In composing music, you follow certain rhythm forms. These musical forms outline placement for accented and unaccented beats that form a pattern for a passage or for a whole piece. The following list offers a handy guide to the different parts in different types of compositions:

  • One part form: A, AA, AAA, and so on

  • Binary form: AB, AABB

  • Ternary/tertiary form: ABA, AABA

  • Arch form: ABCBA

  • Sonata: ABA

  • Rondo: ABACADAEAF

  • 8-bar blues: I, IV, I, VI, ii, V, I, V/I (turnaround)

  • 12-bar blues: I, I, I, I, IV, IV, I, I, V, IV, I, V/I (turnaround)

  • 16-bar blues: I, I, I, I, IV, IV, I, I, V, IV, V, IV, V, IV, I, V/I (turnaround)

  • 24-bar blues: 8xI, 4xIV, Ix4, V, V, IV, IV, I, I, I, V/I (turnaround)

  • Verse-chorus form (pop music): Intro ABACBCB