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We've suggested that asking about the meaning of lyrics is off-topic: Can I ask questions about the meaning of the lyrics in songs?

However, are we able to help with creative language-related queries about writing lyrics?

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In my opinion, it would be much better to ask on a site that focuses on creative writing & language rather than here.

It's not so much that we shouldn't handle lyrics at all, but we should be realistic and acknowledge that it's not really a music specific domain. For example, when I was writing lyrics for my own music I'd always go to several different venues such as poetry clubs and open mics, writing workshops, and musical open mic nights. Each would look at the lyrics a different way and help shape and shed some light on areas of improvement and help take it more in the direction I'd want it to go.

We should be much more focused on this site on how to combine lyrics and music and techniques on doing so. One example of this would be the technique word painting where the music literally represents the lyrics being sung. There are many creative ways to accomplish this and this would be very at home here.


There are many, many different topics music crosses with that we wouldn't necessarily have questions about here. Just for reference another very important aspect of music especially in performance is costume design. In general however talking about costume design in depth would be very out of place on the site even though I guarantee we have plenty of people with experience in that here. (Looking at you @Dr Mayhem)

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    Obviously there are a lot of potential areas of overlap between Music and other Stacks, particularly Physics in the area of acoustics and Sound Design for mixing and production and so on, and to me this is another area of overlap. – Todd Wilcox Jan 4 '17 at 14:22
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Lyrics, their delivery, rhythm and flow, and their content, are absolutely central to many styles of music. They're not just related to the music - they're a part of it, just as harmony and melody are, and we'd be a very strange 'music' site indeed if we didn't allow questions about lyrics. So I'd like to suggest that yes - lyrics questions should be on topic - though of course subject to the same restrictions regarding breadth, objectivity and so on as other questions.

I do agree that we should be limiting questions to those that are about lyrics - i.e. language delivered in a musical context. However, I don't think we should be (for example) only allowing questions about fitting words to a melody or rhythm, or enforcing other rules that assume that some apsect of music is more important than another.

  • IMO, there's no real distinction between lyrics in music and lyrics in poetry or any other style of creative writing. A good number of songs (like Sweet Child O' Mine) are derived from poems so trying to separating them is not an ideal stance we should make as a site. – Dom Jan 5 '17 at 21:48
  • @Dom true, but equally there may be no real difference in a woodworking technique if applied to a guitar and the same technique applied to a cupboard, or a certain compression technique applied to a song vocal and to a voice-over. In both those cases (I think) we'd allow the first (because it's about music) and disallow the second. – topo Reinstate Monica Jan 8 '17 at 18:41

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