Rhyme is one of the elements of the song that is implicit in the lyrics of a song. While many artists work on it in detail, rhyme in music is often understood more as an intrinsic element of verse or poetry, and not as an important element of the song’s sonority.
In other words, we do not contemplate all the possibilities presented by rhyme in music, not as a textual element, but as a sound element that influences the work, both in the sound of the lyrics of the song, and in its musicality or as in the compositional effects that can be achieved thanks to it.
In other words, if the rhyme is the repetition of a sound, why not understand it as a musical element?
The rhyme in music
As we have seen in previous articles, rhyme is an element that is defined according to two criteria: sonority and location. That is, a) the sound that composes it and b) the place of the text appears.
As we said, if rhyme is a sound, and we create music, why not think of it as a musical element? At the end of the day, we are not so interested in its meaning but the characteristics and effects produced by the repetition of one or several sounds along the sections of a song. What effects could we achieve from this sound? o How could we improve our song from the rhyme?
Effects of rhyme in music
In music, rhyme allows us
Define the structure of the song or a section: A very simple but practical idea, different types of rhymes generate different types of sections. Therefore, we can define the structure of the section of a song, defining the rhymes in it.
Generate contrast: Using different types of rhymes in different sections allows us to achieve a clear contrast between sections. One of the best ways to achieve differences is to change the rhythm by changing the type of rhymes we use.
Create tension: One of the most important aspects of the rhyme !! It’s simple, from the rhyme, location and sound that we use in the rhymes.
Create memorability: They have always been part of the oral tradition, and that rhymes help us remember; think of aphorisms, riddles and proverbs. If we want to create a phrase that is remembered, simply create it using a rhyme.
Create dissonance or harmony: For example, using pleasant or unpleasant sounds in the rhyme for the ear
Emphasize: Combining the accents or strong beats of the music with the sounds of the rhyme. A resource widely used in rap
Increase the sound of a melody: Using rhymes with open vowels helps us to make a melody easier to sing.
Create rhythm: For example, increasing the amount of rhymes increases the rhythm of the verse.
Define a form: What type of rhyme, verse or stanza are you using? If you write the lyrics from a melody, you may be surprised to discover that you are using some kind of verse or poetic verse. Being aware of the shape of your song helps to improve it. For example, if you discover that some verses are octosyllabic, and others you can not rewrite them to achieve a more correct form, which will undoubtedly improve the song.
Link the lyrics of the song to a poetic form: This helps us not to be a simple letter, but to be a more elaborate and close to poetry.
Respect the musical genre: Mainly it happens with the folkloric genres. This is essential if you want to compose certain music, and that is that some musical genres use a certain form such as copla or octosyllabic verses. If we want to create songs that are considered within the genre we must write and compose with this type of rhymes.
Give air: Separate the sounds and use more remote rhymes, allows us to add more space
Break the structure: If you do not like very structured songs, you can use the rhyme to break the structure, be it bypassing the rhyme where it was expected or by adding a new one
Avoid the obvious: If the lyrics of the song are obvious, simply change the rhyme.
Create surprise: Changing the rhyme, the metric or not respecting the rhyme, or entering an unexpected one helps to create surprise.
Create a reflective air: Separating the rhymes allows us to add more content, and achieve a more reflective air or a more elaborate message. Beware, it can also generate confusion.
Rhyming two consecutive words: Create a musical effect that is very sonorous, beautiful and interesting. Rhyming two consecutive words is ideal for developing refrains.
Rhyming exercises to improve your songs
Let’s see some rhyming exercises, with which you can practice or experiment with the sound of your song
Plan the type of rhyme you want to use in each section of the song.
Experiment with different types of rhyming sounds.
Experiment with different types of rhymes.
Try developing a song and then change the sound of the rhyme for a different one.
Use internal and external rhymes.
Develop a section of the song from a melody, analyze what type of rhyme, verse or stanza you have and try to define, respect and achieve its form.
Write a verse without rhyme
Write a verse with consonant rhyme
Develop a section with an unpleasant rhyme, for example with the sound ge / je, jo, cho.
Make a verse or section with an obvious rhyme and then try to create surprise
Rhyme the beginning of the verse with the end
Rhyme two consecutive words
Create a long verse where the rhyme occurs, at the beginning, middle and end of each verse