What is the difference between a songwriter and a lyricist?

All songs consist of words and music. The words to a song are the lyrics. The music in a song is the melody. Someone who writes the words are called a lyricist. A person who writes the melody is called the composer. Both the lyricist and the composer are songwriters.

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  • Songwriter Tip:

    If you only write music, or conversely only write lyrics, you can still write songs and publish them. All you need is a collaborator. Collaboration is a proven method for most writers who require a partner to do what they cannot do themselves. Most songwriters and composers know of successful collaboration partnerships, such as John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webber, to name just a few. There are also occasions when artistes themselves collaborate with songwriters. Publishers also sometimes put songwriting teams together. In most cases, however, publishing companies require complete songs and will only take lyrics alone under exceptional circumstances.