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#1038771 - 02/07/14 07:25 PM Why no study materials for music writing?  
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Bugsey Offline
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Why is it that there are boatloads of books on lyric writing, but so little on melody writing and music writing?

I mean you might find a mel bay book on melody or something really formal, but nothing as in depth as the stuff on lyircs.

I'd love the read materials on marrying a melody with a lyric, the emotional impact of chords, how voicings change the whole feel of a song, how to write music that is on the same oage with the content of the lyric.

Most of us wing it, and do what sounds natural, and I think I have learned alot just doing that, but you never see a "songwriters on Songwriting" series which talks about their chord choices and melodies. Nothing but the lyrical ideas.


#1038774 - 02/07/14 07:44 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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Agreed. I can guess the reason is because it is very difficult to communicate melodic and compositional ideas in writing...but it's still only a guess.

It certainly translates to critiques too...we'll hear mainly about lyrics and subject matter on the MP3 board, a little about the production and performance, a little about arrangement, but rarely a peep about composition other than a thumbs up or thumbs down.

#1038778 - 02/07/14 08:11 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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On Songwriting forums most people are lyric writers, I think anyway.
Maybe a few dabble on guitar a little bit but nothing in depth.

I agree, the most comments you get on music is "the chorus seems too similar to the verse" Occasionally "the music doesnt sound right for that lyric"

Otherwise if it's good, it's simply "wonderful music"

For that matter when songwriters are interviewed, they always talk about how a song came to be, telling the story of how the story came about, but never how they turned it into music.

It's not as mysterious as anything else, lyrics are just as mysterious but you could study your whole life with various techniques.


Last edited by Bugsey; 02/07/14 08:12 PM.
#1038782 - 02/07/14 09:39 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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To some extent I would agree with Mark above about the difficulty to put it in writing but in this day and age, why not in a video? I would think there is a pretty good size market out there for someone who does this really well to put something together. Maybe there is a class out there, does anyone know of anything?
Skip

#1038783 - 02/07/14 09:46 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: swestern]  
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I think mostly schools, have classes in it, which are probably a bit more hands on. Songwriting majors probably learn this all the time.

But it made me think of possibly why. Words can go on forever, you can read an entire book in a few days or one night, and come away with a few things you find remarkable.

A video would go into great detail, but for only one basic idea at a time, you;d probably need dozens of them.

But thats a good idea, and there might actually be CLASSES ON DVD for sale somewhere. A whole class would be the way to go as opposed to learning how somebody chorded a top 40 hit, which you cant then use again lol

#1038786 - 02/07/14 09:55 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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A reputable book/course on music theory and harmony is a good place to start Bugsey.

Best, John smile

#1038800 - 02/07/14 10:51 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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For my niece or nephew yeah, for me, i find it way too rudimentary.

Im not starting, Im finishing LOLLLLL

Just always looking to get better, I enjoy learning as much as I can

#1038805 - 02/07/14 11:32 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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Originally Posted by Bugsey
For my niece or nephew yeah, for me, i find it way too rudimentary.

Im not starting, Im finishing LOLLLLL

Just always looking to get better, I enjoy learning as much as I can


Hmm… maybe Alfred’s theory & harmony is rudimentary, but not Arnold Schoenberg’s. Or study the works of Ravel, Bartok, Gershwin, etc. There are many great theory books that go far beyond the rudimentary level. Wish I could remember some I used.

Eventually all the theory and harmony should be placed in an inactive part of the brain – only to influence, not to over-ride the emotions. These days I compose from the heart while trying to keep the music intelligible, i.e., employing some kind of rational form.

I must admit, most of what I am as a composer came from studying the works of all the Greats. And studying with Paul Schocker and Dr. Sherman Storr (had to include my mentors).

Hope this didn’t come off as condescending …

Best, John smile

#1038809 - 02/07/14 11:55 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick
Originally Posted by Bugsey
For my niece or nephew yeah, for me, i find it way too rudimentary.

Im not starting, Im finishing LOLLLLL

Just always looking to get better, I enjoy learning as much as I can


Hmm… maybe Alfred’s theory & harmony is rudimentary, but not Arnold Schoenberg’s. Or study the works of Ravel, Bartok, Gershwin, etc. There are many great theory books that go far beyond the rudimentary level. Wish I could remember some I used.

