How to write a song

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

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Academic year


Course Type

Non Degree Course

Qualification Awarded




ECTS Credits


General Objectives of the Course
Acknowledge the distinctive nature of “songwriting”, which is a complex activity requiring literary and musical skills. Learn about the origin of the "song” form, beginning in Ancient Greece with the oral transmission of poetry (the Greek “lyrics") all the way to the medieval troubadours and the different types of troubadour poetry, their evolution and transformation into the contemporary song form. Learn about the structure and sections of a song, such as verse, stanza, chorus, bridge, hook, riff, etc. Adjust the verse to the metrics. Use melody, harmony and musical form to strengthen the emotional content of the poem; minor and major keys. Master the “correct length” of each song. Analyse and dissect songs by various songwriters. Identify musical quotations, a device frequently found in the parodic tradition of Brazilian literature, also employed by troubadours, and commonly used by the Tropicália movement to induce ironic and iconoclastic effects using the "cut and paste” technique.
Learning Objectives and Intended Skills
Students of this course will be able to analyse and review songs in general. They will learn about the structure of songs by studying their forms and concepts. They will be able to write their own songs individually or in a partnership. They will also be able to identify strategies adopted by authors to end songs in the best possible manner. They will learn about the evolution of this musical form since its very beginning.
Mode of Study
Admission Requirements

Applicants must be aged 18 years or over.

Candidates should check the admission requirements available on this site, in addition to the information provided here.

Qualification Requirements and Regulations
Regulation n.º 339/2012, published in Official Gazette no. 152, 2. Grade, August 7th (Regulation of Creation and Operation of non-degree courses at the UC).
Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading
Scale 0 / 20. The student is considered approved when the classification is greater than or equal to 10.