Songwriting vs. Poetry – Some Quick Random Thoughts

by Mark Hahn

I wrote this piece for my fledgeling music blog (Guitar vs. Meds), but thought it might be of interest to my followers here. Best!

Guitar vs. Meds

The question of how songwriting compares to poetry seems to keep coming up in my life. Some equate the two and consider songs to be poems set to music, but I don’t agree with this take. I think they’re fundamentally different and function differently, even if – in their essence – they accomplish the same thing. The frameworks for expressing and sharing emotional truths through music or writing are distinctly different. These are important topics for me since both poetry and music have been important and influential throughout my life.

I should state up front that I take the traditional view of poetry where it is considered a form of the “literary arts.” Spoken word performance and rap might be forms of modern poetry and the evolution of the art, but this departs from the literary aspect and crosses into something else – residing somewhere between music, performance art and poetry…

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