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#1123790 - 02/06/17 03:52 PM What's more important the words or music?  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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What do you think?
Are they equally important?
Or what?

#1123794 - 02/06/17 04:14 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Well, music without words is still music. Lyrics without music is poems. Both are equally important in songs. Though one can carry the other,i.e.,great lyrics gives a boost to average music, great music gives a boost to average lyrics.

John smile

#1123802 - 02/06/17 07:33 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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It depends on how the listener's brain works. I can listen to songs for years, recognize them after a couple of notes or riffs, and not have a clue what the words are. Others are not like me!


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#1123808 - 02/06/17 08:10 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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In the past when we tackled this question....

important as the question is, there was\is no definitive answer...and I am not sure it needs one.

For some music, no words are needed---for some, the melody and harmonies make it.

Imagine "Classical Gas" with words...can you--are they needed?

Imagine "Like A Rolling Stone" without words...

In the end, art is in the mind, ear eyes of the beholder.



If writing ever becomes work I think I'm going to have to stop

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#1123809 - 02/06/17 08:41 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Originally Posted by Barry David Butler
What do you think?
Are they equally important?
Or what?


It's always an incomplete question...are lyrics important?

The bigger question is important for what?

For a hit? These question tend to stem from people concerned with writing a hit song.

For pop music, the ones your trying to write to make money, the hook lyric is probably a marketing concern and the most important lyric you write

Many hit songs, good and bad have one lyrical hook that makes the song what it is...

The futures so bright, I have to wear shades...
I would do anything for love...but I won't do that
Let my love open the door....
Bieber , he does have a hit..."my mama don't like you, and she likes everyone"

First time I heard that it did catch my ear, I don't really like the song, but the hook works

Most hit songs have one or more killer lyrical hooks in them

If you start me up, if you Start me up, if you start me up I never stop

I can't get no, satisfaction

The list goes on. And I notice many times people think any thing they write down is a good hook, small little lines like that can make a song a hit, they are not so easy to find a cool sounding hook, ever try finding a name for a band? It's hard

To further the question...important for what though?

Just because you can't hear every lyric sung, or don't k ow the words to your favorite songs, doesn't mean those lyrics didn't matter, number 1, lyrics make sound, sounds are what people hear when they hear songs.

Somebody mentioned like a rolling stone, listen to the alliterarion, and inner rhymes, if any lyric makes a sound, it's that, I don't need to know what it's about, it's just a great track to listen to

Also just cause you may not hear all the lyrics when listening, if you listen to the song and enjoy it, you might go find the lyric to sing along with it, that's like a gift that keeps giving, you learn something new about a song when you listen for something different in it

It don't even have to be the lyric, take a favorite song, and try to just listen to the bass guitar, without a thing else, block it all out, and hear the bass, chances are you get an extra kick at what the bass is doing

Or just the drums, or just the vocals and harmonies, or just the lyric without anything else

It all contributes to the final product, good lyrics can make a record last longer and have staying power

Of course good is subjective anyway..soo

If lyrics didn't matter people would view James brown and James Taylor the same, they are way different and people know it, one of the reasons is James Taylor has lyrics, brown has grooves

Also remember a song like...I feel good, by James brown, he don't need to say much more than that, because his music sells the idea that he feels good

Sometimes it's en epic lyric...cats in the cradle, trying to tell me those lyrics don't matter?
Sometimes it's one lyrical line

These questions only gain traction when you try to seperate the words and music. songs are sounds made by lyrics and music



Last edited by Warblemusic; 02/06/17 08:44 PM.
#1123811 - 02/06/17 08:49 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Whew sorry bout the typos fixed them all, damn keys get stuck and I roll over them too fast lol

#1123849 - 02/07/17 02:24 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Hi Barry:

IMHO... the melody is most important, followed closely by the lyric. Without both elements, it isn't a song. As John implied, "A stand-alone lyric" is poetry... and a stand-alone melody is a composition.

Having said all that... I have no real success to back up my thoughts and beliefs on this topic. I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express once... so maybe that qualifies? LOL!

