Stanza and Verse

Discussions relating to performance, interpretation, score preparation, musica ficta etc.
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Posts: 151
Joined: 03 May 2014 03:33
Location: Gunnison, Colorado, USA

Stanza and Verse

Post by BarryJ »

I have noticed the use of {{vs|n}} format to designate a portion of a poem or hymn (for example, in Psalm 93). I was taught that the proper term for a subdivision of a poem, hymn, or psalm is stanza. In Wikipedia's article Song Structure, "a verse roughly corresponds to a poetic stanza. When two or more sections of the song have almost identical music and different lyrics, each section is considered one verse." And from the article stanza, "In poetry, a stanza is a grouped set of lines within a poem, usually set off from other stanzas by a blank line or indentation. Stanzas can have regular rhyme and metrical schemes, though stanzas are not strictly required to have either. ... The stanza in poetry is analogous with the paragraph that is seen in prose; related thoughts are grouped into units.... In music, groups of lines are typically referred to as verses."
There are over 500 uses of stanza in CPDL, and about 1000 uses of verse. Of course, in popular usage, the terms are often used interchangeably, but my music teacher would harshly correct me if I did.
What I suggest is that users be encouraged to use stanza when discussing lyrics -- at least in templates and categories!
Barry Johnston
Barry Johnston
Gunnison, U. S. A.
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Re: Stanza and Verse

Post by carlos »

Hello Barry, thanks for the clarification! I'm one of those who are never sure when to use one term or the other.

As for the template {{verse}}, it wasn't originally designed for poetry, but for Bible verses, hence its name. Template {{vs}} is just a simplified form of {{verse}}. I wasn't aware that they were also being used for stanzas of poems.
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