The Library’s Collection of Songs

A song is a musical composition that combines music and words to convey meaning or emotion. A song may be sung solo or with an accompaniment of any type. The Library’s collection of songs covers a wide range of genres, including folk songs and art songs. The collection includes a number of essays that discuss specific songs and their historical contexts. Other essays explore more general topics, such as the history of ragtime and the development of American popular song; while others focus on particular epochs, such as World War I and Popular Song; or individual styles, such as Lute Song.

In addition to the musical qualities of a song, lyrics can also be considered poetic works8. They often employ poetic techniques such as repetition, rhyme, and metaphors. For this reason, they can also serve as a window into a society’s shifting norms, emotions, and values9.

It is important to note that while all songs contain music, not all music is a song. The term music refers to any arrangement of sounds, whether instrumental or vocal. The distinction between song and music is the presence of lyrics.

In addition to the lyrics, a song can include any other musical elements such as melodies, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is also common for a song to feature a bridge section. These sections usually have different lyrics than the verse and chorus and start on a chord that is a departure from what the verse or chorus starts on. This is to make the transition between these parts more dramatic and to provide a sense of variation.