Refrain Vs. Chorus - Are They The Same? Wednesday October 6 2021, 3:42 PM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
Refrain Vs. Chorus - Are They The Same?

Does Chorus Mean Refrain?


In modern music, you can usually interchange the words "chorus" and "refrain" when speaking about the most important part of a song that repeats at least twice. An example of a common song has 2 verses, a bridge, and a chorus or a refrain. So in most cases, you can use either word. The more popular term is "chorus" and the term "refrain" can seem traditional and more dated. The term "refrain" is often used for songs in traditional styles like classical, gospel, or folk music. 

When A Refrain Is Not A Chorus 


In many music expert opinions, a refrain is not like a chorus when a chorus is the pinnacle of a song or the climactic point that the verse leads to. A refrain is simply a line or a phrase repeated that might not be a climax in the song, but more of a familiar song element that can be compared to the post-chorus. If the verses seem like they are building to this section, it is not a refrain at all and it's a chorus. 

When A Chorus Is Not A Refrain


Also, in technical terms, the term "refrain" originally referred to repeated sections in poetry that always include the same phrase without change. This was later included to describe lyrics and melody that are repeated, but if the melody is repeated and the lyrics are changed, the chorus can no longer be considered a refrain. Some songs like to change a small amount of the words in each repeat which would break the rules of what a refrain means to be. 

What Both The Chorus And Refrain Have


Both the chorus and the refrain are sections of a song that repeat. In popular music, the refrain and the chorus often contrast with the verses melodically, rhythmically, and harmonically. It also can indicate a higher level of dynamics and activity in this song section, with the term "chorus" also signifying a group of people joining in to sing together. 

Relation To The Term Hook


The term "hook" that is also used to describe the repeating and most popular section of a song can be synonymous with the term "chorus". It can be used as a term to help avoid the confusion between the term chorus as a section of a song and as a group of people singing. 

The term "hook" emphasizes the need for this section of a song to "hook" the listener with its catchiness in both the lyrics and the melody. This term is therefore mostly used in "pop" genres including hip hop, R&B, and dance music. Songwriters in these genres are often encouraged their song chorus sections as memorable as possible to encourage the listener to put the song on repeat. 


519TpkEqFCL.jpeg

Are you a music artist? Get updates on my upcoming key blogposts that can help you take your career to the next level by joining the community! Sign up here and get your free digital copy of my book "The Ultimate Music Maker Checklist".

So many artists are missing out on really effective free and paid resources for their music brand. Don't let that be you!






Share This Blogpost:


Yona Marie

This blog was written by singer, songwriter and producer Yona Marie. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!

If you are ever in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services for your music project or brand, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her song services page.



Latest Single Release:
comments powered by Disqus
You May Also Like