Eventually all the theory and harmony should be placed in an inactive part of the brain – only to influence, not to over-ride the emotions. These days I compose from the heart while trying to keep the music intelligible, i.e., employing some kind of rational form.

I must admit, most of what I am as a composer came from studying the works of all the Greats. And studying with Paul Schocker and Dr. Sherman Storr (had to include my mentors).

Hope this didn’t come off as condescending …

Best, John smile


No you didnt, i think you were answering from a composer point of view, I dont know anything about composing to be honest, and i dont claim to be one, but I do write songs.

gershwin was a composer, Tom petty is a songwriter
Billy Joel is kind of both all entwined

But what Im talking about deals with melody on top of words, and framing them for full impact etc. But Im sure those study things are all useful

#1038810 - 02/08/14 12:01 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick

Eventually all the theory and harmony should be placed in an inactive part of the brain – only to influence, not to over-ride the emotions.


I know what you're saying John, and I can see where Bugsy is coming from.

I started learning music theory in school from violin lessons at age eight to high school band as a teenager. That's a long time for an adult to start studying music, especially if they already know how to play music. But that's the formal path. Sub (Mike Caro) recently started reading "Mel Bay" guitar books to learn theory and he is one of the most successful guitarists on this forum, so I guess it's never too late.

When you say that theory and harmony should be placed in an inactive part of the brain I take that as meaning that all of the things that you learned in the past will resurface eventually if the situation is right. That happens to me sometimes, but even though I knew how to read music notation at one time, there is no way that I can sight read again without hours and hours of practice.

#1038812 - 02/08/14 12:24 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: ben willis]  
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Well,
There is Juilliard and Belmont. Probably some others. Then there is the "Great Outdoors" of everything else. There may be plenty of local places where you can learn to play an instrument.

How did the old masters learn music theory? Probably trial and eer. Books can help you to write songs but in the long run it is mostly up to you if you succeed or not.


Ray E. Strode
#1038813 - 02/08/14 12:28 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: ben willis]  
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Originally Posted by ben willis
Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick

Eventually all the theory and harmony should be placed in an inactive part of the brain – only to influence, not to over-ride the emotions.


I know what you're saying John, and I can see where Bugsy is coming from.

I started learning music theory in school from violin lessons at age eight to high school band as a teenager. That's a long time for an adult to start studying music, especially if they already know how to play music. But that's the formal path. Sub (Mike Caro) recently started reading "Mel Bay" guitar books to learn theory and he is one of the most successful guitarists on this forum, so I guess it's never too late.

When you say that theory and harmony should be placed in an inactive part of the brain I take that as meaning that all of the things that you learned in the past will resurface eventually if the situation is right. That happens to me sometimes, but even though I knew how to read music notation at one time, there is no way that I can sight read again without hours and hours of practice.


I think even lyric writing works that way. If you pulled out all your knowledge while doing it, youd never get any writing done.

It's like playing scales, you learn them but you forget them when playing your solos etc

#1038814 - 02/08/14 12:32 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Originally Posted by Ray E. Strode
Well,
There is Juilliard and Belmont. Probably some others. Then there is the "Great Outdoors" of everything else. There may be plenty of local places where you can learn to play an instrument.

How did the old masters learn music theory? Probably trial and eer. Books can help you to write songs but in the long run it is mostly up to you if you succeed or not.


But my question was not really about music theory, music theory is about music. Knowing how to write "the right" melody for a particular lyrical idea, so that they both work together to make an impact, is not music theory, it's kind of language theory

For example, most of us know that a major chord means happy, minor means sad, but theres more to learn. The melody you choose can wipe out the lyric if not done right.

#1038815 - 02/08/14 12:34 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: ben willis]  
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"When you say that theory and harmony should be placed in an inactive part of the brain I take that as meaning that all of the things that you learned in the past will resurface eventually if the situation is right" Ben

What I meant was the knowledge of music theory guides/influences me subconsciously. I’m not consciously aware of the choices I make. But the end product confirms my origin of knowledge. If I had to consciously make choices based on music theory, I would never get off of first base.

"Gershwin was a composer, Tom petty is a songwriter
Billy Joel is kind of both all entwined" - Bugsey


George Gershwin intertwined both as well. Some of my favorite Gershwin songs: Embraceable You, Someone to Watch Over Me, Summertime, and The Man I Love.

