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Songwriters compose lyrics to songs and usually either work; as artists performing their own work, as staff-writers for music publishers and record companies, in advertising writing jingles for commercials or freelance, marketing and selling their songs for other artists to perform. Some songwriters are also talented musicians who compose music to accompany their verse, while others are only involved with writing and team with musicians or composers to develop the accompanying music.

Songwriters don't strictly require any formal education, though studies in writing, music or any other creative discipline along with the ability to read and play music would obviously be beneficial. University studies in the liberal arts may also be useful in helping graduates to learn to think conceptually and thematically and to express this in a written form.