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rec.music.makers.songwriting FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)


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Archive-name: songwriting/songwriting-faq
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-Modified: 1995/11/22
RCS-Information: $Header: /home/gds/archive/faqs/RCS/rmms,v 1.5 1996/06/16 02:03:09 gds Exp $

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
rec.music.makers.songwriting FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Version 1.2

Introduction

Welcome to rec.music.makers.songwriting!  This document is intended to
help you make the most use of this newsgroup and musical resources on
the Internet.

A minimal amount of basic music theory (ie. what notes and scales are)
is assumed, as is a general idea of what constitutes a song.  A
minimal amount of experience with the Internet is also assumed, ie.,
that the reader knows how to access WWW pages, etc.

Disclaimer

This article is provided as is without any express or implied
warranties.  While every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy
of the information contained in this article, the author assume(s) no
responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting
from the use of the information contained herein.

Questions

1. What is the purpose of this newsgroup?
2. What topics are usually covered here?
3. I'm new to songwriting.  What do I do?
4. I'd like to write songs, but I don't play an instrument/don't sing.
   What can I do?
5. What methods do people use to write songs?
6. What's a good instrument to use for songwriting?
7. Should I start with lyrics or melody first?
8. What are the different types of lyric forms?
9. How do I set chords to a melody, and vice versa?
10. What do I do about writer's block?
11. Should I join a songwriter's organization?
12. What can I do if there is no songwriter's organization in my area?
13. I've got several songs written.  I want to start a band.  How do I
    do that?
14. I've got several songs written.  I want to send them to a
    publisher.  What should I do?
15. How do I copyright my material?
16. I have heard of something called the "poor man's" copyright.  What
    is it, and can I use it?
17. Should I register my material with a copyright office before sending it
    to a publisher, posting it to the net, etc?
18. For making demos, should I invest my money in a home recording
    system, or should I use a recording studio?
19. How do I get a record deal?
20. How do I get a publishing deal?
21. How do I get a staff writing deal?
22. What are royalties?  How do they work?
23. Do I need to join ASCAP, BMI, or a similar organization in order
    to collect royalties?
24. Should I self-publish?
25. Should I join a musician's union?
26. Why do I keep getting rejections, despite the fact that many
    people think my music is good?
27. I get conflicting messages from music business people.  They tell
    me I need to be different, but on the radio I keep hearing the
    same old things.  What's the story here?
28. How do I get my music played on the radio?
29. Do I need to move to a place like LA or Nashville to get recognition?
30. Where can I find lyrics on the Internet?
31. Where can I find music on the Internet?
32. Are there places on the Internet where I can make my music
    available so others can listen to it?
33. What other songwriting-related newsgroups are there?
34. What references exist for music theory, songwriting, the music
    business, etc?

Answers

1. What is the purpose of this newsgroup?

rec.music.makers.songwriting exists for the purpose of discussing all
aspects of songwriting.  Anyone who has an interest in songwriting or
songwriters is encouraged to participate.

Perhaps a bit of history is in order.  Before this newsgroup was
created, discussion of songwriting was distributed throughout several
music-related Internet newsgroups.  In a response to the growing
number of individuals seeking a newsgroup dedicated to songwriting,
rec.music.makers.songwriting was created after a round of discussion
and voting.

2. What topics are usually covered here?

We have touched on many topics relevant and related to songwriting.
Among those are:

* Song (lyric) critique
* What constitutes "good" songwriting
* Developing ideas for songs
* Protecting one's music
* Getting demos of one's songs
* Getting published
* Getting a staff writing deal
* Going to entertainment centers to get exposure
* The difference between writing for yourself and writing for the
  marketplace
* The different roles and expectations of the performing and
  non-performing songwriter

People also use this newsgroup to find collaborators, band members,
vocalists, instrumentalists, recording equipment, studios, publishers,
and record deals.

In general, you should feel free to post on any topic related to
songwriting, while observing general rules of netiquette.  Blatant
advertising is discouraged, however.  If you must advertise, please
do not be pushy about it; an occasional announcement of your services
(and a reference to where more information can be found, such as a
phone number or a URL) is enough.  We also discourage people from
posting MIDI files or other files containing music data, due to their
size, and because they must be converted to ASCII text before they can
be transmitted.  There are far more economical ways of making one's music
available on the Internet.  (See the answer to question 32 for more
information.)

