Next Right wrote: What is the difference between a song and a hymn?
A song is a musical composition. Songs contain vocal parts that are performed, 'sang,' with the human voice and generally feature words (lyrics), commonly followed by other musical instruments (exceptions would be a cappella and scat songs). The words of songs are typically of a poetic, rhyming nature, although they may be religious verses or free prose. The words are the lyric.
Songs are typically for a solo, singer, though there may also be a duet, trio, or more voices (works with more than one voice to a part, however, are considered choral). Songs can be broadly divided into many different forms, depending on the criteria used. One division is between "art songs", "popular music songs", and "folk songs". Other common methods of classification are by purpose (sacred vs secular), by style (dance, ballad, Lieder, etc), or by time of origin (Renaissance, Contemporary, etc).
Colloquially, song is sometimes used as slang to refer to any music composition, even those without vocals. In European classical music, jazz, brass band, popular music, and many other musical styles however, this usage is considered incorrect. "Song" should only be used to describe a composition for the human vocals. In music styles that are predominantly vocal-based, a composition without vocals is often called an instrumental. A musical piece that may be either with or without vocals can be called a melody, a tune, or a composition.
Both articles were "cut and pasted" from WikipediaA hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity/deities, a prominent figure or an epic tale. The word hymn derives from Greek ὕμνος hymnos "a song of praise".
Hymenaios (also Hymenaeus, Hymenaues, or Hymen; Ancient Greek: Ὑμέναιος) was a Greek god of marriage ceremonies, inspiring feasts and song. He was celebrated in the ancient marriage song of unknown origin Hymen o Hymenae, Hymen delivered by G. Valerius Catullus, which both the terms hymn and hymen are derived from..
Ancient hymns include the Great Hymn to the Aten, composed by Pharaoh Akhenaten, and the Vedas, a collection of hymns in the tradition of Hinduism. The Western tradition of hymnody begins with the Homeric Hymns, a collection of ancient Greek hymns, the oldest of which were written in the 7th century BC, in praise of the gods of Greek mythology.
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