The Muse's Muse  
Muses MailMuses Newsmuse chatsongwriting resource home
Regular Columnists

Q&A: I write music after receiving lyrics first from my mate. Is this unusual?
By Mary Dawson - 07/16/2007 - 11:30 AM EDT

I write music after receiving lyrics first from my mate. Is this unusual?
Thank you, Ally Valentine
Hi Ally:
Thanks so much for your email. is not unusual at all to have the lyrics written first. Many of the greatest co-writing teams in the world write this way -- including Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

It is also not unusual to have the music written first and then have the lyrics set to he existing melody. This was a very common practice during the days of Tin Pan Alley when some of the most amazing songs of the 20th Century were written -- including "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" which was actually declare THE GREATEST song of the century by the Radio Association of American and the National Foundation for the Arts.

Any way that works for you and your co-writer is very OK. My only word of caution would be that you not let yourself fall into a "rut" just because a certain way of writing is easy for you. Please see my new article on the Muses Muse Columnist section on the "Perils of the Comfort Zone." Keep stretching yourselves to try new things. Perhaps you could create a melody first and then let your partner practice setting words to your music. Or try different styles, structures and genres of music.

At any rate, it sounds as if you are very talented and motivated writers, so keep up the great work.

All the Best,

Mary Dawson

[ Current Articles | Archives ]

Help For Newcomers
Help for Newcomers
Helpful Resources
Helpful Resources
Regular Columnists
Music Reviews
Services Offered
About the  Muse's Muse
About Muse's Muse
Subscribe to The Muse's News, free monthly newsletter for songwriters
with exclusive articles, copyright & publishing advice, music, website & book reviews, contest & market information, a chance to win prizes & more!

Join today!

Created & Maintained
by Jodi Krangle


1995 - 2016, The Muse's Muse Songwriting Resource. All rights reserved.

Read The Muse's Muse Privacy Statement