In a picture description, I would commonly use the present simple tense to describe things that are happening in the depicted situation, for instance: "In the right bottom corner of the picture, a man is entering the room." But I am not sure what tense to use when describing music. What of the following versions would you consider more adequate and natural?

  • "In the first chorus, another background voice comes in."


  • "In the first chorus, another background voice is coming in."

1 Answer 1


What you are describing in an analysis is timeless, so the present simple is the natural choice.

If you are describing a picture (or a piece of music) in which something is specifically happening at the moment depicted, then you can use the continuous: "There's a girl in a kitchen. She's reaching up trying to open a cupboard". But otherwise the present simple is normal.

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