Regards, ----Dave

#1123853 - 02/07/17 02:31 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Dave Rice]  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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Hey Dave.....I can play a lot of my songs as Just Instrumentals.
SO...Poems can't go too many places BUT Great Melodies can Stand alone and be in movies and TV Shows....Orchestras cover many pop tunes.
SOOOOO I'd say if the melody isn't really strong and words will never find wings.
How are YOU doing?
Barry

#1123857 - 02/07/17 03:25 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Hi Barry:

I re-read Colin's post and chuckled. (My brain no longer works!) LOL! It seems to wander aimlessly toward crappy lyrics and even worse melodies. But hey, whatever makes us happy, right?

Have a great day. ----Dave

#1123860 - 02/07/17 03:34 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Orchestras play melodies of songs that are already famous.

School marching bands play melodies of any song you can dream of, crap melody or not, the point of it is, that they play familiar songs that people know. Let them play a melody of a song one of their classmates wrote, I think they would lose the attention of their audience e, even f it it might sound nice

Any melody, the worst melody of all time can be played as an instrumental

If Taylor swift decided that her next album will be all instrumental melodies, no lyrics, do you think she'd have a hit?

Might be a very nice melody she has too, but without her lyric and her character in it its nothing.

How many instrumental songs have been hits? How many songs with lyrics have been hits?

I agree that the melody Carries it all, I agree more that the production and rhythm, specially today carry it further

Asking what's more important, lyric or melody short changes a lot of stuff.

That's like saying the guitar player, the bass player, the drummer, the background singers, the production people don't even get considered, everything they do was chit, it's only the songwriter who wrote the melody and lyric that are important

Nowadays a great drum beat can make a song a hit, but it's also impossible to tell a detailed story without a well crafted lyric.




Last edited by Warblemusic; 02/07/17 03:40 PM.
#1123863 - 02/07/17 03:43 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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"It all depends" - on the listener's preference.
I watched Lady Gaga's Superbowl half-time show last night on youtube. A medley of her 'hits', I guess. I'd never heard one of them before, and after listening, I can't say there were ANY hooks that imprinted themselves in my brain. The songs were all about the beat, dance moves and visual. So to her fans, the lyrics are not the most important thing.

Conversely I have attended countless concerts where the audience is singing along with every song played by the band - to them, the lyrics ARE an important part of the songs.

#1123864 - 02/07/17 03:50 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: MikeBmusic]  
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Originally Posted by MikeBmusic
"It all depends" - on the listener's preference.
I watched Lady Gaga's Superbowl half-time show last night on youtube. A medley of her 'hits', I guess. I'd never heard one of them before, and after listening, I can't say there were ANY hooks that imprinted themselves in my brain. The songs were all about the beat, dance moves and visual. So to her fans, the lyrics are not the most important thing.

Conversely I have attended countless concerts where the audience is singing along with every song played by the band - to them, the lyrics ARE an important part of the songs.


I'm a not so proud fan of lady gags. I find her very talented, listen to bad romance, if you want several hooks that will need surgical removal!

She's got the fast lyrical/melodic hook thing down to a science. But I'm also not a fan of the dance stage theatric stuff, so I'm torn, lol

#1123869 - 02/07/17 05:41 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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I was just thinking about the song Y.M.C.A

I mention this not as great lyric writing per se, but as smart pop songwriting

You take those four letters out of the picture, that song would be be half as famous as it is today

Imagine the lyrics were:

I'm driving down the street and... I feel ok
I'm driving down the street and I feel ok

As opposed to
It's fun to stay at the ymca
It's fun to stay and the ymca

Which lyric is more effective?

Those four letters made that song an international hit

Lyrics can be more powerful than melody

How bout tommy tutones

87675309

That phone number was being called all over America when that song came out

The melody couldn't do that, it had to be the lyric

Make it all count is the point



,,

Last edited by Warblemusic; 02/07/17 05:46 PM.
#1123871 - 02/07/17 05:51 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Warblemusic]  
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Also repeating it over and over is effective and EASY to remember to sing along.
Those four words and that melody made that a very effective pop song..
ALSO their outfits didn't hurt and the Gay thing and the Y shower room...Every Gay guy in in the world bought that 45....

