The Songwriter's Idea Book

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Writer's Digest Books, Oct 15, 1992 - Music - 240 pages
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In her first two books, Sheila Davis classified the major song forms and enduring principles that have been honored for decades by America's foremost songwriters. Those books have become required reading in music courses from NYU to UCLA.

In The Songwriters Idea Book, Davis goes one step further, giving you 40 strategies for designing distinctive songs. You'll break new ground in your own songwriting by learning about the inherent relationship between language style, personality type and the brain.

  • You'll go, step by step, through the creative process as you activate, incubate, separate and discriminate.
  • You'll learn to use the whole-brain techniques of imaging, brainstorming and clustering.
  • You'll expand your skilled use of figurative language with paragrams, metonyms, synecdoche and antonomasia.
  • You'll be challenged to design metaphors, form symbols, make puns and coin words.
  • And, you'll learn how to prevent writer's block, increase your productivity and maintain your creative flow.
Over 100 successful student lyrics from pop, country, cabaret, and theater serve as role-models to illustrate the "whole-brain" songwriting process.


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Personality Type Brain Dominance and the Creative Process
Tracking the FourStep Creative Process
How Your Type Shapes Your Lyrics
A Key Word
A City State or Foreign Place Title
A Female Name Title
The Letter
The Setting
The ThirdPerson Vignette
The Duet
The Romantic Relationship 24

Heart Night
A BookTitle Title
An Idiom Axiom or Paragram Title
A Coined Word Title
Starting With And
Figurative Language 11 Metaphor
The Compound Metaphor
Metonymy and Symbol
The Framing Device
The Question Title and Question Plot
The Phone Call
The Universal Theme
The ParentChild Relationship
The Need for Automony
Song Music Dance
The Need to Escape
An Archetypal Portrait
The Famous Person
Special Genres and Markets 36 The Christmas Song
The Childrens Market
The Comedy Song
The Social Statement
The Inspirational Song Coda

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About the author (1992)

Sheila Davis, DNP, ANP-BC, FAAN., is Assistant Clinical Professor in Nursing at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, and is the Director of Global Nursing at Partners In Health, an international non-governmental organization working in 12 countries providing comprehensive health care and services for the poor globally. Dr. Davis has had a clinical practice as an APN (DNP) in the Infectious Diseases clinic, at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston since 1997. Since 1992, Dr. Davis has been on faculty or as a guest lecturer at a number of schools of nursing, including Howard University, Simmons College, Northeastern University, University of Natal (Durban, So Africa); and Boston College.. She is the recipient of numerous awards and has served a variety of organizations including Physicians for Human Rights (Nurse member/HIV-AIDS, Healthy Women Summit), Clinton Foundation (Nurse Member, 12 -person team to develop comprehensive HIB/AIDS National Treatment Plan for So Africa), APHA (Member, Expert Panel on Adherence) and currently is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Health and Human Rights. She co-founded a nurse-run non-governmental organization working in South Africa on a rural nurse run clinic and orphan feeding program in an urban township. Her publications include 17 papers, 9 abstracts and 2 book chapters. Dr. Davis is deeply involved with Association of Nurses in AIDS/HIV Care (ANAC), was the founding/elected president of the Washington DC chapter and has been a local, nationally, and internationally invited speaker on AIDS/HIV for ANAC since the mid-1980's. She has presented on a number of topics in global health and infectious diseases nationally and internationally.

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