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Popular Lyric Writing from Berklee Press

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Popular Lyric Writing from Berklee Press

Author Andrea Stolpe breaks down and carefully analyzes the process of Pop music lyric writing and consolidates her findings into ten steps to effective Pop songwriting. She would know about this from working as a staff writer for EMI, Almo-Irving and Universal Music Publishing. Many top artists have recorded her songs.

Much of this process is second nature to veteran songwriters but completely unknown to people new to the craft of songwriting. For experienced writers this book is a kind of refresher course that helps to increase the number and quality of songs and/or lessen the time to create them. For the beginner, the book offers a checklist of steps to follow towards the realization of authentic and original song lyrics.

Chapter 1 starts at the very core of successful writing--whether you're writing Pop songs or anything else. It's called Causing the Experience where the writer states his/her objective and the reasons for readers (listeners) to care. Chapters 2 and 3 have exercises to accomplish this most important task: exposing the artist's perspective and then explaining all the details--like establishing identities (characters).

Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7 go to songwriting craft with whole chapters on: rhyme, phrasing, verse structure and purpose, and chorus construction. Chapters 8, 9, 10 are further refinements only a seasoned songwriter like Stolpe is qualified to comment about. You'll learn the importance of contrast, plot progression and the role of the second verse. Finally Chapter 10 deals with verb tense--i.e. the action and point of view of your song.

Chapter 11 lays out the ten steps schematically like a task maze--predicated on what you should have learned in the previous chapters. I think time spent studying this book mentally connects (and perhaps add missing steps) to your own process to make you a better, more prolific and purposeful songwriter. Popular Lyric Writing sells for $14.95 and is published by Berklee Press, and distributed by Hal Leonard Corporation. For more information, contact

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