Lyric, from Latin lyrĭcus, it’s a literary genre in which the author expresses his feelings and intends to awaken similar feelings in the reader or listener. The lyric is usually expressed through works in verse, appropriate for singing.

The notion of lyric is linked to the lira, a string instrument that was used to accompany the recitals of this type of poetry. The lyrical works are subjective, they are written in the first person and reflect the intimate experiences and beliefs of the author.


The lyric, as a literary genre, is based on feelings.

Characteristics of the lyric

The lyrical genre is composed of the lyrical speaker (who expresses his feelings), the lyrical object (the entity or the situation that awakens the feelings of the poet, expressed through the lyrical speaker), the lyrical motif (the theme of the play) and the lyrical attitude (the way in which the speaker expresses his feelings: it can be an enunciative, appellative or carmine attitude). The author puts a state of mind on the sheet, that is why it is said that his job it arises from introspection.

The verses of the lyric can have different amounts of syllables. Works that have verses of between two and eight syllables are considered minor art. The major art, on the other hand, involves verses with nine or more syllables.

In everyday language, the lyric is that which promotes in the mind a feeling similar to that produced by lyrical poetry. For instance: “The lyrics of football can be seen at the feet of Lionel Messi”.

Origins of this literary genre

If we go back to Aristotelian Poetics, on the other hand, we do not find the concept of lyrical poetry, or of lyricism, as we know it today. Precisely, the term lyrical It only began to be used around the end of the 15th century, and its meaning was linked to the music, as mentioned above.

In a more strict sense, lyrical poetry is that of Greco-Latin origin of antiquity with genres such as elegy. Some of the most remote exponents were Pindar, Theocritus, Virgilio, Anacreonte, Cátulo and Horacio. This term can also be used to refer to the typical music of the troubadours and troubadours of the Middle Ages, as well as those who followed them in time, who sang themes of courtly love (expressed sincerely, chivalrous and noble), ballads, albas and layes.


Lyrical singing is part of what is known as classical music.

The lyric as song

The lyrical song, on the other hand, it is the set of techniques linked to the vocal repertoire of European classical music. Cecilia Bartoli, Franco Fagioli, Lisette Oropesa and Javier Camarena They are some of the main exponents of lyrical singing in recent decades. Regarding the past, we can mention Joan Sutherland, Nicolai Gedda, Maria Callas and Luciano Pavarotti.

It is also common for people to refer to lyrical singing simply by using the word lyric. In this way, we can find sentences such as the following: “I am convinced that the lyric has declined a lot since the 90s”, “One of the best things about lyric is that the singers are obliged to perform the pieces live”, «There are those who believe that the lyric elevates the song to much higher levels, but I believe that each type of music has its own value«.

Lyrical singing is characterized by the particular placement of the singers, which differs greatly from those used in various styles of popular music. While each singer has his own doorbell, academic music imposes certain rules for breathing and projection, which give rise to a kind of homogeneity among lyrical singers that is not heard in popular singers. However, no one would confuse Cecilia Bartoli with Joyce DiDonato, or Franco Fagioli with Philippe Jaroussky, two mezzo-sopranos and countertenors, respectively.