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Encyclopedia > Song writer

A songwriter is someone who writes either the lyrics or the music for songs. The same person may write both. Writing the music is also called composition. Sometimes the word composer is used interchangeably with the word songwriter though, strictly speaking, they are not quite the same thing.

The word is used most usually when talking about popular songs, although is sometimes used when talking about art songs as well; it is true to say that Franz Schubert, for example, was a songwriter, even if it isn't something which is said very often.

Songwriters may sing the songs they write themselves, or may write for somebody else to sing. People who sing their own songs are nowadays typically called singer-songwriters, although the tradition of doing this dates back hundreds of years. It is often speculated that pre-historic man must have made up and sung songs. More recently, the troubadors of the middle ages sang their own work, as did the German Minnesingers.

Most art song writing is written for somebody other than the composer to perform, although it is known that Schubert often sang his own songs at private parties, and there have been a number of composers who were also singers and wrote for themselves, Carl Loewe being one example.

Many modern rock and roll bands have one or two songwriters, often members of the band. In many cases, the lead singer one of the song writers.

There have been quite a few popular songwriting teams such as the Tamla Motown team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland and the teams of Lennon and McCartney, Lerner and Loewe, George and Ira Gershwin and Rogers and Hart.

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Michael Smith -- Song Writer (342 words)
Hearing the songs of Michael Smith in this day and age is like reading an anthology of short stories by Hemingway after decades of only comic books.
It's a realization that songs can hold a whole lot more than they're usually expected to hold, that they can possess a genuine sense of place as evocative and magical as the finest literature...
His songs are so resonant in layers of myth and magic, and so perfectly enhanced by the genuine beauty of his melodies and instrumental arrangements, that you can listen to a single one over and over for an afternoon and feel satisfied.
  More results at FactBites »



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