Blog Archives

Poets of Tin Pan Alley (notes on Furia’s book)

This blog entry is part of the series on book summaries. It is the notes that I made as I read through: Furia, Philip (1990) Poets of Tin Pan Alley: a history of America’s great lyricists, Oxford University Press, New

Posted in Books, Lyric writing

Songwriting – a bibliography

How do you learn songwriting from scratch? What should be included in Lesson 1 of a songwriting course? The answers depend on where you are starting from, where you want to get to, what kind of journey you are interested

Posted in Books Tagged with: , , ,

Tunesmith: inside the art of songwriting (notes on Webb’s book)

I have long believed that singers become better interpreters of a song if they understand how that song is put together. That means studying the lyrics just as text, ideas, rhetoric, rhyme, metaphor, form, unfolding of character and narrative, message,

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Sondheim on songwriting (2)

I have introduced Stephen Sondheim in my blog article ‘Stephen Sondheim on Songwriting (1)‘. This piece is a set of notes that I made on the book: Mark Eden Horowitz (2010) Sondheim on Music: Minor Details and Major Decisions (2nd edition), Scarecrow Press.

Posted in Books, Lyric writing, Music Theatre, Music writing / Composing

Sammy Cahn on Songwriting

Sammy Cahn (1913-1993) was a lyricist (who, like Oscar Hammerstein, preferred to call himself a lyrist) who collaborated successfully with the composers Saul Chaplin, James van Heusen and Jule Styne. He was nominated for 26 Oscars, and won four, for ‘Three Coins

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Stephen Sondheim on Songwriting (1)

If we want to understand something about songs, how they are written, and therefore how we should sing and perform them, who can we learn from? The musical dramatist Stephen Sondheim is superb craftsman as a lyricist, composer, songwriter, musical

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