We already introduced you to three common variations in the previous section: strophic form, 32-bar form, and verse-chorus form. Let’s look at these and others in more detail.
|Bar form||AAB||Originated in Germany, what makes this form unique is the A section and B sections do not need to be the same length||Star Spangled Banner, 12-bar blues (see below)|
|32-bar form||AABA||This was the musical form of the Tin Pan Alley and is also known as the “American popular song form.” It became popular in the late 1910’s.||Over the Rainbow (from the Wizard of Oz), Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis|
|Ternary form||ABA||This form is also sometimes called “song form.” It is very popular in classical music and has been used by nearly every composer of note.||The trumpet shall sound from Handel’s Messiah, the Raindrop Prelude in Db by Chopin, and the opening chorus of St John Passion by J.S. Bach|
|Strophic form||AAA||Perhaps the most basic song form, it can be applied to a few other song forms like the verse-chorus or 12-bar blues if the larger sections repeat verbatim.||Barbara Allen, Erie Canal, and Michael Row the Boat Ashore|
|12-bar blues||AAB||To anyone familiar with American music, this form is foundational. It’s popular among jazz, R&B, pop, rock, and of course blues songs. It grew out of the musical traditions of African slaves and freedmen in the deep south.||Almost any blues song, Johnny B Goode by Chuck Berry, and Give Me One Reason to Stay Here by Tracy Chapman.|