Music speaks to something deep inside us and has the power to influence our mood, thoughts, and actions. It can bring us back to a time or place. It can remind us of people we love or things we enjoy doing.
Music is a powerful form of expression that has helped people express their pain, sorrow, pleasure, and hope. And music writing is equally powerful. As an aspiring writer, you want your writing to have the same impact on its readers as music does for listeners. But how do you write about music?
Here are some steps for how you can write about music that will both teach you how to do it well and make your writing sound like a piece of music!
#1. Select The Title of Your Song
You can get an idea for the title of your song from anything that is around you. Once you have a good idea of what you want your title to be, you can tweak it over and over again till you come to the perfect title to produce a song with meaning.
#2. Write Down Melody
All songs have that part that remains transfixed in the listener’s mind. This is referred to as a hook. This tune can either be in the chorus, or a singing melody, or a brief instrumental part. For the hook to be recollected by the people listening to the song, it should be brief (ideally 2-3 to four bars in duration).
Before writing your hook, listen to some popular songs and get to know how the hooks worked very well. Then put your instrument, i.e. your voice, to jot down a hook.
#3. Select the Melody Framework
What follows after penning down your melody is the melody framework. This is also known as the tuned plan. The most common framework of any song is the intro, stanza, and chorus line. You can also include a bridge.
The bridge should be a brief harmonious catchphrase and it should have the song title. The chorus line comes in between the stanza and the refrain. You can also incorporate a musical instrument part. This can follow the chorus.
Since songs have different parts, you may want to play them repeatedly for you to get the right framework. This is what will eventually turn it into a beautiful rhythm because the sections will have a nice flow.
Check the duration of each division, and how one stanza fits in with the following stanza. There is no laid out rule on how you should arrange your stanza. You might for example start the tune with a refrain, or even a stanza. Do what works best for the tune.
#4. Write Down the Stanzas
The third step after writing the title, the hook, and the refrain is to write down the stanzas. You can choose to let your song narrate a story, or it can be equally unplanned.
Whichever route you choose to take, be keen on the audio and the lyrics. Pay attention to how the lyrics flow with the tune. As a songwriter, there are key things you need to be keen on, i.e. the rhythm, stress, and intonation of audio.
#5. Write Down a Bridge (optional)
When you want to link two parts (a verse and a chorus) of a song, you can use a bridge. It breaks the monotony of repetition from the other parts. Another way of thinking about it is, a bridge is a transitional part.
The bridge can be anything from controlling the keys differently or slightly changing the variation on what was there earlier. You can change the stanzas, tune, tempo, or harmony.
The purpose of adding this transition, or changing the keys, is to include attention and diversity. You could do these variations by adding half a step or a whole step, thereby increasing suspense and enjoyment in the tune.
You could choose the option where the bass and drums go silent (breakdown effect), or another musical instrument left out. This causes tension and curiosity, specifically if the musical instruments are played again. You can add them back one by one or together.
#6. Write Down The Lines
When composing a song, the most vital part of this process is writing the lines. If you have been doing this for some time, get to the next step of writing the lines to match the tune.
We talked about the rhythmic pattern earlier, which can impact the implication of the lyric and how the listeners will decode. Listen to songs you love and see how the words and tune fit in together to form the song.
You can either choose to write your lyrics or pay someone to write your paper as you concentrate on the harmony. Since there is no rule in writing music, the lines can be written beforehand or after the tune. Or you can write them simultaneously, or focus on one section and then move to the next section.
The main aim of writing the songs whether you choose to pay someone to write for you, or you do it yourself, is to ensure that it is seamless, and the mixture articulates the meaning of the song, it conveys the appropriate feelings, and it also drives and moves not only you but also your listeners.
When you are coming up with the tempo, ensure that the lyrics are fitting comfortably. Test this out by saying the words at a similar pace as it will be intonated.
#7. Demo Recording
When you are ready to record your song, you do not need to go to a studio to do the recording. There is some software you can use to produce a sound record that is professionally done. This can be saved to your computer. At this point, you are ready to get feedback from other people after they have listened.
If you don’t have any skill in playing a musical instrument, you will want to get someone to play the instruments for you when recording. It is also possible to lease the recording studio, but it will be more expensive.
After listening to the song, you may decide to add more instruments or remove some. The objective here is to make it enjoyable for the audience, and this can be achieved by combining different instruments.
#8. Listen and Tweak
The final step in writing music is listening to it over and over again. Get to know what fits and what doesn’t fit and correct it. Take a break of like a day or two and then listen again to see if it flows because fresh ears can listen differently. You can also learn a lot by reading books about songwriting. Different composers advise on how to write music successfully.