[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Re: Opinions on music theory

     i still differentiate between my pieces and my songs.  sometimes there is overlap, but it helps me to keep in mind what i am doing if i decide that they are one or the other.  it seems that i can hear a song in others' pieces more readily than my own at times.  i told a musician friend of mine that i was interested in adding a melody line and lyrics to some stuff he had written.  i did so, and he liked the results.  i made the mistake of saying something about turning his "pieces' into songs, because that is the terminology i use myself.  his reaction made it seem that i had told him that he had provided a spare framework and that i had actually done the real work in the piece.  he literally said that the melodies i had created had to be in there somewhere, that i could not have added them, and that he had worked on this music for years, as songs.  i could tell he was quite put back by my comment, and felt that his ownership of his creation was slipping away.  but that is a hazard of collaboration.  i told him that he still had the frameworks that i had created over, but that the words and technically even the melody were mine, regardless of what they had been created to accompany.  it was actually quite a tense interchange.
     i wrote songs with people for years in nashville, and understand how copyright works.  i work with words AND music myself, even though it seemed that people wanted to specialize in nashville.  is it fair that someone could take a musical composition that someone had worked a lifetime on, on and off, put a melody and words on top, and get half of the publishing?  is it fair to then take those same words and melody off, reharmonize and re-imagine them, and legally get all of THAT publishing? since the music part of publishing is legally defined as the melody, a lyricist/ melodist such as myself could technically argue sole ownership of  the resultant work, were it not pre-agreed upon otherwise.  it is understandable that chord progressions are not copyrightable, and i would never change an agreement i had entered into, of course. the way that the copyright scene is changing, i am not sure that there is much sense in even making the distinction any more.  recorded music is becoming valueless anyway.  i only make music because it is just what i do.  knowing myself, i am glad that i never made a true career out of music, because when i proofread professionally, i don't read at home, and when i cook professionally, i don't cook at home.  i can't imagine not making music in my spare time, my own, that is.  were i to do it as a day job, i'm not sure what would happen.
but i would still separate my stuff into pieces and songs....

From: Matt Davignon <mattdavignon@gmail.com>
To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
Sent: Sunday, February 19, 2012 5:18 PM
Subject: Re: Opinions on music theory

Daniel Thomas was like:
>Its bad teachers who bite. Now there is a good OT thread.  Best/Worst Teach You Ever Had

My first guitar teacher (at age 15) told me that I would never ever do
anything original because music has been around for over 1000 years.

Regarding music theory, Joy_top Top went:
>Then I think it isn't so much a theory, but a structure to hold musical thoughts.

That's a good way of putting it - it's a naming and reference system
for many of the positive pitch/volume/time musical phenomena that have
been encountered to date. Learning that stuff gives a musician a
toolbox so that (s)he understands what each thing is called, and can
find it/call upon it again without too much trouble. Perhaps it's
similar to the difference between keeping all your names and addresses
in Excel or having them all written on different slips of paper.

On the other hand, while the toolbox may look like it's all a person
needs, it's not necessarily all there is. People who live in San
Francisco don't casually leave city limits, because they think SF has
all they'll ever need. Sure, there are plenty of people who still want
to explore outside their toolbox, and there are plenty who don't.

I admit - it would be nice to have some of the things in that toolbox.
On the other hand, I'm mostly happy with the little niche I have. I do
ok here. A couple times a year I'll be in a situation where I feel
clueless, intimidated or useless, but frankly I think it's good to
feel that way sometimes. It reminds you that you're human. I have a
much smaller toolbox, with a few unusual, homemade tools, and I'm
pretty happy with that.

Regarding "songs", Kay'lon was all:
>On dictionary.com it is defined as something to be sung or made for singing.
>But dont we call everything a song in todaay society? Even instrumentals?
>This question popped up because my mom was saying a song is made to
>have lyrics and I was arguing that a song is any musical piece only to find out
>her definition matched what the dictionary said which i never knew before.Whats your take on it?

I used to call my sound-droppings "pieces" until a friend started
teasing me about it. I call them songs now and people generally don't
complain. "Compositions" sounded to me like it's written down
somewhere, and someone else could perform it with similar results.
"Works" just felt snooty to me.

Matt Davignon
Podcast! http://ribosomematt.podomatic.com