When Are Lyrics Not Important?

When Are Lyrics Not Important?

Performance Lab: Cities Imaginaries
Source: Flickr

As many fans of music know, the lyrical parts of a song are usually the most important and integral pieces to a particular song or piece’s success. Many times these words are the only part of a song that fans will remember or be able to recognize in an instant. In addition, it is common for artists to make the leap into becoming a superstar when they come out with great lyrics for their new hits. But the truth is that not every artist in the world who is selling CDs and concert tickets has great lyrics to their work, or any at all for that matter. You might be wondering, how can music be good without meaningful words, much less having no words at all? This article should help to answer that question and change the common notion that all great music must have unbelievable lyrics as well.

To start out with, it is important to realize that music is not just the songs a person can hear on a radio. In fact, the first pieces of music were almost exclusively played in a concert hall. In this setting, a group of different instruments play in unison to a conductor’s movements. There are no words because quite simply there doesn’t need to be any. Some of the most famous musical work in the world, and oldest at that, is often played in this style. While not popular with the youth today, classical music, as it is often termed, often goes hand in hand with being upper-class. Whether this is a fair pairing or not, that is debatable. But this much is true, many people find deeper meaning and enjoy this style of music without looking for words to accompany they harmony of the instruments!

On the other hand, a popular selection at almost any night or dance club is techno music. Techno music is often generated on a computer, and combines wacky sounding drum beats and other instrumental sounds to make a song that sounds like it was electronically produced. This music has many different beats and often is extremely easy to dance to. While it can have words, it is more common for techno songs to be without any human voices, or to use them sparingly. Even with the absence of almost any words at all, however, techno music remains a popular choice on any dance floor and it would be hard to find a club that doesn’t play at least one song. Indeed there are even some popular techno artists, whose main musical talents lie in creating new beats and remixing past billboard toppers!

All in all, it should be fairly obvious by now that a song doesn’t have to have lyrics to be considered worth listening to. Many different types and genres of music embedded in our society today are, in fact, found without any words at all. Whether it be rich classical music that your grandparents listen to, or fast-moving techno music that you dance to, words are not as important as they may seem initially.

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