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Singer-songwriter Handbook (Hardcover)
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The Singer-Songwriter Handbook provides a useful resource for student songwriters, active musicians, fans and scholars alike. Many modern pop-rock charts consist of artists that fall under the category of the 'singer-songwriter': artists who write and perform their own material.
The past fifty to sixty years have shown a particular intensification of this phenomenon, rooted in blues and folk traditions, and then seeping into the mainstream through artists such as Bob Dylan, Carole King and James Taylor. Since the 1960s, the nexus of performers has expanded to artists such as Elton John and Tori Amos and newer, up-and-coming artists who went from performing at 'open mic' nights to commercial success like Sufjan Stevens, Ed Sheeran and Regina Spektor.
This handbook is divided into three main sections: Songwriting, Performance and the Music Industry. Section I focuses on the 'how to' elements of popular song composition, embracing a range of perspectives and methods (acoustic piano-based writing, guitar-based composition, composing with software and lyric writing) in addition to chapters on the teaching of songwriting to students. Section II deals with the nature of performance: stagecraft, open mic nights, and a number of case studies that engage with performing in a range of contexts. Section III is devoted to aspects of the music industry and the business of music including sales, contract negotiations, copyright, social media and marketing.
The Singer-Songwriter Handbook is a much-needed single resource for classes, seminars and workshops on songwriting and performance.