A word about posting music scores, lead sheets, etc.  Many music
notation programs have the ability to generate a postscript file,
which can be posted to the net as ASCII text.

(See 
ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet-by-group/rec.music.compose/Music_Notation_Programs_-_a_list_in_answer_to_a_FAQ
for a description of the capabilities of music notation programs.)

We discourage the posting of postscript music scores to the newsgroup
as well, because of their size.

3. I'm new to songwriting.  What do I do?

There are several ways of answering this question, depending on your
goals, your skills, and the resources you have at your disposal.

The easy answer is just to dive right in and do it.  Hum melodies to
yourself, think up some words to fit the melodies to, pick up your
favorite instrument to add some harmony, and there you are.  You're a
songwriter.

4. I'd like to write songs, but I don't play an instrument/don't sing.
   What can I do?

Again, you can just dive right in and try it for a while.  Many people
who thought they couldn't sing or play improved greatly with
practice.  Like most things, it takes time, so don't expect results
overnight.

However, if things don't seem to be working out, there are some other
alternatives:

You can collaborate.  Many songwriters have benefited from
collaboration.  One of the most successful (by commercial
standards) collaborations is that of Elton John and Bernie Taupin.
Elton John primarily contributes the music, while Bernie Taupin
usually supplies the lyrics.

You can also take lessons.  Check with your local music store or music
school for teachers.  There are also several teachers who
participate in this and other music-related newsgroups.

Some feel lessons enhance creativity, while some feel they destroy it.
You need to evaluate whether or not your teacher is helping you realize
your goals.  (In some instances, you may need to figure out what your
goals *are* first; not always an easy thing to do.)  Once you establish
your goals it will be easier to determine whether or not lessons are
helping you reach your goals.

Whatever you do, beware of organizations that "offer" to set your
music to lyrics, or vice versa, for a fee.

5. What methods do people use to write songs?

It varies between individuals.  Some people set aside a particular
time of day to write, while others wait for the muse to strike them.
Some people pick particular topics to write about, while others play
around with words and sounds to form ideas.  Some people work on one
song at a time until it's finished, while others work on several at
a time.  Many songs are written while practicing, jamming, etc.,
where even a mistake can be the seed for a great idea.

Try experimenting with several methods and use the ones you feel most
comfortable with.

6. What's a good instrument to use for songwriting?

There are several schools of thought on this issue.  Some people feel
the best instruments are a pencil and paper.  Others use an instrument
such as a guitar or piano to write with.  Still others use sequencers
and recording gear.

Most people like to write with instruments that can produce chords,
such as guitars or keyboards.  However, you shouldn't feel as if you
are limited only to those.  Use whatever you feel comfortable with,
keeping in mind that different situations will call for different
instruments.

7. Should I start with lyrics or melody first?

This also varies between individuals.  Some lyrics suggest a melody,
and vice versa.  Try experimenting with both methods.  Also consider
collaborating.

8. What are the different types of lyric forms?

There are several types of lyric forms, and variations on those types.
Three of the most common forms are AAA, AABA, and verse-chorus.

An AAA lyric form generally consists of repeating sections.  Each
section may have a refrain, which is a line or two that is repeated
in each section.

"Michael (Row the Boat Ashore" is a simple example of AAA:

Michael, row the boat ashore,
Hallelujah!
Michael, row the boat ashore,
Hallelujah!

Sister, help to trim the sail,
Hallelujah!
Sister, help, to trim the sail,
Hallelujah!

An AABA lyric form differs from AAA as it features a bridge (B) section
that contrasts from the A sections.  Some AABA songs feature separate
verses, with the AABA form appearing in the chorus.

In "The Man on the Flying Trapeze", note how the B section differs
from the A sections:

(A)
Oh once I was happy but now I'm forlorn,
Like an old coat that is tattered and torn.
I'm left in this wide world to fret and to mourn,
Betrayed by a maid in her teens.

(B)
Oh this girl that I loved she was handsome,
And I tried all I knew her to please,
But I never could please her a quarter as well --
As the man on the flying trapeze, Oh!

(A)
He floats thru the air with the greatest of ease,
The daring young man on the flying trapeze,
His actions are graceful, all girls he does please,
And my love he has stolen away.