#1123872 - 02/07/17 05:56 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Originally Posted by Barry David Butler
Also repeating it over and over is effective and EASY to remember to sing along.
Those four words and that melody made that a very effective pop song..
ALSO their outfits didn't hurt and the Gay thing and the Y shower room...Every Gay guy in in the world bought that 45....


Lol, well any wedding I've ever been to plays it, I guess you could argue that all weddings are gay..lol


#1123874 - 02/07/17 06:14 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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For that matter you change the lyrical hook of any of these songs, how popular and memorable does the song become?

Sweet home Alabama
Rocky Mountain high, Colorado
Play that funky music white boy, lol
Thank God I'm a country boy
Like a virgin
Imagine
Live and let die
Paradise by the dashboard light

Basically any big hit song where you change those lines you have a lesser song, sometimes those lines resonate

Last edited by Warblemusic; 02/08/17 02:17 AM.
#1123877 - 02/07/17 06:27 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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And, I'm inclined to credit billy Joel for his composing chops, but you change piano man lyric to, give me a call, im at home tonight, as opposed to sing us a song your the piano man, and you dint have a classic

And this one, 95% is lyric, the melody is not the thing here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m50p-XScreM

Last edited by Warblemusic; 02/07/17 06:28 PM.
#1123905 - 02/08/17 12:15 AM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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I agree with Colin in that it depends how you are wired. I'm another one who frequently doesn't know the lyrics to songs I listen to and play. But, as others have said, there are lots of songs that are carried almost entirely by the lyrics.

That said, I think that lyrics are more important with today's pop music. I think the popularity of rap, hip hop, etc., which are almost entirely beat and lyrics, have boosted the importance of lyrics for all popular music. Young listeners today pay more attention to the lyrics.

Last edited by Andy K; 02/08/17 12:16 AM.

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#1123909 - 02/08/17 02:59 AM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Andy K]  
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Originally Posted by Andy K
I agree with Colin in that it depends how you are wired. I'm another one who frequently doesn't know the lyrics to songs I listen to and play. But, as others have said, there are lots of songs that are carried almost entirely by the lyrics.

That said, I think that lyrics are more important with today's pop music. I think the popularity of rap, hip hop, etc., which are almost entirely beat and lyrics, have boosted the importance of lyrics for all popular music. Young listeners today pay more attention to the lyrics.


I agree with Colin too, on that side of it,it could be that there are just too many songs to remember all the words to. We probably have thousands of songs in our memory banks. We will only remember dribs and drabs

We have a hard time remembering 5 passwords, let alone thousands of lyrics
I was asked to sing a few songs with the band at a wedding one time, I needed a lyric sheet to sing
Satisfaction, I had never known the words.

Lyrics are just another sound palate to the dense mix we hear

Story songs the lyric needs to be up front and knowable, and coherent

J

Last edited by Warblemusic; 02/08/17 03:02 AM.
#1123913 - 02/08/17 09:31 AM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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I played a few times in band that played nothing but instrumentals. After a while I found it hard work and was losing interest rapidly.
For myself I certainly prefer music with lyrics.


It's never too late? Yes it is, so do it now.

If, given time, a monkey can write the complete works of Shakespeare maybe there's hope for me.
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#1123915 - 02/08/17 10:54 AM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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I think people like the tone of the human voice and much prefer songs with vocals over instrumentals. That said, the words themselves have to have a rhythm, something memorable like a hook (YMCA), and sound good sung. The actual meaning of the lyric is much less important. I watched the Lady Gaga performance and basically couldn't understand a word she was singing, but it sounded good in that the words fit the beat, the melody was good and she has a good voice.

I always liked the song Brown Sugar by the Stones. One day I read the words and was shocked because I had no idea what the song was about, except I knew I liked the hook. How many of you know the lyrics?

Brown Sugar live

Last edited by Colin Ward; 02/08/17 10:57 AM.

Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#1123918 - 02/08/17 11:44 AM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Depending on the genre which is more important. A gospel song without lyrics will not do its job, but a rock song with a good danceable beat will get people dancing even if there are no lyrics or the lyrics make no sense.

#1123922 - 02/08/17 01:28 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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This would make an interesting song.
"Music or the Words?"

