I'm looking for a word (if such exists) for the opening of a song.

Specifically, the part before the singer starts singing the lyrics, often a 30 seconds to 1 minute solo instrumental at the beginning of the song. Like how the word kick-off, is used for conversation.

Does such a word exist?

  • 4
    If the intro is just a couple of notes, it's usually called a "pickup", or anacrusis. – isanae Mar 21 '17 at 13:23
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    ....The opening – AmE speaker Mar 23 '17 at 1:11
  • The word you are looking for is "prelude" see e.g.: dictionary.com/browse/prelude (unfortuantely I do not have enough reputation for a real answer since the question has been protected) – Jens Mar 23 '17 at 15:46

Just to expand on Josh's answer: the term introduction is mostly used in the shortened form: intro, especially when it comes to contemporary music.

  • 3
    As in "Beat the intro" quizzes where you have to guess the name of the song before the words start. – TripeHound Mar 21 '17 at 13:16
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    Also of note, the instrumental ending of a song is often referred to as the "outro", despite "outroduction" not being an actual word. – Harrison Paine Mar 21 '17 at 14:44
  • Worth noting that even though they sound the same, the etymology for in is not the same for introduction. That is why @HarrisonPaine is correct. – Mindwin Mar 21 '17 at 20:44
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    This answer is more correct (which is to say more common place) than the accepted answer. – Pharap Mar 22 '17 at 1:13
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    @HarrisonPaine: And musical bits between verses are sometimes "midtros". – supercat Mar 22 '17 at 13:40


  • a preliminary part, as of a book, musical composition, or the like, leading up to the main part.


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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – tchrist Mar 22 '17 at 21:21

It's referred to as the overture; that's specifically an instrumental opening.

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    Thanks @ulatekh - from what I understand overture applies on opera music, so it could be the alternative choice for intro when talking about that type of music. – Mr. Robot Mar 23 '17 at 9:36
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    Well, that or pretentious rock songs -- Rush's 2112 album begins with a song called "Overture", and Electric Light Orchestra has a song called "10538 Overture". Disclaimer: I'm huge fans of both those bands. – ulatekh Mar 23 '17 at 15:01

protected by tchrist Mar 22 '17 at 0:26

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