Songwriting. It’s a term we’ve all heard and used, whether we’re musicians, music lovers, or simply humming along to a catchy tune on the radio.
But what is songwriting, really? Is it merely the act of jotting down lyrics and composing a melody, or is there more to this art form than meets the eye?
Understanding Songwriting: More Than Words and Music
If we turn to the dictionary, songwriting is defined as ‘writing the music and words of songs.’ While this definition provides a broad understanding of the term, it hardly scratches the surface of the depth and intricacy involved in songwriting.
A more apt description might be: “The process in which a song is created using words and melody.”
The Dual Nature of Songwriting: Song vs. Writing
In essence, songwriting is a marriage of two components – the ‘song’ and the ‘writing.’ The ‘song’ represents the end product, the piece that listeners eventually hear and enjoy.
The ‘writing,’ on the other hand, is the process—the journey of creativity, introspection, and expression that leads to the song. Without the writing, there is no song. It’s as simple as that, yet it’s a concept that can often be overlooked.
The Common Misunderstanding: Unwritten Songs
In the world of music, it’s remarkable to think about how many songs go unwritten. Of course, we’re not talking about the number of songs that haven’t been composed, but rather those songs that haven’t been fully realised through the act of not writing.
You can discuss song components—verses, choruses, bridges, hooks—until you’re blue in the face, but without the physical act of writing, all that theory is meaningless.
Songwriting: A Discipline, A Meditation, A Way of Life
For myself, and many others, songwriting goes beyond the song itself. It’s a discipline, requiring consistency and dedication. It’s a form of meditation, demanding focus and introspection.
But above all, songwriting is a way of life. It encapsulates experiences, emotions, and perspectives, translating them into a medium that can be shared with others.
Without the process, the end result—the song—would not exist.
Looking Ahead: Developing Your Own Songwriting Process
So, how can you harness this understanding of songwriting and make it work for you? The answer lies in developing your own songwriting process.
Rather than waiting for a bolt of inspiration to strike, it’s about nurturing a consistent practice that allows you to explore your creativity.
In future articles, we’ll delve deeper into this topic and provide practical tips on how you can cultivate your own songwriting process.
In conclusion, songwriting is a complex, multifaceted art form. It’s more than just words set to music. It’s a process, a journey, and (as mentioned before) a way of life so whether you’re a seasoned songwriter or a newcomer to the craft, always remember that the essence of songwriting goes beyond the song itself.
It’s the process of writing—the journey that leads to the final product—that truly matters. So, pick up that pen, strike those keys, and let the music flow.