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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Production Songs.
Under this heading we will also include songs written for particular singers and artists. The term "production" song is used to denote a composition that is in all salient features most particularly adapted for use in a theatrical or musical production. It usually demands scenic surround­ings, use of calcium or moonlight effects, etc., and is written with a view to the introduction of certain stage business or costume effects to be used by the singer or chorus behind the soloist. Or, again, it may involve the use of certain "properties" ("props") to insure its successful rendition. A publisher does not launch such songs on the public through the channel of ordinary advertisement or through the still more valuable advertising medium of the vaudeville stage or other public use. The demand for songs of this class is wholly created by their being placed in some metro­politan production, which if successful, tours the large cities of the country after the metropolitan run is concluded. Some well known artist renders the song and becomes in a large degree associated with it. The excellent "production" of the song, if meritorious, creates a quick demand for it on the part of the public, the melody is played in the cafes, hotels and restaurants, consequently becomes immensely popular, and finally is sung by everybody.
In writing "production" songs, both the writer of the lyrics and composer of the music must exercise considerable ingenuity and originality in devising a novelty, suggesting some pretty scene, calling for the introduction of striking and novel stage business. The words must be unusually catchy and the music haunting to the ear. It is beyond the scope of this brief treatise to enter into the numberless
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III