#1123974 - 02/10/17 01:09 AM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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I did write a song about 12 years ago that kind of deals with this same topic:

Na Na Baby Goodbye



Stone Marmot
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Check out our latest song, "Miss Chameleon"
#1123977 - 02/10/17 11:14 AM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Andy K]  
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Originally Posted by Andy K
I did write a song about 12 years ago that kind of deals with this same topic:

Na Na Baby Goodbye



What a great fun song Andy

God Bless Roy and Helen


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#1124003 - 02/11/17 12:58 AM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Melody is key (pun intended) !


My Music at Soundclick
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#1124049 - 02/13/17 07:55 AM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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What is it Ralph Murphy say, melody pulls you in and lyrics brings you back. http://murphyslawsofsongwriting.com/laws-of-songwriting

When writing, a great lyric can be very musical, and pull the melody out of you. But when listening to a song, melody is quicker to recognize and can make you hum along in a second, while the lyrics takes a little longer to learn. But if the words aren't strong enough, you mostly won't listen again.

Both lyrics and melody is music to me, as there's always an inherent melody in a lyric. It is not possible you speak without using pitch in your words. Some writers have a knack to write very musical lyrics (just check out the lyrics forums here at JPF!), while others need more work.

When a lyric is not musical (at least to the ear that has to set it to music), it takes more work and effort, so thats where craft comes in. Thats also when its important to keep in mind why you wrote it, and find ways to match lyrics and melody that keeps the original idea (if there ever was one :-)).

I find that some lyric writers are more musical than they give themselves credit for, while others with less mojo think of lyric writing as a technical exercise. Composers can write unmusical melodies as well, so nothing is a given just because you give it a name up front. Imo, both lyrics and melody needs to be musical.

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#1124074 - 02/14/17 12:37 AM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Looking at myself with what I am looked to be better at I would say that it is sounding more familiar, perhaps with a twist in the lyrics.
It would be great if I were loved for all the words and different spins that I have. But it comes down to what is the most familiar. Not great lyrical depth. Unless you can find that one in a million that can make their lyrics work outside the beaten path.
The words with that certain swave 've verve.

#1124076 - 02/14/17 12:48 AM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Without music that draws people in, you have no chance. Once you do, lyrics can help, but don't always make any difference at all, beyond the hook and perhaps overarching idea. Decades of proof are all over popular music, whereas I can show you people who do both great who never get noticed no matter how talented they are because something else in their "game" is lacking to find success (sometimes it's as simple as being likable or entertaining in all ways that ever tough the process, behind the scenes, with tastemakers, with fans, on stage, in business dealings etc. It mostly all needs to click to work.


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#1124812 - 03/03/17 10:43 AM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Music can do a lot as far as making a person feel something like an emotion. The same is true for lyrics.

Listening to a musician who does amazing things with their instrument can excite the mind. Lyrics can take you on exciting journeys.

When I listen to songwriters who are singer/songwriter artists I pay specific attention to the craftsmanship side. Their music, melodies, lyrics, story, craft and production to a lesser extent. I tend to dissect the songs with a primary focus on the lyrics.

Listening to bands in a wide range of genres, I still dissect the songs but I am not going to pay as much attention to the lyrics. I will likely not even be able to understand them without having a lyric sheet. I will just enjoy what the music does for me as a listener.

I think that the further away from a commercial aspect the song is, it becomes more about art and craftsmanship where lyrics and music can be equally important.

The closer to commercial music, designed to essentially target the biggest possible audience, there will be less focus on the lyrics. There will be a focus on a hook which these days will likely be a "beat" with a decent, yet not so artsy lyric hook. Also, the production in this instance can have a huge impact on how the masses will relate to the song.

I think songwriters tend to dissect songs from multiple angles for many specific reasons.

It is nice to just kick back, and listen to the whole package, meaning both lyrics and music. And try to not dissect it which can be hard to do!

#1124816 - 03/03/17 11:00 AM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Music tends to GET THEM THERE. Lyrics tend to KEEP THEM THERE.

