What is a Song?

A song is a combination of melody and lyrics, with a rhythm or beat. Songs can be instrumental (such as a soaring violin solo or funky bass line), they can include spoken word poetry with a beat (think Rap or Hip-Hop), or they may not have any words at all, but just beautiful melodies and rhythms (as in classical music pieces like Franz Schubert’s Songs Without Words, or Gabriel Faure’s kaleidoscopic harmonies).

Songs are the bards of our emotions – they tell stories, evoke feelings, and make us want to tap our feet or belt out the lyrics like rockstars (even if we sound like walrus gargling marbles). They can be a simple rhythmic repetition of a theme, such as in the chanting of ancient religious rituals or in traditional folk songs, or they can be a complex musical composition.

Many songs are based on historical events or current affairs, and some are simply meant to entertain. Other songs are meant to inspire, evoke emotional responses or even to change our moods. Songs can also function as an encoded yet direct channel of communication between the conscious and the subconscious, influencing everything from molecular formations to the workings of gravitational energy.

When writing a song it’s important to remember the motivation behind what you are doing. Are you writing for fame, money or artistic achievement? It’s often easy to get caught up in the creative process and lose sight of the reasons you started writing in the first place.