Christian Songwriting: Song Structure

Horsecamp is a place I once visited while in Papua New Guinea. To say that it was undeveloped is to put it mildly. The people there constructed their houses out of whatever they can find; bits of corrugated iron, plastic, wood, anything. Their homes look like hastily assembled jigsaw puzzles. Nevertheless, they still have some kind of form or plan.

Think of what it would be like if your house were built without form: the roof on the bottom and the foundations piled unceremoniously against the front wall. Imagine people being constructed in the same haphazard manner, some with heads attached to their knees, some with noses in the middle of their backs (that could be very unpleasant), some with legs where ears should be. Imagine the horrors of a world without form!

And yet a song is no different. If you want a sure-fire recipe for failure, then just write your song according to the prescription set out in Genesis 1:2 - "without form." Just as the Lord didn't see fit to leave the earth in that condition, neither should you create a song with no particular structure. Because, to be appealing, your music and lyrics need form just as much as anything else does.

Form is simply the shape of your song, the way it is constructed, and is necessary to give it some semblance of order.

In discussing form, the letters of the alphabet are used to denote the different parts of the song. Be careful not to mix them up with the rime patterns we considered in Chapter 1, where we also used the letters of the alphabet. Briefly then, here are some possibilities for structuring your song lyrically.

Now read: Song Structure - Lyrical Form

Lyric Writing - Rhyme | Lyric Writing - Lyrical Hooks | Song Content - Song Plan | Song Structure | Musical Elements | Rhythmic Devices | Melody Writing | Writer's Block