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A song is an artistic form of expression based on sound, generally considered a single (and often standalone) work of music with distinct and fixed pitches, pattern, and form. It can be wordless or with words. Written words created specifically for music or for which music is specifically created, are called lyrics. If poetry, a pre-existing poem is set to composed music, that is an art song. Songs that are sung on repeated pitches without distinct contours and patterns that rise and fall are called chants. Chants may be slightly or highly ornamented. Songs may be sung by one singer or more than one, by a singer with background singers who accompany with minor parts, or by a group. Songs composed for personal use, for casual group activities, in simple style, are referred to as folk songs. Songs that are composed for professional entertainers are called popular songs, in that they do not require an education to necessarily appreciate, and that they have broad appeal to many people. These songs are composed with the intent to earn money by professional composers and lyricists. Art songs are composed by trained classical composers for concert performance. Songs may also appear in plays, musical plays, stage shows of any form, and within operas. A song may be for a solo singer, a duet, trio, or larger ensemble involving more voices, although the term is generally not used for large vocal forms including opera and oratorio. Songs with more than one voice to a part are considered choral works. Songs can be broadly divided into many different forms, depending on the criteria used. One division is between "art songs", "pop songs", and "folk songs". Other common methods of classification are by purpose (sacred vs secular), by style (dance, ballad, Lied, etc.), or by time of origin (Renaissance, Contemporary, etc.).


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