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Chorus vs. Choir: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 11, 2023
A chorus is a group of singers in a musical performance or the refrain in a song, while a choir is a group of singers who perform together, usually in church music.

Key Differences

A chorus refers to a large group of singers performing together in a concert or opera, often including both genders. Choirs are groups of singers, typically associated with churches or schools, performing religious or formal music.
In musical terminology, a chorus is also the part of a song repeated after each verse. A choir, however, does not pertain to a song's structure but to the group of singers themselves.
The term chorus can be used in both secular and religious contexts, implying a collective singing group. Choirs are often linked to religious worship and ceremonies, with a strong tradition in church music.
Chorus can denote a group of singers in a musical theater production, providing background or support vocals. A choir is a more formal assembly of singers, often trained and organized for specific types of performances.
In a chorus, the emphasis is often on the harmony and unison of voices in a large group. In contrast, choirs may focus on complex arrangements and may be divided into sections based on vocal range, like soprano, alto, tenor, and bass.

Comparison Chart


Group of singers in performance or a song's refrain
Group of singers, typically in religious contexts


Both secular and religious, broader use
Often associated with church music or formal singing

Structure in Music

Refers to a part of a song
Refers to the group of singers


Concerts, operas, musical theater
Churches, schools, formal events

Vocal Arrangement

Emphasis on harmony and unison
Complex arrangements, divided by vocal range

Chorus and Choir Definitions


A group of singers performing together.
The chorus received applause for their performance.


A group of singers, often associated with a church.
The church choir sang hymns during the service.


A simultaneous utterance by a crowd.
A chorus of boos erupted from the audience.


Singers trained in choral music.
The choir showcased impressive vocal skills.


The harmonious part of a musical composition.
The chorus of the piece was beautifully harmonized.


A group of singers organized for singing together.
The school choir practiced for their annual concert.


The refrain or repeatable part of a song.
The chorus of the song was catchy and memorable.


A section of an orchestra for vocalists.
The choir stood ready to perform their part.


Singers supporting the main performers in an opera.
The opera’s chorus added depth to the performance.


A collective term for singers in a group.
The choir’s harmony was exceptional.


A group of singers who perform together, usually singing multi-part compositions with more than one singer for each part.


An organized company of singers, especially one performing church music or singing in a church.


A group of vocalists and dancers who support the soloists and leading performers in operas, musical comedies, and revues.


The part of a church used by such a company of singers.


A musical composition usually in four or more parts written for a large number of singers.


The part of the chancel in a cruciform church that is occupied by this company of singers.


A refrain in a song, especially one in which the soloist is joined by other performers or audience members.


Can chorus refer to a song part?

Yes, it can refer to the refrain in a song.

What is a chorus in music?

A chorus is a group of singers or the repeatable part of a song.

Are all members of a chorus professional singers?

Not necessarily; they can range from amateurs to professionals.

What defines a choir?

A choir is a group of singers, often associated with church or formal singing.

Is a chorus always part of a group?

In musical terms, yes, it refers to a group of singers.

Is a choir always religious?

No, but it is commonly associated with religious contexts.

What's the role of a chorus in opera?

They provide background and support vocals.

Can choirs sing non-religious music?

Yes, choirs can perform various music styles.

Are choir performances always formal?

Not always, but they tend to lean towards formal settings.

How is a choir organized?

Choirs are often organized by vocal ranges like soprano, alto, tenor, and bass.

Can a chorus include soloists?

Yes, a chorus can feature soloists alongside the group.

Can chorus be used in pop music?

Yes, many pop songs have a chorus section.

What type of music do choirs perform?

Choirs perform a wide range, from classical to modern pieces.

How do choruses contribute to musical theater?

They provide vocal support and enhance the overall performance.

What's the difference in singing style between a chorus and choir?

Choruses often focus on unison and harmony, while choirs may have more complex arrangements.

Do choirs need to audition members?

Some choirs hold auditions to ensure a certain level of skill.

Can a chorus perform without instruments?

Yes, choruses can perform a cappella, without instrumental accompaniment.

Can anyone join a choir?

Most choirs are open to varying levels of skill and experience.

Do choirs always sing in harmony?

Typically, yes, harmony is a key aspect of choir singing.

Are choir members always adults?

No, there are choirs for all ages, including children's choirs.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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