John smile

#1038819 - 02/08/14 12:53 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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"But my question was not really about music theory, music theory is about music. Knowing how to write "the right" melody for a particular lyrical idea, so that they both work together to make an impact, is not music theory, it's kind of language theory" - Bugsey

I disagree Bugsey. Melody is much a part of music theory. Melody and its relationship to chord structure, scales, counterpoint, etc.

"major chord means happy, minor means sad" - Bugsey That could be another discussion Bugsey.

John smile

#1038820 - 02/08/14 01:03 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Generally with major and minor

Yes melody alone with chords, as in composing.

But with a lyric, the dynamic changes.

The melody can change the meaning of the lyric. And a lyric added to a melody can change the character of the melody.


#1038821 - 02/08/14 01:18 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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Look at this song, I think sting is playing with us in this one.

You cant tell if he is happy or sad, hence the title. Brilliant!

The bridge especially.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAIK2oOwKdU

Last edited by Bugsey; 02/08/14 01:22 AM.
#1038922 - 02/09/14 12:47 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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How hard can it be with only 7 letters in it's alphabet?

said very tongue in cheek.....

smile




http://www.soundclick.com/noeldownsandfriends

Tolerance means if you don't like something you ignore it
#1038938 - 02/09/14 03:35 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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Originally Posted by Bugsey
Look at this song, I think sting is playing with us in this one.

You cant tell if he is happy or sad, hence the title. Brilliant!

The bridge especially.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAIK2oOwKdU


The lyrics are sad, but the music isn't. Sometimes opposites work well between lyrics and melody.

Also of interest… different chord structures for identical melodies can change the mood of the melody. Some minor chords are only an inversion away from becoming major, e.g., first inversion of Cm7 can become Eb6. Bass notes can sway a chord one way or another.

Never did quite understand the “major chord equates to happy while the minor chord equates to sad” theory. Some tracks in the minor key are inspiring and uplifting, not sad or grave at all (and visa-versa).

John smile

#1038942 - 02/09/14 04:43 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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I think it's mostly associations.

When we hear the twilight zone theme music, we think strange, eeire.

You would know this more than anyone with the pieces you write.

We hear a siren we think police, or fireman. We see the flashing police lights we think, speeding ticket!

When we hear a sound that is familiar, we have the same reaction.

Maybe minor keys were used that way first, and now are just reminders.

I came across this: http://www.exploratorium.edu/music/questions/sadMusic.html

Last edited by Bugsey; 02/09/14 04:45 AM.
#1038943 - 02/09/14 04:46 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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#1038944 - 02/09/14 04:51 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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This song always blows me away. Might not be Billy's most famous of the lot but It amazes me how he wrote this.

You got your theme, running on ice, now you have to create a rhythm
and damn if the rhythm dont sound like a guy running literally on ice! and those drum rim shots, sound like hockey sticks on the ice, it really amazes me, and then to make it a pop song.

Ya, im a fan. Enjoy > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVihX4jjLDI

#1038946 - 02/09/14 05:22 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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Hey just thought of something.

I was playing my gitar, and as most always I bend a note.

Bending the flatted third of the chord makes for a blues sound,
ie. in key of G, bending a b flat up to a B, is the basis of blues.

A minor chord is basicly that flatted note in a chord, just not bending. Maybe it has it's origins in blues?

As far as Major Chords, I have heard plenty of examples of sad songs with major chords, rock n roll does it all the time.

#1038961 - 02/09/14 11:46 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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Colin

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#1038962 - 02/09/14 01:11 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Colin Ward]  
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Bugsey, another good one from Rikky Rooksby is 'Melody: How to Write Great Tunes'.

Maybe check out John Perricone's 'Melody in Songwriting' as well.

Donna


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#1038967 - 02/09/14 02:28 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: DonnaMarilyn]  
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Bugsey Offline
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Thanks all for the suggestions. Im an avid reader, if those books were on the shelves or in libraries, back when people actually read them, I probably read it.

I've read probably 5 or 6 books cover to cover on lyric writing.
Sheila Davis Craft of lyric writing is the best, although ver outdated. John Brahenys craft and business of songwriting was good too, not alot on melody though.

Pat Pattison and Andrea Stolpes books as well.

I will look for those titles, i have found most stuff I have seen written is on pop songwriting, and kind of "this is what so and so did, on so and so hit song" and you basicly then... know the chords to a few hit songs lol




#1038980 - 02/09/14 03:45 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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Jack Perricone, a Professor and the guy who started the songwriting major at Berklee was a JPF mentor for a time and is a good place to start Bugsey. I imagine he's got stuff out I haven't seen, but if he's done anything recently, it may be what you're looking for.

