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Cumulative song

Music Sound

Cumulative song

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A cumulative song is a song whose verses are built from earlier verses, usually by simply adding a new stanza to the previous verse. A simple cumulative song having n verses is structured as
stanza1
stanza1 stanza2
\vdots
stanza1 stanza2 ... stanzan

perhaps with a common chorus included with each verse. When sung, the repeated stanzas are sometimes varied or abbreviated. Cumulative songs are popular for group singing, partially because they require relatively little memorization of lyrics.

Well-known examples of cumulative songs are Twelve Days of Christmas, Green Grow the Rushes-Ho, and There was an Old Lady.

Yiddish folk music contains many prominent examples of cumulative songs, including "?װאָס װעט זײַן אַז משיח װעט קומען" and "מה אספּרה," or "What Will Happen When the Messiah Comes?" and "Who Can Recall" (a Yiddish version of the Passover song "Echad Mi Yodea").

See also: round


Home | Up | Formal sections | Musical forms | Bastard pop | Cumulative song | Cyclic form | Leitmotif | Movement | Song structure (popular_music)

Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.