Songs without words

Herb Stahlke hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
Sat Apr 24 18:29:36 UTC 2010

I've heard a Beethoven symphony and a chorus from the Mass in B minor
referred to as songs.  I suppose if you don't use "song" to mean
"musical composition," you tend to use the name of the form.  So
Pachelbel's Canon in D would be a canon.


On Sat, Apr 24, 2010 at 5:07 AM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at> wrote:
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> Poster:       Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
> Subject:      Songs without words
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> For "song," the AHD4 has "a brief composition written or adapted for singing."
> I personally use the word "song" to mean a musical composition without words, such as Pachelbel's Canon in D even though I have a sense that songs should have sung lyrics.
> The AHD4 meaning therefore seems prescriptive in a way that does not reflect common usage.
> Although someone subjective, my Mac dictionary does well at walking this thin line with an additional definition: a musical composition suggestive of a song.
> Benjamin Barrett
> Seattle, WA
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