How To Write A Popular Song - online manual

A non-technical how-to-do it system for the aspiring song writer.

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CHAPTER I. Lyric-Writing
Different Styles of Songs.
To the ambitious amateur writer of song lyrics, more especially those that come under the head of "popular" songs, naturally arises the question, "What kind of a song shall I write to achieve fame and success?'' First of all, it is necessary that the writer acquaint himself with the various style or styles of song that happen to be in vogue. This, of course, can easily be ascertained, either by following the per­formances at the theatres, or by carefully noting the display of music at the stores. It is practically useless, of course, to write in a style or on a subject which has already run the gamut of "popular'' demand. For instance, the day of the rough Coon song, the Indian song, and several others, is tem­porarily over; and no matter how well written a song on such subjects as these may be, it will not "take" or be accepted by the public. Styles in songs change as quickly as those in ladies' millinery. Each seems to have a cycle which comes and goes, and whose length of life is only increased occasion­ally by the introduction of some new idea which is nu'rely wedged into the original style, or mode. One season Coon songs may be all the rage, then suddenly the simple love ballad sets the pace, only to give way in turn to something else that hits the fancy of a public that is always capricious in these matters, whatever it may be in others.
Some sudden National, or big public disturbance or sensa­tion, will bring about a demand and create an interest in err tain styles of song, where new ideas, or more often old ideas
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III