I noticed some songs having this effect1, almost always rock/pop ones: A singer just finishes singing a verse, and meanwhile a (the same or another one) singer starts singing another one.

This effect is especially visible in this song: Bon Jovi - This house is not on sale, for example at this point (between the boldened verses):

Where memories live and the dream don't fail.
This house is not for sale.
Coming ho-o-o-o-ome,

coming home.

What is this effect1 called?

1: I'm calling it an 'effect' because I don't know how else to call it. Feel free to edit.

1 Answer 1


(For future readers, the example cited by the OP begins at around the 0:52 mark, though it returns throughout the song.)

When I first read your question, my immediate thought was elision. This term, taken from linguistics, basically suggests an overlap of two thoughts. As one thought ends, either the next thought has already begun or it begins at precisely the same moment that the previous thought ended.

With that said, Bon Jovi actually finishes "not for sale" about halfway through the measure (the "and" of beat two) and the back-up singers begin "Coming home" on beat 4, so they don't actually overlap.

Thus, this seems to just be normative practice, and I don't think there's a special term for it. One thing ends, and another thing begins...business as usual!

But in the case of overlap (which might be what you're thinking of), I would call it elision.


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