Does the verb to write as used in "write a song" refer to only the lyrics (words) or does/can it include the composition of music?

  • Depends. How precise are you writing and what is your audience? – Hot Licks May 27 '17 at 12:01
  • I'm not writing anything, I just read this in a book. There is no context, it is just a side character (we don't know anything about him) that says he wrote a song. So the answer is that it depends then? – The Beast May 27 '17 at 12:31
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    It could be any of the three (music, lyrics or both). Without any further context, I would assume both. – michael.hor257k May 27 '17 at 13:35
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    @EnglishStudent "The simple meaning of 'writing a song' is lyrics only" I don't think so. Have a look at the definition of songwriter. – michael.hor257k May 27 '17 at 13:37
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    @EnglishStudent - I believe that writing a song would imply writing the music more so (or at least as much as) writing lyrics. Some songs have no lyrics. One might argue that lyrics without music would be poetry, but then you're getting into the discussion of whether rap is music and you have to bring up John Cage and it gets all philosophical and we really just want to hear some tunes. Anyway, I think writing a song could mean lyrics, music, or both but, in the absence of any other information, I would assume it includes writing the music. – Roger Sinasohn May 27 '17 at 14:06

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