Improve Your Lyrics – Tip #48

Another lyric form you can try experimenting with is the ABAB form.  While it is not so common today, it can be found in many hits from country, to adult contemporary, to jazz, to funk, and broadway music.

While the ABAB form may look visually similar to that of the AABA form, the ABAB is more two different sections than three sections connected with a bridge.

The purpose of the A section is to embody the main music idea and theme while the B section is used to develop the material as well as serve as a platform to prepare the listener for returning back to the A section.  So, the B in the ABAB form is more fluid and transitional than the B in the AABA form which is contrasting.

Even though the ABAB form is typically 32-bars long with each AB section containing 16-bars, it can be changed.  In some cases, a songwriter might add a little extra at the end, making the form ABABB or ABABAB.

Titles, or main hooks are placed at the beginning of the A sections, or at the end of the B sections.

Try writing a song that calls for development of the main idea in a ABAB structure format.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Author: Bryan M. Waring

Bryan Waring is a graduate of USM's School of Music with a B.M. in Performance – Composition and is now attending Belmont University for a M.M. in Commercial Media – Composition & Arranging. During his time at USM, he studied violin with Dino Liva and composition with Dr. Daniel Sonenberg, as well as has premiered several pieces during the semiannual Composer's Ensemble concert series. In 2017, Bryan was a writer for the original musical theater work of "Molded By The Flow," directed by Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. Outside of school, Bryan has been involved with writing music for videogame developers at Portland's CI2 Lab, collaborating with the King Tide Party, and studying with Larry Groupé (Straw Dogs) in San Diego. Now living in Nashville. Along with composing, Bryan teaches music to children, receiving the Master Teacher Award for his work at ESF Camps; and does audio engineering for live ensembles. Besides talents in music, Bryan is a team-player in any competitive work environment; equipped with skills in leadership, organization, mathematics, creativity, communication, and managing. On the side, Bryan has worked as a model for several skilled artists in the New England area. Among his other accomplishments include obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in April 2013 with a project of building a side parking area with guide rails for Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT.

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