David Lingabee Songs & Songwriting

Step 7) How to Compose your Music – Part 11



Your song emotion and song message could be defined as the inspirational emotion and message of your song that you want to communicate to your listeners so they also feel inspired by it.

Name the emotion and message

Genuinely expressed emotion helps give your song message a live human feel to it that can be experienced more clearly by your listeners, and, that genuineness is what you want to get across when you are performing your song.

While a composer could infuse any emotion he wishes into his song idea or inspiration, we are going to start by getting you used to recognizing the emotion and message that inspired you to write the song which as I just said you already worked out in Step 6).

Your inspiration or idea for a song came from some experience, and that experience had its own emotion in it. You need to be able to name what that emotion is so you know how to sing and play it. In that way your song message communicates very clearly to your listener, just like in any conversation that you are having that you really want the other person to receive and understand what you intended clearly and instantly.

Conditional: it is not recommended that you do the free online course or any exercises detailed out below unless you have a genuine interest in doing do, as they tend to demand a level of personal participation you may not be used to.

 Here is a video on the emotional tone scale. It shows the emotional tones a human being can experience or generate and will give you more of an insight into naming the emotion your idea or inspiration is being driven by.
Do the free online course linked to underneath the screen as it will greatly help you do the exercise below here, and understand the different emotions people use and experience.

 Here is an interview with a successful composer about using emotion in music

Practical Exercise Step 7) Part 11
Use one of the song lyrics you completed in Step 6) and take each verse and name the emotion and message that you intended or had in mind when you wrote them, until you are totally certain you have duplicated your original emotion and message of each verse.

You will probably notice as you are going through each verse that the emotion and message seems to be the same for each verse. This exercise is to focus your attention on ensuring that is the case, or changing it as needed so it does.

Emphasis for this exercise is on developing an intuitive sense within yourself of easily being able to recognize and name (or describe) the exact emotion and message of your own inspiration or idea you used to write your lyrics, and if not, change them so they do.

If you feel the need, re-watch the video on the emotional tone scale, or refer back to the info in its free online course you just did.

Note for future composing: you may think of an idea or inspiration and although it seems in a grief emotion at first glance, you may later on decide to change the emotion for a different effect in your song.
Or, you may want to use several emotions at different points in your song. That’s your choice as the composer, but become competent at the above exercise first, and then adding and changing emotions will become easier to do.

End Result
When you can easily name or describe the emotion and message of the lyrics you wrote, and ensure each verse expresses that emotion and message, change your lyrics if needed, and are confident you did that to your total satisfaction, you have completed this exercise.

Use your intention to drive your emotion
Intention and how important it is in composing and performing has been discussed at different points, and hopefully you now understand that once you know the emotion and message of an inspiration you created, you can focus on using ENOUGH of your own  intention to drive that emotion and message into the world of your listeners so they become captivated by your song, and respond back to you in their own unique way, just like with any conversation you might have with someone that you expect a response to what you just said.

 Click here to go to Step 7) – Part 12

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