The rhythm hidden in words
- Your lyrics don’t seem to scan properly, they don’t seem to fit the music
- Somehow the lyrics seem unmusical
- Words have rhythms hidden inside them. English and many other languages have patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables. Stressed syllables are:
- Pronounced more clearly
- Different in pitch
English poetry employs five basic rhythms of varying stressed and unstressed syllables.
Unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable
A stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable is a trochee
Two stressed syllables is a spondee
Consists of two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable
Consists of one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables
Two unstressed syllables
You can find out which syllable of a multi-syllable word is stressed using an online or physical dictionary. Searching google dictionary for the word banana yields the following.
Do the following
- Use this knowledge to understand the rhythms inherent in the lyrics you have written.
- Actively write lyrics with a particular meter
- Match the rhythm of your words to your music
Read more on the subject to use meter in advanced ways in rap
Now you know how to uncover the rhythm within your words you can play with these ideas and create tension or consonance between your lyrics and music.