Verse-chorus form is a musical form common in popular music, used in blues and rock and roll since the 1950s, and predominant in rock music since the 1960s. In contrast to thirty-two-bar form, which is focused on the verse (contrasted and prepared by the B section), in verse-chorus form the chorus is highlighted (prepared and contrasted with the verse).
"Musically, most Civil War songs were cast in the verse-chorus patterns that had been popularized by Foster and widely imitated by his peers and successors, with their choruses set in four-part harmony."
Thus, while in both forms A is the verse and B is the chorus, in AABA the verse takes up most of the time and the chorus exists to contrast and lead back into the return of the verse, in verse-chorus form the chorus often takes much more time proportionally and the verse exists to lead into it. For example: ABABB(B) [approximates: "Be My Baby"], rather than thirty-two-bar form's AABA.
The chorus often sharply contrasts the verse melodically, rhythmically, and harmonically, and assumes a higher level of dynamics and activity, often with added instrumentation. This is referred to as a "breakout chorus". See: arrangement.
Songs that use different music for the verse and chorus are in contrasting verse-chorus form. Examples include:
Songs that use the same harmony (chords) for the verse and chorus, such as the twelve bar blues, though the melody is different and the lyrics feature different verses and a repeated chorus, are in simple verse-chorus form. Examples include:
Songs which feature only a repeated verse are in simple verse form (verse-chorus form without the chorus). Examples include:
and with a contrasting bridge:
Both simple verse-chorus form and simple verse form are strophic forms.