#1124818 - 03/03/17 11:48 AM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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It still comes down to likes and dislikes. Does a great lyric matter, if the person listening doesn't care what's being said? Does a bad lyric matter if the person listening hears the lyrics and wants to sing along? I think great lines matter more than whole piece of lyric. "Out on the road today, I saw a dead head sticker on a cadillac". Man, if you don't catch any other line, that's enough to make you think.

Another question I'll pose is this. How many of us will listen, and really get involved in a song where the singer is singing a foreign language? Chances are, and I may be overestimating this, but chances are, if the singer is not singing in English, or our native tongue, the song will not make a big impact on us.

There is something missing, even with a human voice, we still want to know what's being said

Last edited by Trentb; 03/03/17 11:50 AM.
#1124837 - 03/03/17 01:40 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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I had a fairly involved post (shock) but it got erased. What I meant to say is that MUSIC gets them there, LYRICS keep them there.
In most music, the groove, melody, vibe, mood, are all what attract most people. They dance, hear it on the background, party, whatever to it. In Rock, pop, electronic, rap, etc. it is mostly the movement of the music that brings people in. In Country and folk, it is a more lyric oriented story format but music is still something that pulls them in to begin with.

Lyrics KEEP them there. sooner or later, most people want to have parts of the song they hang on to, shout, sing, react to.
"EVERYBODY DANCE NOW...." So at that point there will be elbow moments "phrases or words that they catch on to that they can sing, to their friends, themselves, etc. Lyrics are what cement the listeners contact with the song. It is why instrumentals are not heard as much on mainstream radio any more. There used to be Ferrante and Tiecher, Liberace, Chet Atkins, Les Paul and Mary Ford, and others that were mainstays on popular radio. Even up to the 80;s with soundtracks like Chariots of Fire, Miami Vice and others that were on radio.

The 90's and on to today, lyrics tend to be the final factor in keeping people interested in a song. It is sort of like THEIR way to participate in the song. Why you'll hear them go crazy when "WE WILL ROCK YOU" or "YOU SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT LONG" come on the radio or public address at a football game.

So yes, there is a connection with both and it is a personal preference. But I would submit that the really connecting factor needs to have both of equal importance. Music GETS them there, lyrics KEEP them there.

MAB

#1124841 - 03/03/17 02:00 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Music tends to GET THEM THERE. Lyrics tend to KEEP THEM THERE.


Never thought of it in those terms but, yeah, I agree.

Marc, we will meet at one of the writers' venues soon. Maybe Paul Churchfield will come with me. Paul said he met you at Bobby's Idle Hour.

Jim

#1124846 - 03/03/17 05:04 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Last week I started playing some of my Les Paul Mary Ford CD's which I hadn't listened to in years.

#1124852 - 03/03/17 11:38 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
I had a fairly involved post (shock) but it got erased. What I meant to say is that MUSIC gets them there, LYRICS keep them there. In most music, the groove, melody, vibe, mood, are all what attract most people. They dance, hear it on the background, party, whatever to it. In Rock, pop, electronic, rap, etc. it is mostly the movement of the music that brings people in. In Country and folk, it is a more lyric oriented story format but music is still something that pulls them in to begin with. Lyrics KEEP them there. sooner or later, most people want to have parts of the song they hang on to, shout, sing, react to. "EVERYBODY DANCE NOW...." So at that point there will be elbow moments "phrases or words that they catch on to that they can sing, to their friends, themselves, etc. Lyrics are what cement the listeners ciontact with the song. It is why instrumentals are not heard as much on mainstream radio any more. There used to be Ferrante and Tiecher, Liberace, Chet Atkins, Les Paul and Mary Ford, and others that were mainstays on popular radio. Even up to the 80;s with soundtracks like Chariots of Fire, Miami Vice and others that were on radio. The 90's and on to today, lyrics tend to be the final factor in keeping people interested in a song. It is sort of like THEIR way to participate in the song. Why you'll hear them go crazy when "WE WILL ROCK YOU" or "YOU SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT LONG" come on the radio or public address at a football game. So yes, there is a connection with both and it is a personal preference. But I would submit that the really connecting factor needs to have both of equal importance. Music GETS them there, lyrics KEEP them there. MAB

I agree Marc, but you mention everybody dance now, that's just a hook. I think we all agree the hooks matter moe than the story. But if the lyric keeps them, what if the lyric is weak? How does that work in keeping them there? Or is it just that there has to be some words to sing to, and it doesn't matter if the lyric is good or not?

