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billten
03-31-2016, 02:59 PM
I have a few different books that have a big letter A and then later in the song a letter B. While i understand that these letters are signifying a section of the song, can anyone tell me what they mean for you playing the song?

Is there an ABBA or AABB repeat convention that i should know about when playing the song or is it something else?

DownUpDave
03-31-2016, 03:17 PM
I think it might be the begining of the alphabet, Bill. :p

But I have been wrong before.

Brad Bordessa
03-31-2016, 03:44 PM
You said it. It's so you know what is the A section and what is the B section. You couldn't really communicate it if they weren't labeled. "Play the B section!" "Where?!"

You can play any song in any order you like, but I think the markers are just there so you know what is what. They don't have some subliminal message. But I could be wrong.

billten
04-01-2016, 12:03 AM
Uhmmmm thanks guys, i think. I'm sure that these sections have a standard kind of chorus and verse repeat deal going on, i just have to figure it out. No help in any of the books.

Picker Jon
04-01-2016, 01:49 AM
Its' for dance music so the whole thing doesn't have to be written out and the musicians and dancer know how many parts there are to be repeated.

4(1A.1B).1A means play the A section followed by the B section 4 times and end with one A section.

drbekken
04-01-2016, 02:47 AM
Old jazz and tin pan alley standards often have the form AABA. The B part is then referred to as the 'bridge'. Examples: 'Georgia On My Mind', 'Ain't Misbehaving', 'Somewhere over The rainbow'....the list goes on and on.

billten
04-01-2016, 05:02 AM
Interesting, maybe that's it because the book i see this in most is the Craig Brandau Jazz chord solo's book. Almost all of the songs have A and B in them (and sometimes C as well) as sections but absolutely nowhere in the book have i found what the repeat pattern should be. I'll give AABA a try and see how it sounds, thanks...


Old jazz and tin pan alley standards often have the form AABA. The B part is then referred to as the 'bridge'. Examples: 'Georgia On My Mind', 'Ain't Misbehaving', 'Somewhere over The rainbow'....the list goes on and on.

Pier
04-01-2016, 07:46 AM
as other said, they are just notation marks for sections of a song, also called "song structure".

in standard jazz pieces you'll have a theme/singing part made of a (typical) AABA, and after the theme/singing part, you'll repeat the structure as it is, and musicians start to improvise.

this thing is called "chorus" in jazz and blues notations, and the letters are used to distinguish the harmonic structure.

the typical "12 bars chorus" in the blues structure is the same thing, you are just repeating the same chords over and over again, starting from bar 1, ending on bar 12 and restarting from 1.
you can also name sections dividing by three:

for example:

||: E | A | E | E |
| A | A | E | E |
| B | A | E | B :||

this is a standard blues chorus. you can name the first four bars "A", the second four "B" and the last "C". you have three different sections, with different chords and harmonic structure.

jazz structures are a bit more complex (even if often they are just blues choruses with added chords in the 12-bars), but the concept is the same: you start with the A section, repeat the A section, go to the B section, play another A section and go back to the first A, and you'll loop AABA all over again.
you can obviously have a C part, that sometimes is an A part with some differences, or just a "turnaround" to go back to the beginning of the chorus.

naming the parts is useful if you want to change "on the run", and maybe restart after the B section to enter a final/ending chorus leading to the end of the performance.

it depends on how the song is written and how the band/musician wants to play it for the entire lenght.


in pop/rock music structures and notations are a bit different, because you can have more secitons, but you still divide them in sections basing on the chords or the melody (when chords are the same).

for example, a common pop/rock structure is

A A B A B C B B

A is the verse section changing the lyrics
B is the chorus/refrain with, usually, the same (catchy) lyrics every time
C is a bridge part with different harmoinc progression, often changing the tonality, or leading to change in the chorus (like going up 1/2 or 1 tone)
solos and intro/outro are usually done on the A or B harmonic progression.

then it's up to you. if a song is made of just two chords, or the same harmonic progression (like the over-used || C | G | Am | F || ) both on verse and chorus, you should note them basing on just the melody.

in more complex songs you can have breaks, solo parts with a different harmonic progression, even more than one bridge, and you can end up using, A, B, C, D and other notations (that usually are decided with every band member, not to confuse things :P ).
in non-professional context is easier to use names for the parts, like "verse", "bridge", "chorus", "solo", or even using the lyrics to distinguish them.

progressive music may not have a repetition at all, end we can end up talking about classical and opera music with anything but a repetitive structure***

in a professional contex is easier to see just letters, to be sure that every "group of bars" can be recognized immediately.

"let's try the D section" is better than "let's try the part when john sings ______ " :D



*** a nice example is the song "In Dreams" by Roy Orbison. it's structure is linear, never repeating a section. in these cases, you just name the sections with different letters (or the preferred way).

billten
04-01-2016, 08:53 AM
Thanks you Pier, that was a really insightful and complete answer. I am very much appreciative of all the wonderful and knowledgeable people on this forum who are willing to share their experience.


as other said, they are just notation marks for sections of a song, also called "song structure".

in standard jazz pieces you'll have a theme/singing part made of a (typical) AABA, and after the theme/singing part, you'll repeat the structure as it is, and musicians start to improvise.

this thing is called "chorus" in jazz and blues notations, and the letters are used to distinguish the harmonic structure.

the typical "12 bars chorus" in the blues structure is the same thing, you are just repeating the same chords over and over again, starting from bar 1, ending on bar 12 and restarting from 1.
you can also name sections dividing by three:

for example:

||: E | A | E | E |
| A | A | E | E |
| B | A | E | B :||

this is a standard blues chorus. you can name the first four bars "A", the second four "B" and the last "C". you have three different sections, with different chords and harmonic structure.

jazz structures are a bit more complex (even if often they are just blues choruses with added chords in the 12-bars), but the concept is the same: you start with the A section, repeat the A section, go to the B section, play another A section and go back to the first A, and you'll loop AABA all over again.
you can obviously have a C part, that sometimes is an A part with some differences, or just a "turnaround" to go back to the beginning of the chorus.

naming the parts is useful if you want to change "on the run", and maybe restart after the B section to enter a final/ending chorus leading to the end of the performance.

it depends on how the song is written and how the band/musician wants to play it for the entire lenght.


in pop/rock music structures and notations are a bit different, because you can have more secitons, but you still divide them in sections basing on the chords or the melody (when chords are the same).

for example, a common pop/rock structure is

A A B A B C B B

A is the verse section changing the lyrics
B is the chorus/refrain with, usually, the same (catchy) lyrics every time
C is a bridge part with different harmoinc progression, often changing the tonality, or leading to change in the chorus (like going up 1/2 or 1 tone)
solos and intro/outro are usually done on the A or B harmonic progression.

then it's up to you. if a song is made of just two chords, or the same harmonic progression (like the over-used || C | G | Am | F || ) both on verse and chorus, you should note them basing on just the melody.

in more complex songs you can have breaks, solo parts with a different harmonic progression, even more than one bridge, and you can end up using, A, B, C, D and other notations (that usually are decided with every band member, not to confuse things :P ).
in non-professional context is easier to use names for the parts, like "verse", "bridge", "chorus", "solo", or even using the lyrics to distinguish them.

progressive music may not have a repetition at all, end we can end up talking about classical and opera music with anything but a repetitive structure***

in a professional contex is easier to see just letters, to be sure that every "group of bars" can be recognized immediately.

"let's try the D section" is better than "let's try the part when john sings ______ " :D



*** a nice example is the song "In Dreams" by Roy Orbison. it's structure is linear, never repeating a section. in these cases, you just name the sections with different letters (or the preferred way).