In our last blog post, we were talking about how long should a chorus be in terms of the number of bars, and the number of seconds. We were looking at several different songs to get the answer to that question, so we will take a look at the same songs in comparison.
How many bars in a verse
One of the ways to measure the length of a verse is by counting the bars. But as I mentioned in the previous post, this might be confusing, because there are different ways to notate music.
If you take a look at the following example, you will understand what I’m talking about:
If you play all the three lines, they will sound exactly the same, but the melody takes up two bars in the first line, one bar in the second line, and four bars in the third line.
But in music, we always talk about 8-bar periods or any multiply of 8. As we checked the structures of the songs last time, the conclusion was that usually, the verse is the same length as the chorus.
So if the chorus is 16 bars, then usually the verse is 16 bars too.
|Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You||16 bars||16 bars|
|Taylor Swift – Everything Has Changed||16 bars||16 bars|
|Pharrell Williams – Happy||16 bars||16 bars|
|Foo Fighters – The Pretender||1st verse 16 bars
(2nd verse 16 + 2 bars)
|Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran – I Don’t Care||16 bars||16 bars|
|Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dark Necessities||16 bars||16 bars|
|Ariana Grande – Thank U Next||16 bars||16 bars|
|Lady Gaga – Shallow||8 bars||8 bars|
|Ellie Goulding – Burn||16 bars||8 bars|
|Adele – Hello||16 bars||16 bars|
How many seconds a verse should be
Last time we measured the length of the choruses in terms of the number of seconds, which is another way to measure it. We had the conclusion that regardless that different songs have different tempos, the number of seconds is surprisingly similar in these songs.
The average length of a chorus is around 20 – 24 seconds, which means that if the verse is the same length (and obviously same tempo), then the average verse is also around 20 – 24 seconds long.
|SONG TITLE||TOTAL TIME||VERSE TIME|
|Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You||4:23||20 seconds|
|Taylor Swift – Everything Has Changed||4:12||24 seconds|
|Pharrell Williams – Happy||4:00||24 seconds|
|Foo Fighters – The Pretender||4:30||23 seconds|
|Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran – I Don’t Care||3:42||19 seconds|
|Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dark Necessities||5:03||21 seconds|
|Ariana Grande – Thank U Next||5:30||18 seconds|
|Lady Gaga – Shallow||3:36||20 seconds|
|Ellie Goulding – Burn||3:58||11 seconds|
|Adele – Hello||6:06||24 seconds|
Since we already measured the length of the choruses last time, we already knew that the verses have usually the same length in terms of the number of bars, and in terms of the number of seconds. Usually, verses are 16 bars and about 20 – 24 seconds.
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