Chapter One - Page 3

Definition of a Song

The definition of a song, for the purposes of this class, is a follows:

“A short composition with words and/or melody”

How do we define ‘melody’?

“A succession of single notes forming a distinctive sequence that could be reasonably be sung”

What is not a song:

A collection of chords

A musical composition that doesn’t include an easily identifiable melody

Beats, rhymes, loops and grooves with no identifiable melody or song components

Music Business? Do I need it? 


This class is not about how to write a hit. This class is not about the Business of Songwriting. If you’re interested in that I teach a class called ‘Music Publishing for Songwriters’. This class is about the Art and the Craft of Songwriting.


Some people equate songs that happen to be hits with songs that are well written. The fact that a song is a hit does not preclude that the song sucks however, by the same token, it doesn’t mean that it’s well crafted. The Beatles are an excellent example that hits can be well crafted however most of the time songs that are written for the marketplace are not very ‘good’ songs.

Early Beatles


Some may argue that songs that are successful in the marketplace are by nature better songs because they communicate on a very effective level with the public and isn’t communication what it’s all about? Well I see most hit songs as being very impressive in a very transient way. 


Allow me to use the following analogy. I live in the Bay Area and it seems like every year certain parts of the Bay Area are flooded. The images seen on the local news are impressive; homes are flooded, roads are washed away, bridges are underwater but come spring the waters recede and the horrendous torrents are back to being the tiny streams they normally are.


Compare these events to the mighty rivers of the world like the Mississippi or the Amazon or the Nile. These are bodies of water that run deep and have permanence to them. They’ve always been with us and they always will.  Well for me hit songs are like streams that flood annually, they have a season of glory and then they disappear while great songs are like great rivers, here forever. In this class we’ll aspire to write deep and important songs that will stand the test of time. Will we succeed? Probably not but it’s worth shooting for isn’t it?

PREVIOUS PAGE                                      NEXT PAGE


                          Copyright © Jim Bruno 2013

© Jim Bruno 2014