How to Write a Song

Song is a piece of music, often incorporating lyrics and vocals. Its basic structure typically includes an intro, verses, pre-choruses and choruses, plus a bridge (and sometimes an outro). The music for a song can be any style, from rock and pop to country and folk. Some songs tell stories, such as the story of Coyotes and Cowboys by Montana songwriter Greg Keeler. Others focus on a specific place or time, such as the folk song Four Strong Winds by Martha Scanlan.

The Library of Congress’ collection contains a wide variety of songs from many different cultures and historical periods, spanning several centuries. You can find American folk songs, country and western songs, rap and hip hop songs, and even Broadway musicals.

There are as many ways to write a song as there are songwriters. Some use a formal process to organize their work, and the results tend to be better. This is especially true for writers who are serious about their craft, care about the quality of their work and seek to improve over time.

In other words, a writer who uses a consistent process will write more complete and high-quality songs, with fewer of them being shelved marked incomplete or dumped in the trash as bad ideas. It’s also important to understand that just because a songwriter follows a particular process doesn’t mean that her work is less creative or less genuine. Instead, following a process simply means that the songwriter is more organized and is able to focus on the work at hand rather than getting distracted by other concerns.