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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for doubt as to where the prelude and accompaniment for the second verse really start.
"Popular" March Songs.
These are invariably written in either 2-4, Common (C or 4-4) time, or 6-8 time.
The introduction, if in 2-4 time, may be eight or sixteen measures in length ending with the dominant or seventh chord. It should lead into a simple "vamp" of two meas­ures, marked "Till Ready." If in Common or 4-4 time, it should be four or eight measures, and finish in the same manner. If in 6-8 time, eight or occasionally sixteen meas­ures may be written, the conclusion being either the domi­nant chord, leading directly into the verse melody, or into a simple, straight "vamp" of two measures, marked "Till Ready."
The theme of the introduction is generally founded on certain of the catchiest measures of the song, preferably the last strain of the chorus, as this acts as an effective variant as well as an appropriate interlude between the first chorus and the second verse.
The construction of the verse should be as follows: If in 2-4 time 32 measures in length, If in 4-4 time 16 measures in length. If in 6-8 time 16 or 32 measures in length.
The refrain should consist of a corresponding number of measures, except in rare cases. First and second endings should be given here also for repeats, as the D.S., or D.C. signs, exactly as explained in a previous paragraph.
In the accompaniments to 2-4 movements, the melody is usually placed in the right hand, in an easy playable form so as to uphold the voice with plain octaves where force or brilliancy is desired in the refrain, as already mentioned.
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