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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lines to the rhythm of some more or less tangible melody that exists in their minds, without their being able to act­ually materialize it. It is therefore advisable, when present­ing your lyrics to a composer of music, to either hum the words to your melody—or rather, the swing of what would be your melody if properly developed—or recite them just in the way they would be sung. By this means the composer is enabled to readily grasp your own idea of the proper lilt .and rhythm of your verse. In quite a number of cases, a set of words is capable of being read in half a dozen different ways, so far as regards their "swing." In others, to the com­poser, they seem to have no rhythmic swing at all, until their originator comes along and solves the little puzzle. Com­posers should take heed of this, because any sign of halting In a melody makes the song at once seem unnatural or un­finished, and it suffers accordingly. To show how easy it sometimes is to find different methods of setting the music to a set of words, one has only to recall the example once given by the famous composer, Sir Arthur Sullivan. Every one knows that for lyric-writing Mr. W. S. Gilbert, his col­laborator, has never yet been equalled. Yet, when the latter wrote the lyric, "Were I Thy Bride," from the opera, 'The Yeomen of the Guard," Sir Arthur showed he could have composed music to it in no less than eight entirely different styles of rhythm. Mr. Gilbert only had one in his mind; the composer found eight, all of them equally good.
The advantages of mutual consultation and help between the composer and writer of words are many, but that just referred to is the most important.
When authors discover composers or composers unearth authors who prove clever and successful, it is as well that they form a "team," or parthership, and write exclusively to-
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III