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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lent melody. It is quite possible to combine humor and mel-lody; indeed, a little care and thought will often enable the composer to absolutely echo in his music the laugh of the line to which it is set. Little things like this sometimes make all the difference between a hopeless failure and a big money-making success.
The verse and refrain should be short. A long drawn out verse and refrain is nearly always detrimental to the success of a comic or topical song. Come to the point quick­ly and let it be really amusing and comical. Finally, don't write a comic song without a comic idea. This is a common mistake that a lot of well-intentioned persons fall into, with the result that their songs are comical without being comic. This is a distinction not without a difference.
High Class Ballads and Sacred Songs.
The arrangement of the accompaniment for songs in this class should not be attempted by the amateur. A consider­able technical and theoretical knowledge is required for this work if the ultimate result is to be of any artistic worth at all.
The best plan is to get some thorough professional ar­ranger to do this work in all cases. The amateur may be capable enough in the composition of the melody by the exercise of due care regarding range, phrasing, etc., but here his ambition should cease until he has a practical knowledge of harmony and composition at his fingers' ends. A thor­ough course in harmony, composition and thorough bass should be undertaken before attempting accompaniments to these styles of songs.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III