What Is a Song?

The song is a unit of music and words that can be performed live or recorded, either as an independent work or within other forms like operas, plays and Broadway musicals. It can also appear in television shows, films and video games. Songs are typically three minutes long or longer, and they can include a variety of genres.

Songs can have the lyrics or music come first, but the most important thing is that they work well together. The songwriter must have a strong idea of what they want to say, and then use their own personal style to create something that will touch other people.

For a songwriter, it is best to start with a melody or central chorus, then develop the lyrics that will go with it. Generally, a good way to test a song is to play it for someone who can give an honest opinion and whose opinions you value. Then you can make the necessary changes until it is perfect.

Song can be as varied and interesting as the cultures that sing them. Irish folk songs, African storytelling songs and Christian hymns are all very different from one another, yet they all fall under the same general category. Despite these differences, they have many things in common: They all contain a combination of melodies and lyric. Copyright protects both the melody and lyrics of a song, so that they cannot be copied or used without the permission of the authors.