Lyricist

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A lyricist or lyrist is a songwriter who writes lyrics—words for songs—as opposed to a composer, who writes the song's music which may include but not limited to the melody, harmony, arrangement and accompaniment.

Contents

Royalties

A lyricist's income derives from royalties received from original songs. Royalties may range from 50 per cent of the song if it was written primarily with the composer, or less if they wrote the song in collaboration. Songs are automatically copyrighted as soon as they are in tangible forms, such as a recording or sheet music. However, before a song is published or made public, its author or publisher should register it with the Copyright Office at the US Library of Congress to better protect against copyright infringement.[ citation needed ]

Collaboration

Collaboration takes different forms. Some composers and lyricists work closely together on a song, with each having an input into both words and tune. Usually a lyricist fills in the words to a tune already fully written out. Dorothy Fields worked in this way. [1] Lyricists have often added words to an established tune, as Johnny Burke did with the Erroll Garner jazz standard "Misty". [2] Some partnerships work almost totally independently, for example, Bernie Taupin writes lyrics and hands them over to Elton John, who then sets them to music, with minimum interaction between the two men. [3]

Religious songwriting

In the Christian hymn-singing tradition, many of the popular pieces have words written to fit existing melodies. The Christmas carol "What Child Is This?" had its words set to an old English folk tune that had been a lover's lament, "Greensleeves". The English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams famously set existing poems, by men like William Cowper and Charles Wesley, to traditional folk tunes to create hymns, many of which he published in The English Hymnal . A different way this happened was the marriage of unrelated words and tune, a well-known example being "The Star-Spangled Banner", the national anthem of the United States, with words written by Francis Scott Key strictly as a poem, which was later set to the tune of an old drinking song.[ citation needed ]

Classical music

In opera, the librettist is responsible for all text, whether spoken or sung in recitative or aria.[ citation needed ]

See also

Related Research Articles

Song Musical composition for human voice

A song is a musical composition intended to be performed by the human voice. This is often done at distinct and fixed pitches (melodies) using patterns of sound and silence. Songs contain various forms, such as those including the repetition and variation of sections.

Lyrics are words that make up a song, usually consisting of verses and choruses. The writer of lyrics is a lyricist. The words to an extended musical composition such as an opera are, however, usually known as a "libretto" and their writer, as a "librettist". The meaning of lyrics can either be explicit or implicit. Some lyrics are abstract, almost unintelligible, and, in such cases, their explication emphasizes form, articulation, meter, and symmetry of expression. Rappers can also create lyrics that are meant to be spoken rhythmically rather than sung.

Musical composition Original piece or work of music, either vocal or instrumental, the structure of a musical piece

Musical composition, music composition or simply composition, can refer to an original piece or work of music, either vocal or instrumental, the structure of a musical piece or to the process of creating or writing a new piece of music. People who create new compositions are called composers. Composers of primarily songs are usually called songwriters; with songs, the person who writes lyrics for a song is the lyricist. In many cultures, including Western classical music, the act of composing typically includes the creation of music notation, such as a sheet music "score," which is then performed by the composer or by other musicians. In popular music and traditional music, songwriting may involve the creation of a basic outline of the song, called the lead sheet, which sets out the melody, lyrics and chord progression. In classical music, orchestration is typically done by the composer, but in musical theatre and in pop music, songwriters may hire an arranger to do the orchestration. In some cases, a pop or traditional songwriter may not use written notation at all and instead compose the song in their mind and then play, sing or record it from memory. In jazz and popular music, notable sound recordings by influential performers are given the weight that written or printed scores play in classical music.

Songwriter Person who writes the words or music to songs

A songwriter is a musician who professionally composes musical compositions and writes lyrics for songs. A songwriter can also be called a composer, although the latter term tends to be used mainly for individuals from the classical music genre and film scoring, but is also associated writing and composing the original musical composition or musical bed. A songwriter who mainly writes the lyrics for a song is referred to as a lyricist. The pressure from the music industry to produce popular hits means that song writing is often an activity for which the tasks are distributed between a number of people. For example, a songwriter who excels at writing lyrics might be paired with a songwriter with the task of creating original melodies. Pop songs may be composed by group members from the band or by staff writers – songwriters directly employed by music publishers. Some songwriters serve as their own music publishers, while others have outside publishers.

Silent Night 1818 Christmas song by Franz Gruber and Joseph Mohr

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Londonderry Air

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Bernie Taupin British songwriter

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<i>John Browns Body</i> United States marching song about the abolitionist John Brown

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Mack David was an American lyricist and songwriter, best known for his work in film and television, with a career spanning the period between the early 1940s and the early 1970s. David was credited with writing lyrics or music or both for over 1,000 songs. He was particularly well known for his work on the Disney films Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland, and for the mostly-English lyrics through which Édith Piaf's signature song "La Vie en rose" gained much of its familiarity among native speakers of English.

"Ar Hyd y Nos" is a Welsh song sung to a tune that was first recorded in Edward Jones' Musical and Poetical Relics of the Welsh Bards (1784). The most commonly sung Welsh lyrics were written by John Ceiriog Hughes (1832-1887), and have been translated into several languages, including English and Breton. One of the earliest English versions, to different Welsh lyrics by one John Jones, was by Thomas Oliphant in 1862.

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References

  1. Portman, Jamie (April 5, 1974). "A great song-writer passes from the scene". The Calgary Herald. p. 81. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  2. Campbell, Mary (August 9, 1965). "Piano Stylist: Garner Stays Close to Melody". Asbury Park Press. p. 15. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  3. Lloyd, Jack (May 18, 1976). "The silent partner of Elton John is finally speaking up". The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. 15. Retrieved May 1, 2021.