But in my opinion, when it comes to writing a compelling melody to go with your interesting lyrics, you either have it or you don't. I think the best tactic is to write write write and then write more. Keep going until people respond positively in a big way (like, for example, being willing to buy it from you, or for others to want to do business with you via placements, publishing, recording it themselves etc. At best, a book may help a light bulb light up helping you mentally see the way to solving a problem you have in your approach. I doubt it can hold your hand to a hit song.

Brian


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#1038984 - 02/09/14 03:55 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Bugsey Offline
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Well that's true. Same could be said for books on lyric writing, if you dont have it, it wont help you.

If you take guitar lessons and dont have it, you wont learn much or get very good. Vocal lessons wont help a tone deaf singer. If you're not smart, you may never learn advanced calculus!

But I think even the best songwriters, as gifted as they are learned from somewhere. You might pick it up faster, and be able to make your own faster and better than the next guy, but you still need to learn alot.


#1038996 - 02/09/14 06:49 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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Well, if you can talk you know how to use pitch and rhythm, so everyone really has got it, many without realizing it, though.

But there are study materials for music writing. Jimmy Kachulis (Faculty of Berklee) has two great books, one on melody writing, and one on harmony (both with cd's). http://jimmykachulis.com/author_books.htm Both of these are excellent, and I use them all the time as references.

Also Jai Josefs has a great book and a CD series focusing on the music of songwriting http://www.jaijomusic.com/ I've learned tons from his CD's and his book was the first one I ever read.

Also Robin Frederick, who is a head screener at Taxi and has worked on many Disney productions, has books out on songwriting that focus on the music, and not just on the lyrics http://robinfrederick.com/ Those are the most updated resources on songwriting on the mrkt today, imo.

And online you can find a bunch of courses with video ect http://www.music-courses.com/ as just one example of many. You can also take free classes on various subjects related to songwriting and music on coursera https://www.coursera.org/courses?search=music Full free classes from Berklee and many others are available. I haven't tried any of those, though. So much to do and so little time.

There are also great music teachers that offers free instruction and put out weekly music blogs online. One of my favourites for guitar is David Walliman http://davidwallimann.com/ he also puts out lots of great videos on youtube. I watch those all the time, and find them very helpful. I'm into studying modes at the moment, and David has been the only one who could explain that in a way I was able to get.

So, it's not really true there aren't any. The resources are there to use, but the Internet clutter can make it hard to find, though.

Hope that helps.


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#1039007 - 02/09/14 08:08 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Kolstad]  
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Maybe the best way to strengthen your composing chops is to dive back into the past and rethink what it is you like about modern-day compositions and how they arrived there by learning from the foundations created by the original grandmasters of musical composition.

Coursera is a website with thousands of online college courses, some from prestigious universities like Princeton, for free.

One course I noticed was from the National University of Singapore, called "Write Like Mozart: An Introduction to Classical Music Composition." I think this might be a great way to take an unexpected journey to exactly where you're hoping to go...just in a roundabout way.

#1039011 - 02/09/14 08:46 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Courses sound like fun, ill have to look into more.

But check out this quote

"as was the case with Nebraska and Tom Joad, and the songs that followed, the music was minimal, yet it played
an important role in the story telling process. The plainess and the austere rhythms defined who those characters were,
and how they expressed themselves. The precision in the storytelling is very important. The correct detail
can speak volumes about where your character is, while the wrong one can shred the credibility of your story.

When you get the music and words right in these songs, your voice disappears into the people you have chosen to write about"

The Boss

if he can teach so much in that one paragraph, it must be learnable, he's not just doing it, he's telling you HOW and WHY he did it.

That's what im interested in learning more about.

#1039017 - 02/09/14 09:58 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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Well, I believe there are things that can't be taught. They can only be learned.


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#1039023 - 02/09/14 11:30 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Kolstad]  
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Bugsey Offline
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Where did you learn that?

LOL. Yeah most things are not taught, a teacher gets paid to help you learn it for yourself. You learn by doing, you get guidance from a teacher.

That's why I started this thread, I cant teach this, I can only hope you learn it.

#1039028 - 02/09/14 11:43 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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Bugsey Offline
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Hey, back to the earlier point about minor and major keys.
I got PROOF!

