How has songwriting changed over time? ⏰
This post loosely accompanies Gab & Jam, 293. How has songwriting changed over the time?
Here’s one of those questions that keeps circulating in the ether. For the industry and for the independent artist, how have the tactics and outcomes of songwriting changed?
Check out the episode for the full discussion or the accompanying video: https://bit.ly/293songwritingchangevid
Here are some things to consider with regard to how songwriting has changed over time:
1. Culturally, what is a particular genre has changed.
“Pop” is always a perfect example. What was considered pop back in the 50s is not the same as it is now. The same can be said for genres like jazz, rock, country, etc. If you look at the songs that were on the rock charts then, they would sound very different to what’s on their now. –In fact, that was what we discussed in our episode, “Are genres important?” (https://bit.ly/56genresimportantvid ). We said that more folks go for a “mood” than by any definition of a genre and that, even if there were definitions, they would LIKELY be different than in days of old.
2. Spartan intros
Because modern songwriting’s mantra is “don’t boring; get to the chorus,” songs like “Holding Back the Years” would not cut with today’s standards, because it meanders around. Or “Human Nature” which two verses before it gets to the chorus. The emphasis is often on rhythm—instead of melody—which is partially attributable to rap’s influence on contemporary songwriting. Therefore, being able to put smaller segments of ideas together to form a song lends itself to less orchestrated and rambling song intros.
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3. Personal changes
Instead of an intro, we will start with the chorus or a brief intro with a chorus right there at the beginning of the song. Also, we tend to NOT have 3 verses anymore and instead opt for two. –Keep in mind that these changes in songwriting structure have not necessarily been deliberately trying to meet updated songwriting expectations, but instead that our ears have been trained to hint at the highlight of the song very near the outset. Perhaps our own philosophy for doing this has been driven MORE by wanting people to RATHER hear it twice than to turn it off half way through. And in these instances, it’s the song that dictates the length and not some external arbiter. –In other words, if the song “feels” right until a certain point and then ceases to feel right AFTER that point, then the song needs to stop sooner than later. –So, whether a song is two minutes or 5 minutes is purely a matter of what we think the song is calling for. But, generally, we prefer a shorter song to a longer one more times than not.
Find your creative voice: https://bit.ly/Ep67creativevoiceblog
This entire discussion depends on what your purpose is for songwriting. If you are trying to follow whatever the current trend is in songwriting AI would help you write for a template. However, if you are an artist trying to express one’s soul—or something off the beaten path from what the current path is doing.
As always, our big goal is to keep discovering new ways to write a song, new inspiration, and we do that by listening to new music, listening to what other songwriters say their process is, and trying to incorporate what we like from that into our music. We are sure that this is LIKELY how the genre metamorphosed over time.
So, will we do it again? HELL, YEAH! 🙌🏾 In fact, our NEXT livestream is scheduled for Friday, June 30, where we will debut for Bourgeoisie Paper Jam’s next single “One Love.” We will also premiere the music video live and on-air—unless you are a member of our Patreon community. (If you’re in our Patreon, you will see the video one week earlier. Join here.)
What about you? How has songwriting changed for YOU?
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