Asked • 03/19/19

Why do modern popular songs composed on piano sound different than songs composed on guitar?

Songs that I hear that are piano based - ie. **composed and originally performed on piano**, seem to have a different feel than those composed on guitar. The flow, the movement, the chords used - are often very different for piano based songs vs. guitar based songs. I don't mean which instrument they are **played** on. Any song can be played on either instrument. I am referring to which instrument was used by the composer, to compose or write the music. I am also **not** referring to a situation where someone takes a song, and composes an arrangement for one instrument or the other. I find many songs written on piano, are more difficult to translate to an arrangement for guitar and maintain the same feel as the original played on piano. This is the source of my conclusion that there is something organically different between the two instruments as it applies to the way songs evolve from them. I compose all of my original music on guitar because I am more proficient on that instrument. But I am wondering if I might get some interesting variations in my melodies and progressions if I started to compose some of my music on piano. And I wonder **if some ideas or emotions that I want to convey lyrically, can be conveyed more effectively musically, on piano** than on guitar. What are some of the reasons that a song would manifest or evolve differently if composed on piano than if composed on guitar? And what type themes or ideas suggested by the lyrical content of a song (in the country, folk, pop, or rock genre') might be more effectively conveyed on piano than guitar? **EDIT:** note addition of questions about how each instrument might better convey lyrical concepts musically.

1 Expert Answer


David W. answered • 03/23/19

Music Theory, Composition, Ear Training, Piano

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