Cfp: Popular Music Songwriting as Cultural, Creative, and Economic Practice

Call for Chapters

Popular Music Songwriting as Cultural, Creative, and Economic Practice 

Yearbook ‘Lied und Populäre Kultur / Song and Popular Culture’ of the Centre for Popular Culture and Music, Vol. 69 (2024), ed. by Michael Ahlers, Jan-Peter Herbst, and Knut Holtsträter.

This yearbook aims to shed light on the historical development and the current state of popular music songwriting in all its aspects. Possible topics and approaches include (but are not limited to):

•     Concepts of the relationship between mainstream and marginalized music cultures in the 21st century;

•     Influences of standardization, platformisation, and propertisation on songwriting processes or products;

•     Singer-songwriters and the folk narrative (contemporary and historical practices);

•     Songwriter/composer/producer: terminology and understanding of their roles;

•     Literacy and orality in songwriting;

•     Historical and current songwriting centres and collaborations (e.g., Music Hall, Tin Pan Alley, Brill Building, Motown, Nashville’s Music Row, London’s Denmark Street, PWL, Stock/Aitken/Waterman, Xenomania, Cheiron Studios, Prescription Songs);

•     Business of songwriting and publishing;

•     Songwriting as profession and labour;

•     Teaching songwriting in and outside music pedagogy;

•     Legal and ethical issues of songwriting;

•     Contemporary songwriting practices, techniques, or arrangements (e.g., Svengali collaboration between pop artists and backroom songwriters, songwriting camps);

•     Production as a part of songwriting, songwriting as a part of production;

•     Genre-specifics in songwriting;

•     Instruments and tools of songwriting

•     Creativity myths and (self-)exploitation of artists;

•     Computer-assisted songwriting and artificial intelligence.

For a full version of the Call for Chapters see here:

Potential contributors are asked to send abstracts of not more than 2,000 characters (including spaces) as well as a short academic CV by 1 August 2023. We will notify contributors by the end of September. The length of contributions should be between 35,000 and 50,000 characters (including spaces) and should be submitted by 1 February 2024. Please send any inquiries or abstracts to Dr. Knut Holtsträter ( We accept contributions in English and German.