Songs have been known to exist from time immemorial and are found in every culture. It is for this reason that songwriting is considered extremely powerful, as the songs tend to hold the interest of the listener and draw out a response bringing a call for action. In various cultures around the world, there are freedom songs, songs for the planting and harvesting season, songs of praise and worship, war songs, songs that mark rites of passage, songs of encouragement and many more. For a song to hit the mark and to fulfill its purpose or the reason why it was written, it must be skillfully arranged.
The message to be passed on must be clear to the writer from the beginning. The lyrics should therefore be crafted in such a way as to convey this message as powerfully as possible. Words, particularly in music, can be a very powerful medium of communication. With the words of the song already selected, the next thing is to pick the rhythm. The main thing to consider when making these selections is the feelings that are to be reflected and drawn out of the hearer. Sad songs tend to be low and slow while fast, upbeat songs are usually happy ones.
Now that the songwriter knows the words and mood of the song, the instruments that are to accompany the song must also be skillfully selected. The reason is that the instruments that are selected as background accompaniment greatly affect the feeling as well as mood of the song. Additionally, it is important to think carefully about the tempo and beat of the song as one is picking the instruments to use. The reason for this is that they will set the mood of the song and elicit the emotions and sentiments that the writer is trying to convey. This then order the experience the listeners have with that piece of music.
Fast tempo songs such as songs of celebration, songs of war or freedom songs elicit reactions such as stomping one’s feet, bobbing ones head or pumping a fist in the air. Songs that are sad or dirge like may only get a swaying response or may cause the listener to stand completely still. A song may elicit a short term, physical reaction as described. Conversely, some songs may get the listener to enact long-term change in their lives by affecting their decision making and causing them to change the environment around them. The art of songwriting cannot be underestimated and the effect of music is commonly felt all around the world.