Listen this this REM classic Losing my religion, first as the original, then altered digitally to a major progression, notice how the melody, the feeling, and the overall vibe changes, when changed to a major key song. Much better the original way. the song still dont make alot of sense, but it made good sense to make it minor lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if-UzXIQ5vw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6KmiIq2-m8#t=60

#1039031 - 02/10/14 12:22 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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Bugsey Offline
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More proof. Now were making a happy song sad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dcfpH8oJoM

#1039032 - 02/10/14 12:23 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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#1039033 - 02/10/14 12:24 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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Seems im not the only one who has given this thought lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_dNKrql06w

#1039048 - 02/10/14 07:23 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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MaxG Offline
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yea bugsey, I don't want this topic to end, cause I'm both a theacher and an eager student for music theory.
You hit the point when you say too few books on music if compared to the lyrics one, and I think you gave the answer also in your considerations: people think somehow that they're unnecessary, and - on the other way, there's no easy way to reduce the complexity of a formal music theory that is necessary to understand the issues in songwriting. The same I found some good teachers on the web that helped break the ice: pat pattison has a good free course at coursera (songwriting - mostly about marrying words and music), and gary ewer has in the essential secrets of songwriting summed up some useful consideration about harmony without being too formal. If I remember other things I come back! In the meanwhile I check all your suggestions ;-)

#1039049 - 02/10/14 07:42 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: MaxG]  
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hey Mark, I'm attending that course too (write like mozart ... ) - I hope I will survive the final exam LOL but that's a very fine course !

#1039063 - 02/10/14 02:42 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: MaxG]  
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Originally Posted by MaxG
hey Mark, I'm attending that course too (write like mozart ... ) - I hope I will survive the final exam LOL but that's a very fine course !


Awesome! I might have to try it myself--there's always so much to learn from music theory, and even after you learn it, it still pays off to revisit it.

#1039068 - 02/10/14 02:58 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Never a waste of time practicing writing like the Masters. Mozart for scales & chords, Bach for counterpoint, Rachmaninoff for extended chords, Gershwin for jazz modulations, etc... Though the ultimate goal is finding a niche of your own.

John smile


#1039121 - 02/10/14 07:51 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Music exists in time. That's what makes it hard to teach from a printed word. Play a song faster or slower and the response changes. Even emotional responses to different modes (major and natural minor are just two of them) are tempered by tempo and note duration.

Basically, as Bugsey says, minor is sad and major is happy. There are also other modes that convey different feelings, myxolidian gives a circular feeling of moving to two home centers, that's the "Werewolves of London, Sweet Home Alabama" mode. Chromatic moves can give a "scattered, capricious" feeling as in "Flight of the Bumblebee" or much bebop.

Here's a song in the harmonic and melodic minor scales: http://youtu.be/VpmOTGungnA It doesn't sound sad to me, but playful. That's due to the tempo, the swing and the note lengths.

Here's a simple stripped down version of Going Home and Amazing Grace that projects sadness, melancholy in a major key.
http://youtu.be/6hKXlaZobLc

Then this treatment of Amazing Grace has hope and joy: http://youtu.be/HsCp5LG_zNE

So, basically, with so many variables so much subjectivity and great difficulty to express in print it's nowhere near as easy to teach, that's one of the main reasons there are fewer study materials.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#1039135 - 02/10/14 09:17 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Kolstad]  
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I want Mike to teach a course! I'd enroll in a heartbeat. smile

Originally Posted by the songcabinet
Well, I believe there are things that can't be taught. They can only be learned.


Sometimes I feel this way, but I've met too many great teachers to really agree. But maybe that means I agree with you...? Because great teachers facilitate learning, and no lesson has been taught if it was not learned.

In the case of composition, I think having a teacher is the ideal setting...it's something that demands demonstration and participation. A book might do the trick, but it would be a lot more difficult. A music theory class needs sound for the lessons to really make sense. It's important to hear the difference between notes, and the different sounds produced by a minor 2nd interval (on a keyboard, play simultaneously any two notes that sit right next to each other, like C and C#--that's a minor 2nd interval) and a major 2nd interval (move one finger over to the next key, so that there are two notes with only one in between them, like C and D--that's a major 2nd interval). Writing that is confusing...SHOWING it and PLAYING it is very direct and much easier to understand and to hear.

