chorus

chorus

[kawr-uhs, kohr-]
chorus, in the drama of ancient Greece. Originally the chorus seems to have arisen from the singing of the dithyramb, and the dithyrambic chorus allegedly became a true dramatic chorus when Thespis in the 6th cent. B.C. introduced the actor. First the chorus as a participating actor tied the histrionic interludes together; later, as a narrator, it commented on the action and divided it, creating acts. And as tragedy developed the chorus shrank in size and actors increased in number. Aeschylus began with a chorus of 50, but the number was soon decreased to 12. Sophocles used a chorus of 15. In the 3d cent. B.C. the comic chorus contained only seven persons and in the 2d cent. B.C. only four, the tragic chorus having disappeared altogether. The chorus had ceased to play a vital part in the drama; Euripides assigned to it lyrics not necessarily integrated with the action. Ultimately it was dispensed with in comedy as well.
chorus, in music, large group of singers performing in concert; a group singing liturgical music is a choir. The term chorus may also be used for a group singing or dancing together in a musical or in ballet. By extension it can also mean the refrain of a song. Choral music stems from religious and folk music, both usually having interspersed singing. The chorus as a musical form is integral to opera, and since the 19th cent. it has also been integrated into compositions such as the symphony. Some modern choral groups, such as the Welsh singers, groups presenting spirituals, and the Don Cossack singers, continue the folk-chorus tradition. Others are intentionally formed to present all sorts of group vocal works. Choral societies grew numerous in the 19th cent., especially in Great Britain, the United States, and Germany. Some are created for special purposes, such as festival choruses, many oratorio societies, social and school groups (including glee clubs), and the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Pa. In the United States, two men who did much to promote choral singing in the 19th cent. were William Billings and Theodore Thomas. After 1940 there was a marked increase in the popularity of choral groups, usually organized for stage performance; some of these specialize in concert versions of opera.

In theatre, a group of actors, singers, or dancers who perform as an ensemble to describe and comment on a play's action. Choral performances, which originated in the singing of dithyrambs in honour of Dionysus, dominated Greek drama until the mid-5th century BC, when Aeschylus added a second actor and reduced the chorus from 50 to 12 performers. As the importance of individual actors increased, the chorus gradually disappeared. It was revived in modern plays such as Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra (1931) and T.S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral (1935). Choruses of singers and dancers came to be featured in musical comedies, especially in the 20th century, first as entertainment and later to help develop the plot.

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Verse-chorus-verse may refer to:

Either of 2 songs by American rock band Nirvana:
Written by Kurt Cobain

  • "Verse Chorus Verse", a never-completed Nevermind outtake
  • "Sappy", removed at the last minute from In Utero and placed on No Alternative instead

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