An art song or "lied" is a poetry that has been placed to music (German variant). Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann are two composers noted for their art songs.
Art songs can be either vocal or instrumental. The term is generally used only when the work is intended to be performed by a singer. If it is an orchestral piece, it is called a tone poem. When the word art does not necessarily imply any form of representation, as in dance or drama, it can also refer to a literary composition. An example is James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which some consider to be a novel instead.
Set to music means that a poet's words have been written down and played by musicians instead of spoken by someone with an instrument. So, a poem set to music is also called a song cycle, or opera.
When you listen to a song cycle, you will usually hear several pieces of music that go with the poems. These are called movements. Each movement should be self-contained: it can be listened to as a whole without any connection to the others. However, many song writers like to repeat sections of songs, change keys, etc. all within one work. This makes music more interesting for listeners who like variety in what they listen to.
It is referred to be "musical" writing since the poet expresses deep experience via a distinct style and rhythm. "Musical" also describes any work that makes you feel like singing or dancing when you listen to it. Music has the power to move us, to make us laugh, cry, and celebrate with others. It is this last quality that makes music useful in poems: As an aid to remembrance, to express emotion, and to inspire hope or desire.
Poetry is all around us. From ancient myths and fairy tales to modern novels and plays, poetry is used to tell stories that would otherwise be impossible to communicate. Poets write about everything from the most intimate experiences to the grandest events in history. They appeal to our senses through imagery, metaphor, and diction. They can lift our hearts with their beauty or break them with their pain. Most important, poetry gives voice to what others may not speak, see, or hear. When we read poems, we are listening to these voices.
People have been composing poems since ancient times -- if not longer -- so it's no surprise that many songs are based on poems. Classical poets such as Homer, Virgil, and Shakespeare used meter and rhyme to create works that have lasted for hundreds of years.
A ballad, such as the Ballad of the Harp Weaver, is another type of narrative poetry. Ballad poems have a song-like aspect to them and may easily be sung to a melody in addition to presenting a tale and having characters. A rhyme system or a chorus is also popular. They often include music boxes, paintings, or other decorative elements.
Narrative poems that use music as well as words to tell a story are called cantos. Cantos usually have three stanzas of four lines each. The first two stanzas usually end with an incomplete rhyme while the third stanza has a complete rhyme at the end. Between the first and second stanzas is a short section called a tercet where the poet describes something minute but important for the story.
Cantos were originally written for voice and instruments but today they are usually done as music alone. In fact, some cantos are even performed without any words at all!
Music affects how we think and feel. When you listen to music you get into a mood so a poet could use this to their advantage when writing a canto. For example, if you want to show someone being angry you could write a canto with angry notes on the piano. If you wanted to show joy you could do the same thing but with happy notes instead. Music is powerful enough to make anyone feel something whether they want to or not!
A stanza, or verse, in music is a poetry rendered to music with a recurrent pattern of rhyme and meter. A "strophic" song (as opposed to a "through-composed" song) is made of multiple stanzas or verses arranged to music that is the same or similar with each stanza. This is a common trend in hymns. A single poem may be given several versions in different styles of music - a cantata or oratorio.
There are many ways to divide a musical composition into stanzas. The most obvious one is by lines of music with a strong accent on the final note; these form the basis for most bar charts. But also multi-line poems can be divided up into stanzas, for example by following the pattern of strong and weak syllables in the source text.
The term "stanza" comes from Italian word meaning "a standing," i.e., a series of lines forming a single unit. Originally, a stanza was any group of verses in a medieval Latin work or modern European language schoolbook. Today, the term usually refers to an English or German poetic lineation consisting of three lines of equal length called dimeters (two pairs of syllables). However, other lengths of lines are often included in stanzas, such as tetrameters (four pairs of syllables), pentameters (five pairs), etc.