Word and music studies is a relatively young discipline that has nonetheless generated a substantial amount of work. Recent studies in the field have embraced music in literature (word music, formal parallels to music in literature, verbal music), music and literarature (vocal music) and literature in music (programme music). Other positions have been defined in which song exists as an analysable category distinct from words and music and requiring its own grammar. Much of the literature has tended to focus on readings of the literary text, pushing theoretical and analytical concerns in music to one side, a trend that is as apparent among musicologists as among literary historians. The essays presented here from the third Liverpool Music Symposium seek accordingly to redress this situation. Contributors tackle the study of words and music from a number of standpoints, examining artists as diverse as Eminem, Patti Smith and Arnold Schoenberg.