The singer-songwriter, someone who writes and performs their own music, is an ever-present and increasingly complex figure in popular music worlds. The Singer-Songwriter Handbook provides a useful resource for student songwriters, active musicians, fans and scholars alike. This handbook is divided into four main sections: Songwriting (acoustic and digital), Performance, Music Industry and Case Studies. Section I focuses on the 'how to' elements of popular song composition, embracing a range of perspectives and methods, in addition to chapters on the teaching of songwriting to students. Section II deals with the nature of performance: stagecraft, open mic nights, and a number of case studies that engage with performing in a range of contexts. Section III is devoted to aspects of the music industry and the business of music including sales, contract negotiations, copyright, social media and marketing. Section IV provides specific examples of singer-songwriter personae and global open mic scenes. The Singer-Songwriter Handbook is a much-needed single resource for budding singer-songwriters as well as songwriting pedagogues.
Justin A. Williams is Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Bristol, UK. He is the author of Rhymin and Stealin: Musical Borrowing in Hip-hop (2013) and editor of the Cambridge Companion to Hip-hop (2015) and co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to the Singer-Songwriter (2016). Katherine Williams is Lecturer in Music and Performance Pathway Leader at Plymouth University, UK. She is the author of Rufus Wainwright (2016), and co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to the Singer-Songwriter (2016).