Refusing To Sing This Song

“Once upon a time, songs referred exclusively to single-movement musical compositions involving a singer or singers.” No more. Now most music is referred to as “songs”, and Frank Oteri has had enough. “Everything is a song in popular parlance, whether it has words or not and no matter how long it is. As a result, the song paradigm—which still assumes a normative status of vocal, short, and in one movement—determines how all music is listened to. When’s the last time an ‘instrumental’ got on the Billboard charts?”