A verse-chorus song generally consists of alternating verse and chorus
sections.  The chorus often contains the title phrase (often
referred to as the "hook").

There are several variations on the verse-chorus lyric form.  Some
verse-chorus songs feature a "pre-chorus" (a section of the verse that
leads, or "climbs", to the chorus.  Some also feature a bridge between
sections.

"Yankee Doodle" is a simple example of a verse-chorus song where the
hook appears in the chorus:

(Verse)
Father and I went down to camp,
Along with Captain Goodin',
And there we saw the men and boys,
As thick as hasty puddin'

(Chorus)
Yankee Doodle keep it up,
Yankee Doodle dandy,
Mind the music and the step,
And with the girls be handy.

This subject is treated extensively in Sheila Davis' _The Craft of
Lyric Writing_.

9. How do I set a melody to chords, and vice versa?

This question actually deserves a detailed explanation such as you
would find in a music theory or harmony book.  Melody notes usually
come from the chords themselves, or from notes that belong to the
scale that the chords belong to.

For a simple example, consider the key of C major.  It contains the
notes C, D, E, F, G, A, and B.  Triads are built from the scale notes
by taking one as the root, and the other two a third and fifth above
it:

CEG C major  GBD G major
DFA D minor  ACE A minor
EGB E minor  BDF B diminished
FAC F major

We can take a simple melody and add chords to it by identifying which
triads fit the notes.  Here's one possibility for "Row, Row, Row Your
Boat:"

C
Row, row, row, your boat, gently down the stream,
C                                G             C
Merrily merrily merrily merrily, life is but a dream.

Of course, you needn't be limited by triads, or major keys, for that
matter.

10. What do I do about writer's block?

This is a topic that deserves its own FAQ.  Actually, you may be able
to find some helpful advice in the misc.writing newsgroup, where this
topic comes up from time to time.

Some ways to deal with writer's block are to listen to types of music
you don't usually listen to, write music backwards, pick up a new
instrument, and take some time off to do something else.

11. Should I join a songwriter's organization?

There are several benefits to participation in songwriter's
organizations:

* It's a good place to find collaborators.
* You can get valuable critique of your songs.
* You get an idea of what other songwriters are working on.
* Many organizations invite publishers, record company executives,
  etc., to critique songs and offer music business advice.  Some
  actually pick up material they can use.
* Many organizations also offer discounts on classes, books, etc.

12. What can I do if there is no songwriter's organization in my area?

You can start one yourself!  It's a great way to meet other
songwriters and build a support group.  It doesn't need to be a fancy
thing.  Some large organizations got started with a few individuals
sitting around in a circle sharing what they'd written that week.

You can also join an organization outside of your area.  For example,
the LASS (Los Angeles Songwriters' Showcase) contains many out-of-town
members.

You can also participate at "open mic" nights.  Check with
entertainment establishments in your area such as clubs and
coffeehouses.  Performing at an "open mic" gives you a chance to "road
test" your songs.  You can get valuable feedback from your target
audience, while at the same time making yourself known to the public
and getting used to performing live.

13. I've got several songs written.  I want to start a band.  How do I
    do that?

There are several ways to go about this.  Some of the methods I
mentioned earlier apply here, such as looking for collaborators or
joining a songwriter's organization.  Other avenues are inquiring at a
music store, a school's music department, your local musician's union,
or a studio.  You can also post an article to one of the many
music-related newsgroups on the net.  (It is generally a good idea to
post in a newsgroup that is related to the music you intend to
perform.)

14. I've got several songs written.  I want to send them to a
    publisher.  What should I do?

A few words about publishers:  They are often inundated with material.
Many publishers get over 1,000 submissions per day.  A lot of them go
directly into the trash can, or are returned unopened.  It's generally
a bad idea to send unsolicited material to a publisher.

However, it is possible to get your material heard by publishers if
you are able to develop some kind of rapport with them.  One way to do
this is to contact the publishers beforehand.  Let them know you have
material that you'd like to send them, so they will know to expect it.
Make sure the material is of the type they are likely to consider.
Another way of doing this is to attend meetings of songwriter's
organizations when publishers are present.  Get a feel for what the
publishers want, so you will know which publisher to pitch which songs
to.

