What is Interlude in Music? What is its Purpose?

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Imagine a song with the same melody throughout. The intro, the chorus, and the outro—all with the same tune and without any pauses. Wouldn’t you agree that it would be tedious? That is how important interludes are in music.

According to the dictionary, an “interlude” is defined as an intervening period, or, in simple words, an “interval.”

In the context of music, an “interlude” means that section of the song where instruments create an “interval” and connect the forthcoming part of the song. There is no defined duration for how long an interval lasts.

The majority of the interludes are instrumental. However, in some cases, vocal elements are incorporated as well. This brings us to the next part of our discussion:

What are the different kinds of interludes?


The hook of a song serves as its climax. It is sometimes in tune and sometimes with lyrics, but mostly it’s a mixture of both. Hooks are short and have a catchy melody that is calculatedly distributed throughout the song. An interlude can also be a hook acting as a transition between verses.


A bridge is the contrasting part of a song that prepares listeners for a return to the original tune. There is often a change of melody and tempo in bridges. Interludes are used as bridges when the composer or songwriter intends to shift the mood of the song.


An outro denotes the ending of any song or composition. It is where the entire music concludes, and there is a sense of closure in it. The use of interludes as an outro is quite interesting. These can usually be found in albums when there is a change from one song to the next.


Using a song as an interlude is another common practice employed by album artists. For obvious reasons, it is not a full-length song. Rather, it has a much shorter duration than the other songs on the album.

What are the different uses of interludes?

  • Interludes help in the transition from one section of the song to the other, for instance, from one melody to another.
  • When composers want to introduce a climatic element in their composition, they use interludes.
  • Interludes also come in handy if and when the song demands a change of mood.
  • If the tempo or rhythm of the song needs to change, it can be done smoothly with the help of an interlude.

What art forms make use of interludes?


Many times, playwrights allot some time for musical breaks. Interludes in dramas and plays can be found between act shifts. They also play a huge role in uplifting the mood of the viewers.


Quite like in dramas, there are musical interludes in operas to segue between scenes. Usually, these interludes are light in melody and tone. Because of their distinctive nature, composers use these interludes to give an emotional break to the audience.

Religious services

Musical interludes have been a long-practiced tradition in churches. They come in the form of choirs that help separate the scripture readings from hymns. At times, organists also play interludes in these services to augment the devotion and prayers of visitors.

TV and Films

The use of songs as interludes in movies is the perfect example here. These songs do a great job of highlighting the connection between the characters, the context of the scenes, and the overall theme of the screenplay.


Interludes in wedding music aren’t simply a single performance; rather, they’re a collection of songs played or sung while no one is speaking at the event while a current presentation is taking place. The interlude music is mainly for the guests’ enjoyment while they interact during happy hour, in between courses of service, or during downtime at the reception.

Jennifer Max


Hi, I’m Jennifer I’m a passionate singer and an audiophile from Detroit, MI. 

I’m on a mission to help music creators to create fine music that help them position uniquely in the saturated music space.

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