How Are Verse Melodies Different than Chorus Melodies?: A Katy Perry Corpus Study

Brian Edward Jarvis, University of Texas at El Paso

This corpus study explores the distinctions between verse and chorus melodies in four Katy Perry albums. This data-driven approach compares relative relationships within a song and abstract relationships with all choruses considered as one group and all verses as another. Analyzing pitch mean, duration, range, ambitus, loudness, and contour, the study identifies patterns in formal identity. While confirming expectations, such as higher pitch mean in choruses, it reveals a complex landscape of exceptions. This multi-parameter analysis challenges conventional assumptions and lays preliminary steps for understanding melodic properties in verse-chorus forms.