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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sequently the composer must exercise discretion in placing his melody for the song in question in a range most adapted to the proper rendition of the song and melody. The above remarks are, perhaps, more important as applied to songs coming under the heads of high, class ballads, sacred songs, and those especially written for certain artists.
For the accepted various classes of popular songs, such as Home, or Mother songs, Waltz, Coon, March songs, etc., there is practically a set limit of range, which is generally between "C" below the staff, and "E" on the stall'. Thus:
Very rarely should a popular melody be set below or above these notes. The reason for this is, of course, that popular songs are, for the most part, sung by the masses, who, as a whole, do not possess cultivated voices, and the natural, untrained voice cannot produce tones outside of the range given without great effort. Whatever is an effort in the production or rendition of a popular song should be eliminated before its public appearance. Moreover, the range of notes given is ample for any effective melody. Some of the tunes that have existed for centuries—the old "folk songs" of many lands—have all been encompassed within a much more restricted range than the example quoted. In­deed, many of the more popular songs of the day have melo­dies that are comprised within six notes, say, "E" to "C," both on the staff.
Popular songs written in the keys which have sharps (the sign for which is # ) for their signature are not in favor, excepting the key of G Major, which has one sharp, P, for its signature. Experience has. shown that for some
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III