Are instrumentals 'songs'?

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I don't think the structure is critical. I think I'm comfy with my own definition. Music with a defined melody is for me, a song. I'm comfy with an instrumental that has some kind of lyrical feel, not necessarily lyrics. So an instrumental track, that has a melody turns it into a song for me. Equally, rap to me isn't a song. It's musical of course, but if there is no melody, it's not a song.

I don't think you'll find a definition acceptable for everyone. If a piece of music is clearly a song to everyone - maybe it has verses, choruses, bridge and has melody with words that rhyme - then what happens when somebody does it as an instrumental? The only thing that changes is the words are missing - it's still a song. How about a classical piece of music that somebody writes a melody and lyrics for? Turns it into a song?

Maybe it already was a song by some definitions? Musical structure is quite possibly what could be called a verse chorus and bridge? Maybe there are repeated motifs that could be considered a melody - and you could even have voices. But - is a Gregorian Chant a song?

Good this one!
 

NZK

New member
Maybe a song is simply a piece of music with a beginning a middle and an end????
Or perhaps a piece of music that has some set elements to it like a chord progression, melody or sections?

I definitely say that an instrumental can be a song! Take 'Green Onions' by Booker T & The MG's for instance, one of the most catchy and identifiable 'songs' ever!
 

Rod Norman

New member
The best way to answer this is with a question. If Hottentot is not a song, then what is it?
Rod Norman

I think this was asked in another thread. Some arguments going on in a FB songwriter group with a (primarily) lyric writer saying that unless you have a verse/chorus/etc structure, it's not a 'song'.
 

jimmys69

MOODerator
A birds way of communicating is called 'bird song'. Sounds like an instrumental to me.

Wait....Naw, not a song. Just some chirping crap that wakes me up at sunrise. lol
 

robgreen

no face
A birds way of communicating is called 'bird song'. Sounds like an instrumental to me.

Wait....Naw, not a song. Just some chirping crap that wakes me up at sunrise. lol

Yeah, those damn birds really need to get to grip with Melodyne - I've heard stronger melodies at a Mariah Carey themed karaoke evening :cursing:

...and if I was them, I'd maybe notch some of the shrillness out of the chirping with a small eq cut at around 7kHz
 

PTravel

Senior Senior Member
Might I remind those who claim that instrumentals aren't songs that, in music theory, melodies assigned to instruments are called "voices." Instruments sing just like people -- it's all music and it's all song.
 

fritsthegirl

Taste of home
Chilli. If I was listening to you play that, I would ask you why the hell are you playing me this SONG?! I thought I told you, I don't like Springsteen, he sucks! :laughings:
 

PTravel

Senior Senior Member
:facepalm: A song is not only sung, it can be played as well.

So, if I play the song, Hungry Heart, on my guitar and I don't sing the words, is it not a song anymore??
Well, I haven't heard you play. Perhaps, when you play it, it's not a song. ;)
 

xcracer

New member
yes

listen to Vai, Satch, Malmsteen. Listen to Vai's "For the love of God" and can you say that is not a song? Of course it is.
 
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