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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countenanced by a composer who aims at success. To start with, it shows weakness in thought, and lack of self-reliance, individuality and originality.
Reminiscence in a slight degree in "popular" melodies is often a benefit, as it assists popularity in a new song. The untrained listener, for example, feels that he or she has "heard something that began like that before"; but it is so disguised that one cannot recall just precisely what it is like. Curiosity is thus aroused, the gentle critic keeps humming your melody in an effort to discover its original source, and the more it is hummed, or discussed, the closer it gets towards that much desired goal—Popularity.
Bare-faced imitation in melodies or styles, never, as a rule, succeeds. The public is a tickle quantity, ever looking for something new which it devours quickly when found. Mo soouer is its appetite appeased, than it grows tired of its former food and seeks something with a new flavor. "Hia­watha" was new in idea: the name, the atmosphere, the rhythm were all new, and instantly, caught the public fancy. So tremendous a success was it that hundreds of writers, some good and many bad, lost no time in trying to secure financial benefit from this one new idea, and the musical market was Hooded with Indian intermezzos of every kind and description. The rest died, literally unhonored and ''un­sung."
Many seemingly poorly written songs have achieved the greatest kind of popularity, but in every case, if the songs are analyzed by anyone versed in such matters, it will be found that either in lyrics, melody, or both, an original and novel idea that appealed to public fancy has existed. It is the knowledge of these little originalities that are needed,
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III