Creativity, Liminality, and Metaphor in Songwriting

  • Matt Connor DIU


Songwriting has been a central part of ethnodoxology since its humble beginnings. But how much do we actually know about the process of theory of songwriting? In this study, I look at creativity, liminality, and metaphor as they relate to songwriting. I begin with a discussion of creativity in songwriting. Considering a few case studies from the Western pop songwriting process and a failed Scottish mass, I explore how the systems model of creativity, optimal distinctiveness theory, and stable and malleable theory can be used to analyze songwriting. I go on to explore how the songwriting process can be considered liminal, and how increasing the liminality of the process may produce better results. Finally, I use Peircean semiotics to describe how metaphor works to create an emotional and identify-forming response.