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Songwriting And Composing

Originally, I wanted to write on basic song composition techniques for songwriters, but then, I thought there might be some of you who don’t know what song composition is, so I decided to write on Songwriting and composing, first.

So, what does song composition entail?

Well, composing a song involves creating/ giving melody to a song. It could be done for an already existing lyrics written for a song, or it could be an entirely new work of musical creation to which lyrics could be added later. It could also just be a composition intended to be left without words and just enjoyed as instrumentals. People who only compose music are called composers. They do not write the words of the song; they only make the melody. Many modern music producers, especially hip pop and EDM producers, also double as composers.


Now, how about songwriting?

Songwriting is a complete process that involves writing the lyrics of a song and adding melody to it. In other words, songwriting involves song composition as well. Most musicians are songwriters; this means they write the lyrics of their songs themselves and also the melody to accompany the words. In some situations, a songwriting team is involved in writing a song. The team comprises of composers and other people called lyricists. Lyricists are people who only write the words of a song. Just like composers, they could write lyrics to fit an already existing melody or they could write lyrics completely independent of melody. However, in a songwriting team, both the composer and lyricist work hand-in-hand and after the song has been completed, both the composer and the lyricist are credited as co-songwriters.


So, between the lyrics and the melody, which should come first?

This varies from person to person. Some songwriters write the lyrics first, then add melody to it. Some others compose a melody first, then write words to fit the melody. There are others who do both at the same time; they compose as they write the words. A lot a rappers request for a beat from their producer, then write lyrics to fit the beat. In such a case, the producer is actually the composer while the rapper is the lyricist, meaning that both the rapper and the producer should be accredited as the songwriters.

Personally, being more of a composer, I compose melody first and then write words to fit the melody but I know people who write the lyrics first before adding melody to them. It all depends on the songwriter.

Now you know that songwriting involves both composing and writing lyrics. So, next time you address yourself as a songwriter, know that you are expected to double as both a lyricist and a composer.

I hope you have learnt something new today? You can check out other articles I’ve written here.

By the way, my survey on ‘Depression among Musicians’ is still on. If you have not answered the survey questions yet, please hit the link below and answer them. I promise it won’t take more than five minutes of your time. And the results will go a long way in helping other musicians. TAKE THE SURVEY HERE


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