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15 votes
Accepted

What language shall they sing in?

These are songs, and we learn songs differently from spoken language. Have you ever found yourself singing along to a favorite song in a language you don't even speak, but you've listened to the ...
12 votes

How to display a duet in lyrics?

This is how Tolkien solves a similar problem in The Lord of the Rings: ENT. When Spring unfolds the beechen leaf, and sap is in the bough; When light is on the wild-wood stream, and wind is on ...
10 votes

Difference between Writing Song-Lyrics and Writing Poetry

I can think of two large differences: prosody, and the more ephemeral nature of music that is listened to versus poetry that is read. Prosody Both poetry and lyrics can have meter or not, but with ...
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10 votes
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How should we write a passage where a character sings?

It depends on the purpose of the song Songs in fiction can serve multiple purposes. They can provide lore and background details, they can be used as a metaphor, they can portray emotion or conflict, ...
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7 votes
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Quoting Song Lyrics or Naming a Song, Or Possibly Group/Singer

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. There is a concept in copyright law called "fair use". This means that you can use short quotes from someone else's copyrighted work without permission. See ...
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6 votes

How should we write a passage where a character sings?

I would say that quite a few different methods are possible. I have read books where a few lines are given, followed by paragraphs or even pages of description of how the characters react, followed by ...
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6 votes

Is it important to consider tone, melody, and musical form while writing a song?

I am a (part-time) composer, and I have written the music for songs using all kinds of lyrics, written any time from Chaucer to the present day. I would say that if you don't have any practical ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Is there a standard for dealing with lyrics in dialogue and narration in creative writing?

According to Chicago, poetry or verse (which lyrics are), of more than two lines should be in block quotes. A blockquote is indented either left or right and can be further set off by being a smaller ...
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5 votes

What language shall they sing in?

One of my favourite series of books, The Dark is Rising Sequence, has an example I feel might be helpful. In the last book of the series, three of the main characters are transported from modern day ...
  • 955
5 votes

Is it important to consider tone, melody, and musical form while writing a song?

There are multiple ways to write a song. Sometimes a composer will pick up already written lyrics. Sometimes a lyricist will work off of an already written melody and arrangement (less common for an ...
5 votes
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Iambs or Trochees in songwriting

I agree with both of those facts; the issue is actually about syllable distribution in music. You'll need to let go of several assumptions: Lyrics are not speech, nor are they precisely written ...
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5 votes

How to display a duet in lyrics?

I think you will find this a matter of formatting style that is unusual enough not to have a convention. Certain publishers of music might have guidelines for it (can't help you there), but in a book ...
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5 votes

Difference between Indian and English lyricism?

This answer is without specific knowledge of Indian cultures or languages, but I can offer some perspective on rap compared with other poetic/oral poetry traditions that might help you. In short, I ...
  • 3,097
4 votes

Can I legally use these song lyrics as book/chapter names?

Well, here's some information from the page "More Information on Fair Use" at copyright.gov. The law "calls for consideration of the following four factors in evaluating a question of fair use:" ...
4 votes

What language shall they sing in?

My communication rule is: They say what they mean as they intended it – as if all communication came right out of their brain. No phonetic accents or broken English between narrator and reader. That ...
  • 25.1k
4 votes

What language shall they sing in?

To the kids, everyone's speaking English (though they know this isn't the case). I'm going to propose a slightly different solution. What if instead of perceiving everything as English, they can hear ...
  • 333
4 votes

Elongated vowel sounds

Your example doesn't look ugly, it's just something that ought to be saved for dialogue. I wouldn't use it in non-fiction, for example. Another method is to italicize the word. This example is ...
3 votes

Writing song lyrics

99% of the time professional songwriters write the lyrics based upon the rhythm created by the melody. There's a famous example of McCartney's Yesterday (from wikipedia link to Yesterday by the ...
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3 votes
Accepted

What comes first: the hook or the rest?

I can point you to a very good resource on hooks in songs, whether you are talking about lyric or musical hooks. The resource is the great (albeit older) book, The Craft of Lyric Writing, by Sheila ...
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3 votes

What language shall they sing in?

Anything like this should be handled as simply and directly as possible --that way it draws the least possible unwanted attention to the mechanics. The young man began singing in a clear and ...
3 votes
Accepted

How do we tell someone how to sing a lyric?

Lyrics are not lyrics until they are set to music. At which point, they are sung to the music. They appear on the sheet music. Like so: (source) Alternatively, the lyrics can be placed not over ...
3 votes
Accepted

Elongated vowel sounds

I don't believe there is any punctuation to accomplish what you want. I have seen it done as you have done it, but IMO this is effective but something that should be used very rarely; it gets tiring ...
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3 votes
Accepted

How to transition from poetry to song-writing?

You have answers about the differences between poems and lyrics. I will focus on the how. What techniques can you use to make this transition? I wrote a lot of song lyrics when I was in high school ...
3 votes
Accepted

Use of punctuation in song lyrics?

One generally doesn't read lyrics like poetry. Sure, you can, but it's not as common. One reads lyrics to understand a song. If you're reading to understand how to sing a song, punctuation is ...
3 votes
Accepted

Why do all of my lyrics have 3/4 feeling

Personally, I love songs in 3/4, they tend to be more rare in the bigger picture. But yes, there are several ways of translating a 3/4 rhythm to a 4/4 one. The easiest, but least natural, is just to ...
3 votes

How do you find lyrics with the parts labelled?

You may be looking for something like Genius.com, which provides song lyrics with labeled parts for each section of the song. This could include labels for Verse [#], Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Intro, Outro ...
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