I learned a lot about composition from a high school music theory class. The songs I wrote after learning some theory improved immensely. And it wasn't because I was suddenly adopting a "proper way" to approach music...it wasn't a matter of "learning the rules"...it's that I had a better understanding of sounds themselves, and why they sound the way they do. I understood better how to create any sound I wanted to make.

I guess I'm suggesting that anyone who is interested in learning more about music rather than lyrics would be best rewarded by finding a real live teacher...a course, a tutor, a mentor. It makes a world of difference.

#1039141 - 02/10/14 09:50 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Bugsey Offline
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I remember music theory class in HS. LOL

As a junior I went unnoticed, when I became a senior the teacher started throwing the ball in my court, she was actually hoping I would lead the class, instead of most kids thinking of it as a lunch break! Didnt work.

I remember interval training, where we'd listen to these God awful (records) yes it's true records, of intervals, they sounded alot like a hearing test.

Always funny how kids claimed to have perfect pitch, when in reality so few do.

Also will never forget my friend, who was s self taught drummer, took the class too. Teacher asks him to say the names of the notes of a C scale, C, D, E you finish, shes says. He says F, G, H!

HHHHHHH he said lol, we laughed for a week.

Those were the days

Last edited by Bugsey; 02/10/14 09:51 PM.
#1039167 - 02/11/14 05:29 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Bugsey Offline
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Originally Posted by Mike Dunbar
Music exists in time. That's what makes it hard to teach from a printed word. Play a song faster or slower and the response changes. Even emotional responses to different modes (major and natural minor are just two of them) are tempered by tempo and note duration.

Basically, as Bugsey says, minor is sad and major is happy. There are also other modes that convey different feelings, myxolidian gives a circular feeling of moving to two home centers, that's the "Werewolves of London, Sweet Home Alabama" mode. Chromatic moves can give a "scattered, capricious" feeling as in "Flight of the Bumblebee" or much bebop.

Here's a song in the harmonic and melodic minor scales: http://youtu.be/VpmOTGungnA It doesn't sound sad to me, but playful. That's due to the tempo, the swing and the note lengths.

Here's a simple stripped down version of Going Home and Amazing Grace that projects sadness, melancholy in a major key.
http://youtu.be/6hKXlaZobLc

Then this treatment of Amazing Grace has hope and joy: http://youtu.be/HsCp5LG_zNE

So, basically, with so many variables so much subjectivity and great difficulty to express in print it's nowhere near as easy to teach, that's one of the main reasons there are fewer study materials.


Good post Mike. I listened to the Django song. It doesnt sound sad per say, but to me, it does sound kind of unresolved and off kilter, even though it's a fun groove.

Actually it sounds like something you might hear in a murder-comedy movie or something. Silent film maybe.

#1040312 - 02/22/14 12:36 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Kolstad]  
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Originally Posted by the songcabinet
Well, I believe there are things that can't be taught. They can only be learned.

What a great paradigm!

#1040326 - 02/22/14 03:58 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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Originally Posted by Bugsey
Why is it that there are boatloads of books on lyric writing, but so little on melody writing and music writing?


Maybe due to the idea that the ones with those great instincts to do all you say don't have creative time or will to make something "technical" out of it all. And, maybe the great ones in that aspect that also know and do all the technically aware things are simply too busy to write such an involved book. They rather work at their craft? (Having more commissioned work to do)?

Just a thought for possible reasons.


Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
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#1040833 - 02/27/14 01:43 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Johnny Daubert]  
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Bugsey Offline
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Originally Posted by Johnny Daubert
Originally Posted by Bugsey
Why is it that there are boatloads of books on lyric writing, but so little on melody writing and music writing?


Maybe due to the idea that the ones with those great instincts to do all you say don't have creative time or will to make something "technical" out of it all. And, maybe the great ones in that aspect that also know and do all the technically aware things are simply too busy to write such an involved book. They rather work at their craft? (Having more commissioned work to do)?

Just a thought for possible reasons.


Maybe, but there is always people who cant make a dime in the music business, and so they write books instead. That's basicly every author who ever wrote a book on songwriting!

#1041654 - 03/07/14 10:21 AM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: Bugsey]  
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I learned how to write songs by learning a lot of songs that I liked. After a while, it started to sink in on how it's done.
I never studied any books on songwriting.



Pat Hardy Lockwood

#1041675 - 03/07/14 02:27 PM Re: Why no study materials for music writing? [Re: pathardy]  
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I'm with pat, though I never learned a lot of covers, I absorbed from artists I love.

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