Last edited by Trentb; 03/03/17 11:46 PM.
#1124853 - 03/03/17 11:43 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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My experience from my favorite artists, is if I'm a fan of the artists work, I will read the lyrics, and find out the lyrics in greater detail, because I'm a fan, and I don't want to miss something.

If it's just a song I hear on The radio, and never really bother with it on my own time, I won't go that extra mile to learn the lyrics. In that, I think the lyrics help the artist connect with his or her fans, but the artist has to win them over by entertaining them first

Last edited by Trentb; 03/03/17 11:47 PM.
#1124856 - 03/04/17 02:18 AM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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It depends. For bubble gum pop, the music is more important, but for country, I'm thinking the lyrics are more important. But if you want to bust out, get ahead of the crowd, then place equal importance on both.

#1124873 - 03/04/17 03:37 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Trentb]  
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Tenth, that IS A LYRIC. That is the HOOK. Some lyrics are nonsensical, especially in pop, rock, a lot of hip hop and dance stuff. They are the "SHOUT WORDS" that are done on the dance floors or concerts. That is the lyric. Anything with words is a lyric. Country and folk are much more story driven and come from the tradition of story telling. But even those are influenced by the grooves, attitudes, sounds of today. Many of modern country are 70's and 80's rock of yesterday. Which is a normal evolution. Country has always followed the leads of rock music, even from the 50's, 60's and on and on. Most people have a very short memory or understanding of history, so they never realize that the things they complain about when music changes is the same thing that their parents and grandparents complained about. It's not THEIR music.

But lyrics in any form, whether it is inane, stupid, "LIME IN THE COCONUT" or cryptic "AMERICAN PIE" or graphic and challenging, or even just a lot of fun, "MARGARITAVILLE", lyrics are the thing that keep people remembering. How many times have you seen someone acting out the theme from MIAMI VICE, or CHARIOTS OF FIRE? Not very often. But most people can YELL, or SPEAK, and lyrics are the things that keep them involved with a song, and yes, build a relationship with the singer.

MAB

#1124878 - 03/04/17 04:08 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Tenth, that IS A LYRIC. That is the HOOK. Some lyrics are nonsensical, especially in pop, rock, a lot of hip hop and dance stuff. They are the "SHOUT WORDS" that are done on the dance floors or concerts. That is the lyric. Anything with words is a lyric. Country and folk are much more story driven and come from the tradition of story telling. But even those are influenced by the grooves, attitudes, sounds of today. Many of modern country are 70's and 80's rock of yesterday. Which is a normal evolution. Country has always followed the leads of rock music, even from the 50's, 60's and on and on. Most people have a very short memory or understanding of history, so they never realize that the things they complain about when music changes is the same thing that their parents and grandparents complained about. It's not THEIR music. But lyrics in any form, whether it is inane, stupid, "LIME IN THE COCONUT" or cryptic "AMERICAN PIE" or graphic and challenging, or even just a lot of fun, "MARGARITAVILLE", lyrics are the thing that keep people remembering. How many times have you seen someone acting out the theme from MIAMI VICE, or CHARIOTS OF FIRE? Not very often. But most people can YELL, or SPEAK, and lyrics are the things that keep them involved with a song, and yes, build a relationship with the singer. MAB


I'm not complaining about lyrics being bad or good. Lyrics have been bad in every decade, and good in every decade too. And good and bad is subjective anyway

But for purposes of "what matters more", lyric or melody..... If a few shout words are all that is needed to make a connection, then you'd have to say that the melody matters more.

I think that's true in pop music and hit songs. You don't get a lot of words to work with, but in story songs, old country, folk music, the hooks are not there.

It depends who the listener is. In spoken word music, the melody can't matter since there is none, but only a certain segment of population enjoys spoken word songs If a big pop fan hears an Americana or spoken word song, it will probably put them to sleep.

