Songwriting as a Creative System in Action

  • Phillip McIntyre


An exposé of the existence of systemic structures and their relationship to the agency of songwriters working in contemporary Western popular music was the primary aim of this research project. Instead of focusing on the lived experience of the songwriters and musicians involved in the study and how the author interpreted those, or on the tensions elicited by the power relationships each was involved with (McIntyre 2008), this chapter focuses on exposing: the domain of songwriting, its codes, conventions and rules; how songwriters acquired that domain in order to gain the habitus of songwriters; how the field operated in contributing to the selection of certain material over others; and, finally, how songwriters, located as agents within their own shared yet idiosyncratic backgrounds contributed to this systemic process. It is posited that each of these interrelated and interdependent elements contributed in some way to the system of creativity that produces songs.


Music Video Popular Music Music Industry Record Production Creative System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Phillip McIntyre 2016

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  • Phillip McIntyre

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