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Lyrics are the words in songs. Lyrics can be written as the accompanying music is composed, or added afterwards. Sometimes, however, music is adapted to or written for a song or poem that has already been written. The meaning conveyed in lyrical verses can be explicit or implicit. Some lyrics are so abstract as to be completely unintelligible. In such cases, there is a tendency to emphasize the form, articulation, meter, and symmetries of the expressions. There are many websites that feature lyrics to songs.


Etymology and usage

From the Greek, a lyric was originally a song sung with a lyre.

A lyric poem is one that expresses a subjective, personal point of view.

I would be the Lyric
Ever on the lip,
Rather than the Epic
Memory lets slip.
—Thomas Bailey Aldrich

The word lyric came to be used for the "words of a popular song"; this meaning was recorded in 1876 [1]. The plural lyrics was used only in referring to the words of multiple songs; to refer to the words of a single song as its lyrics instead of its lyric was considered erroneous. Even so, such usage became increasingly common (probably because of the association between lyrics and the plural form words), and is predominant in modern usage. Use of the singular form lyric is still grammatically acceptable; it is still considered erroneous to refer to an individual word in a song as a lyric.

Academic study

Lyrics can be studied from an academic perspective. For example, some lyrics can be considered a form of social commentary. Lyrics often contain political, social and economic themes as well as aesthetic elements, and so can connote messages which are culturally significant. Lyrics can also be analyzed with respect to the sense of unity (or lack of unity) it has with its supporting music. Analysis based on tonality and contrast are particular examples.

Chinese lyrics (詞) are Chinese poems written in the set metrical and tonal pattern of a particular song.

External links

Home | Up | Album | Aleatoric music | Anthem | Ballet | Cantata | Choir | Compositions by instrument | Concert band | Concerto | Film score | Incidental music | Jazz | Mass | Minimalist music | Opera | Operetta | Oratorio | Overture | Pieces | Ragtime | Recorded music | Serialism | Sonata | Song | Suite | Symphonic poem | Symphony | Television news music | Twelve tone technique | Fanfare | International Standard Musical Work Code | Lyrics | Precompositional | Round

Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

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

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