Song material generally comes deep from within the soul of the songwriter and often combines elements of the songwriter’s regional roots and his or her personal experience. Songs can be composed of distinctive rhythms and unique sounds. Song lyrics, however, most often provide the most noted material for songs.
Song material is often geared by the artist toward particular genres of music that are of interest or are familiar to the artist, i.e., country, gospel, pop, blues, folk, etc. Material for a song can be of a wistful, lonesome nature, it can be light and triumphant, or it can convey a distinctly moody sensibility. Many songwriters will begin with a poem or a melody they wrote and begin to embellish it further, just letting their mind free-flow.
There are, however, some reasons other than personal for writing songs. For instance, commercial music is written for one purpose, to advertise something. It wouldn’t do very well for the song material in a commercial tune to neglect the name of the product! Other times, musical composers have arranged a piece of music for an orchestra, but may not yet have lyrics to complete the song material.
Those who write the songs they sing do not always follow particularly characteristic formulas and subjects. In Western music, songs have almost always had a melodic introduction, verse, chorus, and repetitions thereof. But in the 1960s, singers who were also songwriters, like Bob Dylan and the Beatles, came along and challenged all the rules, bringing fresh expression, new subjects, and, in other ways, original song material into the pop spotlight.
New songs are being developed by established and emerging artists every day, as well as covers of older, established songs. Newbies to the art of writing songs may feel that they have no outlet. There are, however, producers and publishers of song material that are seeking new ideas, new works, new artists, and new names to add to their songwriter stables.
Taking the initiative in finding a place for putting forth new song material is crucial to getting a foot in the door of the music industry today, and requests for new musical works can be found in music publications and on the Internet simply by searching for them. Competitions are popular formats for getting new songwriters their due recognition.
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