• Maisie Loh

Songwriting versus Song composition


If you have wondered what are the differences between songwriting and song composing, we will explain the differences here for you. A song is an artwork consisting of both melody and words. You call it a poetic composition accompanied by a tune. Bob Dylan is well-known as both a great song composer and a poet. Folk songs are especially more poetic in character compared to other modern genres but they work the same way. Anyhow, let’s break down songwriting versus song composition.


What Is A Song

As introduced briefly earlier, a song is made up of 3 parts. It includes lyrics, a composition of the tune or melody with a musical instrument and accompanied by a singer. Songs are usually written by one to two or more writers. They are known as lyricists.


The Lyricist

The lyricist can write a song without the melody first. So aspiring poets, you have the potential to be a lyricist too! Syllable count, the placement on emphasis and silence are all factors that contribute to how a lyric is written.


The Song Composer

The song composer is someone who composes the music. Music involves musical note composition, whether you are writing for a symphony or making music with three or four simple chords. A composer can start writing the music first before composing the lyrics, written specially to suit the melody and tone of the song.


However, a song composer can write music to an existing set of lyrics as well. In this case, the composer must be able to determine the meter, or the natural rhythm expressed by the lyric when it’s read. The composer must familiarise himself or herself by reading the lyrics to understand the feel in order to match the melody with what is expressed in the words or message in the lyrics.


For example, it would seem contradictory to write a happy melody to accompany sad lyrics. So usually if the lyrics speak of a happy or upbeat feeling, the song composer would add a more positive feeling to the melody.


The Songwriter

Everyone involved in creating the song is credited as songwriters. Both the lyricist and song composer are credited as songwriters as long as they have contributed to writing the lyrics and/or the music of a song.


In fact, when it comes to composing and writing a song, a lyricist might change or edit some words as recommended by the song composer. The composer may also tweak a melody based on the lyricist’s comment.


Both lyricists and composers work together as a team very much like a film crew who comes together to create movies.


Interested In Composing Songs?



Ritmo Music Studio is running a song composition program for the school holidays this December! What you get to learn:

Fundamental Concepts of Composition

  • Tonality

  • Theory: The Major-Minor System

  • Discussion of what makes good melodies

  • Practical: Composing a Basic Melody & Working with Chord Progressions

Understanding the Essentials of Harmony

  • Interval Workout

  • Triads and Inversions

  • Seventh Chords

  • Analyzing Text to Music

The details are as follow:

Day: Tuesday

Dates: 01, 08, 15, 22, 29 December 2020

Time: 3pm - 5pm

Venue: Ritmo Music Studio (Nearest MRT: Chinatown)

Limited Slots! First come first serve basis. Terms & conditions apply.

For the 5 days workshop, get an early bird discount at $300/pax. The early bird discount ends on 15 November 2020. The usual price is $350/pax or bring along a friend for $270/pax for the course.

You need to have music theory grade 2 and above and basic knowledge of major and minor scales up to 2 sharp 2 flat keys. Get in touch with us on WhatsApp at +65 88089763. You can also sign up here on Eventbrite.


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+65 6913 7690

+65 8808 9763

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