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A singer-songwriter is a person who writes songs and then sings them. There's more to it than that, however: the "singer-songwriter" label is associated with certain styles of music. Traditionally, the label refers to Three Chords and the Truth music in which a single singer accompanies himself with only an acoustic guitar or a piano, but you'll also find singer-songwriters in pop and rock. The defining charisteristics of a singer-songwriter is that he is billed individually rather than as part of a band, that he writes his own songs, and that the emphasis is on the lyrics rather than on complex music (this is why you don't call Jimi Hendrix or Frank Zappa "singer-songwriters", even though they did sing and write songs).

May or may not write Protest Songs.

Notable singer-songwriters include:





  • Herbert Grönemeyer
  • Marius Müller-Westernhagen

The Netherlands

  • Jaap Fischer
  • Boudewijn de Groot
  • Drs. P


  • The entire bard music (authors' song) genre.

United States

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