Last edited by Trentb; 03/04/17 04:10 PM.
#1124898 - 03/05/17 10:31 AM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Trentb,

I think we are coming at this, from two different perspectives, but we are saying the same thing. HOOKS come in a lot of forms in a song. And there are usually several through out a song. A musical hook, like the intro to Hotel California, or "TAKE IT EASY,", signature guitar or keyboard licks (intro on "SOMETHING" by the BEATLES, or lyrics like "AMERICAN PIE," LIKE A ROLLING STONE", phrases like "HOUSE THAT BUILT ME", or even a "Shout" hook, like WE WILL ROCK YOU, or EVERYBODY DANCE NOW, a drum beat, loop, or even noises that are signatures for the song.

They are ALL HOOKS. A "Hook" is what "Hooks" the listener and makes them want to listen to the song or piece over and over. It is very subjective and also depends on the genre of music. The folk, Country, Americana, etc. genre's are going to be more in the lyric department, the pop, rock, dance, electronic, etc. are going to be more musical or rhythmic. The genre determines that most of the time.

MAB

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 03/05/17 10:32 AM.
#1124900 - 03/05/17 11:19 AM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Lol, I wonder if Barry is sorry he started this thread! I know what a hook is, one thing I do very well is find hooks, musically or lyrically. Ask a lot of writers what the hook of any song is, they might not be able to tell you, or even tell you what the hook in their own song is. Stones are famous for guitar hooks and lyrical jibe... Hey hey hey, that's what I say...

But is the topic on hooks, or on what's more important the lyric or the melody? I don't think you can hook a listener with a lyric alone. If you sang welcome to the Hotel California in a church dirge style, or Gregorian Chant and that was the original release, Im guessing Hitel California would be unknown today

But I think the original question was asking about the whole nine yards, the lyric verses the melody of a song. I think we all concluded that in pop music, the lyric really only matters for the hook, but we haven't agreed fully on what's more important for the whole song, the lyric or the melody

Last edited by Trentb; 03/05/17 11:22 AM.
#1124915 - 03/05/17 12:29 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Hey, let's look at a genre mist of us are not familiar with. Now to my ears, I haven't a clue what is being sung here, you simply can't hear the words.

But, if you ask fans of this band, they might tell you their lyrics are great, deep, meaningful etc. But the only way you could know the lyrics is to read them. Which is not really how songs work, lyrics are meant to be sung , not read. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yg6DwVPaQ04

Last edited by Trentb; 03/05/17 12:35 PM.
#1124916 - 03/05/17 12:30 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Trentb]  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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The Best Hook Guys now is Florida Georgia Line....I can't get their choruses out of my head when I hear an up tempo song....BTW....`I though Dirt was Incredible and one of the best songs I've heard in awhile...These 2 guys have it all...I'm not sorry I posted this as it is an interesting subject...

#1124918 - 03/05/17 12:43 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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I like some of their stuff.

I think the hookiest rock song of all time has to be satisfaction by the stones. The whole song is made out of hooks

Legendary guitar riff, the first lyric out of Jaguars mouth...I can't get no satisfaction, that's one of two hooks using the same lyric. Then comes another hook
And I try, and I try, and I try, and I try....to another hook... I can't get no..... No no no

Hey hey hey, that's what I say. Even a drum hook they music stops dad dad dad add

I mean there are 5 or 6 hooks in this song, all unforgettable, no wonder the song has lasted so long.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nrIPxlFzDi0

#1124919 - 03/05/17 12:52 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Today's pop music, as far as hooks go lady gaga

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dVnSV6jvraE

#1125542 - 03/18/17 05:39 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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I do think both are important. I may love the words to a song, but, if I don't like the music, I won't listen to the song.

#1126075 - 03/31/17 11:13 PM Re: What's more important the words or music? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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BOTH (unless it's an instrumental obviously)

Even if you don't know every word in a song, the lyrics still convey meaning/vibe that is central to the tune.

However, this is a general statement, and you can find examples on both ends of the spectrum. You can almost say some songs are their lyrics (to a great extent), and other songs grab you with the music (and the lyrics are secondary).

Genre certainly plays a part in this as well.

Peace,
TC


If it has strings I will find a way to play it!

You can hear my tunes at https://soundcloud.com/tc-gypsy

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