about "'tis the season to be jolly " as being the "second verse" of that song. It's "See the blazing yule before us" or somesuch, In other words, a completely separate and new AABA.

    No one really cares what other people call things until you start communicating with a group about something. Call things whatever you want, but if you don't want to look like an idiot when talking about jazz , you might do well to NOT call the A section of the tune the verse.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 05-30-2019 at 03:46 PM.

  42. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by JCat View Post
    Since people seem to get emotional about the subject, the text should probably be revised.
    Yeah. Straight from the Trolling 101 handbook.

    Please post a link to this imaginary hysterical post.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post

    No one really cares what other people call things until you start communicating with a group about something. Call things whatever you want, but if you don't want to look like an idiot when talking about jazz , you might do well too NOT call the A section of the tune the verse.
    Exactly that. I'd say on a bandstand on a jazz jam session, let alone a gig, it's better keep in mind Verse in jazz doesn't mean A part. No discussion, just roll with it, end of story.

    On a forum of course, all opinions are equal, so we can discuss it for another ten pages and get all emotional together. Here is my emotion

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCat View Post
    Thanks, I get it. But GASB is larger than old Broadway songs following an opera tradition.
    Neil Hefti's "Splanky" for example. Verse and Bridge, (or just A and B part). Nobody's talking about a "head", because there is nothing but an A and a B.
    GASB is not large enough to include Spalnky, an instrumental blues written by Hefti for Basie, with no lyrics. I wouldn't include all jazz standards in the GASB, but that's just me and the guys I play with in a few big bands.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    GASB is not large enough to include Spalnky, an instrumental blues written by Hefti for Basie, with no lyrics. I wouldn't include all jazz standards in the GASB, but that's just me and the guys I play with in a few big bands.
    OK, I made a comment about the GASB in another thread recently ("Why no new Standards?")
    There's no strict definition what's in or out, other than the broad definition 1920-1950, including the Swing-era. Fair enough, Splanky is a late swing-standard and may fall outside. It's a blues for sure with two very distinct parts, A and B. It's not just any Blues, it's a world famous Basie standard that I have played many times on the band stand.

    I don't think there's a norm excluding instrumental music from GASB. "Song" is often synonymous with "tune" in this context. For example, Stella By Starlight, was an instrumental theme song, that later got lyrics, but by and large was often considered an instrumental. Several Hoagy Carmichael songs were also first published as instrumentals, but at the time "GASB" became a concept they all had lyrics. The lovely thing with this music, is that it holds its own, without vocals.

    I was under the impression that the subject was about standards and the meaning of "verse". I think of GASB as all the standards from the era, but of course there are many post GASB standards too. All together more than 1000 songs/tunes.

    If someone thinks it's important to limit "GASB" to Broadway and that the word "verse" cannot be used in any other context and that people who do so are trolls and idiots, I much regret it.
    I'll try to stick to "A-section" and "B-section" etc, when posting here.

  46. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by JCat View Post
    If someone thinks it's important to limit "GASB" to Broadway and that the word "verse" cannot be used in any other context and that people who do so are trolls and idiots, I much regret it.
    I'll try to stick to "A-section" and "B-section" etc, when posting here.
    No one thinks it's "important" to call it that.
    No one is "telling you" how to use or misuse the word "verse", inside or outside of a jazz context. You're free to use it however you like. If you misuse the term, it affects only YOU - not anyone else here..
    No one will ever call you a "troll" for allegedly misusing terms, and that's not what happened.
    No one cares that much about it.

    However, no one appreciates having their own words twisted around so much into things which were never said. The OP asked a sincere question and it seems silly not to answer it.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 05-31-2019 at 07:38 AM.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCat View Post
    I had played this lovely song for many years before I connected it with the rarely sung first part. Fast forward 1 minute to cut to the chase. Not many people would understand what I meant, If I referred to the first 60 seconds as "the verse".

    My experience is that everyone in a jazz session knows this meaning of verse (or at least everyone who has played with singers). Whether everyone actually knows the verse or not, that's a different story, since typically the verse is just piano and singer, but if you ever do guitar-singer duets, you're likely going to learn some verses.

    John

  48. #47

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    I teach a course in songwriting at college and the text I use is the excellent Songwriting: A Complete Guide to the Craft by Stephen Citron.
    He speaks at length about verses which I will quote in part:
    "If I were asked to name the most confusing concept in lyric writing, I'd have to say it was the word verse, because it had a totally different meaning before the mid-sixties. Formerly, a verse was a section of the song that set the stage, and preceded the melodic or catchy tune. In contemporary songs, the story is told in the verse.....
    Sometimes the verse merely sets the story going. In Don't Bring Lulu, the first verse tells about an invitation to a party. The second verse is totally unnecessary, but it was included because the convention of the twenties demanded more than one verse. In the thirties we come back to the expendable verse. Because our popular songs were now recorded, American music started to become more commercial, as the long expansive verses that could set the scene began to disappear. To be successful a song had to make its point in the first few seconds (this is still true) with title and hook. Always published, but often omitted in performance, the verse became more cumbersome than helpful."
    Verses generally fell into one of two categories: the 8 line verse ( 2 x 4 line stanzas e.g. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered by Rodgers and Hart) or the 10 line verse ( 2 x 4 line stanzas plus a 2 line couplet such as Someone to Watch Over Me by George and Ira Gershwin).
    Personally I love to hear verses as it gives added meaning to what can be some very well known choruses. My personal favorite is the collected songbook recordings of Ella Fitzgerald.

  49. #48

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    Around here, a "verse" is the original introduction to the tune. Ex: Tony Bennett's I Left My Heart in San Francisco begins with "The loveliness of Paris" and ends with "to my city by the Bay". That's a (great) verse.

    The main part of the tune, which we now call "the tune" is often AABA for four 8-bar sections. Around here, they're A1, A2, B (or bridge), A3. I don't hear jazz players using the word "chorus".

    The entire song, with melody, is called "the head". It's usually played at the beginning, then there are solos, and then it's played again at the end. The first one is "head in", the last one is "head out". Come to think of it, I've heard the head-out called out-chorus a few times.

    If there's something in the chart, played once at the very beginning, it's called an "intro". And, if there's something played once at the very end, it's an "outro".

    So, you might hear, on the bandstand, a tune called ... the leader might say something like "All The Things You Are, Bb, last 4 bars as intro, vamp out on the final chord as outro".

    I don't know if this terminology is universal, but I'd guess that jazz guys all over will understand it.

  50. #49

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    Sometimes the ‘verse’ can be hard to find. When I was learning to play Stardust, I wanted to include the verse but it wasn’t included in the real book version, I found it somewhere else eventually (probably in the ‘557 Jazz Standards’ fakebook). Without the verse, I think this tune really loses something. Anyway you can hear it here in the first 56 seconds. I would generally play the verse rubato, then go into tempo for the main theme (as I did here).


  51. #50

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