A singer-songwriter ( something like, " singer and songwriter at the same time ") is an artist who writes his own lyrics, set to music and singing, where he accompanied his singing usually with guitar, piano or other instruments themselves. The term usually refers to English-language singers. In some ways comparable to the singer-songwriter is the German -speaking singer-songwriter, although texts and styles can vary greatly by the musical roots. In the French-speaking region, the term auteur - compositeur - interprète used. Examples include Charles Aznavour, Georges Brassens Georges Moustaki and. In the Italian -speaking region is called cantautori, with examples such as Lucio Dalla, Francesco de Gregori, Antonello Venditti and Angelo Branduardi.
Development history in the U.S. context
Around 1965 it was looking for a term for a music and form of presentation, which was especially popular by Bob Dylan. Musicians and singers such as Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, Tim Buckley, Patti Smith and Leonard Cohen with very different musical foundations dominated from the late 60s through their specific occurrence is a genre of its own. Folk bands created their music together, while singer-songwriter music and lyrics written by you and partly interpreted with solo guitar or piano, sometimes with a small backing band.
In contrast to traditional folk or country music with acoustic guitar and harmonica, the use of electric guitars and now it was no longer unusual. Singer- songwriter rock elements were increasingly incorporated into their music. In addition to political content and private issues were discussed textually. Musical influences were also of soul, jazz and psychedelic rock.
One of the singer- songwriters who finally established the genre of the early 1970s, Carole King was their album Tapestry of 1971 sold more than 25 million times. At the Grammy Awards in 1972 Carole King received four awards, which up to this time no artist had been successful. Their song You've Got a Friend is a milestone of the genre. This song was also recorded by James Taylor in 1971 for his album Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon and made it to number one in the singles charts in the U.S.. Also, Taylor was awarded in 1972 for his vocal performance with a Grammy Award.
While in the late 1970s and early 1980s prevailed more pop elements, there are, for example, with Suzanne Vega since the late 80's again mainly female artists who joined the singer- songwriter tradition. Since the 1990s, Tracy Chapman, KD Lang, Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow and Tori Amos are successful. Among the most recent internationally successful singer- songwriters include James Blunt, Amy Macdonald, Kate Nash, Taylor Swift, Sarah Brendel, Ed Sheeran and Milow.