What Is a Song?


A song is poetry set to music (or, less commonly, the musical sound a bird makes can also be called a song). Most songs have a melody and lyrics and they are usually accompanied by chords, rhythm or beat. Some also have different sections (usually verses, choruses and a bridge). Most songs are performed by vocalists, either solo or in groups of two or more (duets, trios, etc.).

Songs can be remarkable in a number of ways, including their musical qualities and lyrics. They may also be notable for their association with a specific cultural moment or for addressing themes that are of timeless interest. Some songs become notable due to their use in particular media or for their commercial success.

To write a song, it is important to find inspiration. This can come from literature, a film or television scene, another song, a piece of art, a person, food, or a particular place. Some songwriters suggest that it is best to start with a melodic idea or a chord progression, and then write the lyrics around this. It is also suggested that it is helpful to have an instrument close by in order to experiment with different chords, so as to find the best combination that matches the melody and the lyrics.

Songs can be categorized by several characteristics, but it is important to note that a characteristic does not necessarily qualify as defining for all songs; for example, ‘conducted-by’ might define classical music works but it rarely qualifies as a defining characteristic of rock or pop songs. In addition, a single work might be categorized in multiple categories based on its sales certification status; see WP:CATEGORY for more information.