There are a several schools of thought on the quality of the demo
you should submit to a publisher.  Some people feel that the demo
should have minimal production and that it should emphasize the lyrics
and melody.  Others feel you should submit a full-blown production
with backing rhythm, harmony, special effects, etc.  This is why it's
important to get a good feel for what the publishers want before
submitting material to them.

15. How do I copyright my material?

You should check with the Copyright Office of the country you live in
for a definitive answer to this question.  In the US, your material
is considered to be copyrighted if it exists in a fixed form.  This
means once you write the song out on paper or to a computer disk file
and put your name on it, it is copyrighted.

There is also the method of registering a copyright.  In this case,
one sends their material in a fixed form to a copyright office, where
it is filed.  This is considered (by many) to be the strongest form
of protection for material, meaning it is the most likely to hold up
in court should someone attempt to use your material without
permission.

16. I have heard of something called the "poor man's" copyright.  What
    is it, and can I use it?

The "poor man's" copyright method does not involve registering one's
work with a national or international copyright office.  Instead, the
author of the work sends a copy of their work to {him,her}self via
registered mail.  The envelope must remain sealed.

You can use this method to register your works, but the general
consensus is that you should register with a copyright office instead,
to get the maximum protection available to you under the law.

17. Should I register my material with a copyright office before sending it
    to a publisher, posting it to the net, etc?

If you are at all concerned about protecting your material and getting
compensated for it, you should copyright your material before making it
available to the public.  You will get the maximum protection
available to you under the law if you register your material with the
copyright office for the country you live in.  If someone tries to use
your material without your permission, you can bring charges against
them.

Some publishers do not accept uncopyrighted material.  They could get
in legal trouble if somehow your uncopyrighted song is released.

To obtain US copyright forms, write the Copyright Office, Library of
Congress, Washington, D.C. 20559 or call the Forms Hotline at
+1 202-707-9100. This number operates 24 hours a day and allows you to
leave a recorded request for forms you need.

Copyright information can be obtained via the WWW.  There is
discussion of national and international copyright issues.

http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/
(Library of Congress Copyright homepage)

gopher://hamilton1.house.gov:70/11d%3a/uscode/title17  
(Text of United States Code Title 17 (Copyright))

gopher://marvel.loc.gov/11/copyright
(The US Copyright Office)

http://www.ntt.jp/japan/misc/copyright.html
(Copyright Law in Japan.  Requires a browser capable of displaying the
Japanese character set.)

http://www.benedict.com/
(The Copyright WebSite.  Practical information on copyright.)

http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/hypertext/faq/usenet/Copyright-FAQ/top.html
(Copyright information maintained at Ohio State University)

http://avalon.caltech.edu/~thanne/law.html
(A collection of legal resources on the WWW)

http://www.panix.com/~bizy/c.html
(Derek Sivers' copyright resource page.)

18. For making demos, should I invest my money in a home recording
    system, or should I use a recording studio?

This generally depends on your budget and your inclinations.

Some benefits of having your own recording studio are:

* you own the equipment
* it's available whenever you want it
* you can rent it out to others (which will help recoup your
  investment)
* good quality recording equipment is reasonably priced for the home
  consumer

Some benefits of using a recording studio are:

* they usually have quite a bit of experience making recordings
  suitable for submission to publishers
* they usually have contacts in the music business -- background
  singers, instrumentalists, etc.
* you will have more time to write and promote your music if you have
  your recordings done at a studio

A lot of songwriters I know have small studios in their homes,
consisting of a 4- or 8-track recorder, several microphones, an
effects processor, and a mixdown tape deck, in addition to their
instruments and accessories.  Some produce their own demos, while
others either call upon the services of recording studios when there
is a need, or rent equipment from studios.  In general, you should get
an idea of what kind of recording you need, and figure out if it's
something you can do or if you need a studio.

Read rec.audio.pro for more information about recording equipment and
studios.

19. How do I get a record deal?

This is a difficult question to answer.  You could write a FAQ on this
subject alone.  Many books have been written on this subject, and you
should avail yourself of them to answer specific questions you may
have.  Check the music section of your local library or bookstore.

The most important thing to remember is that the music business *is* a
business; record labels want to make a profit off of your music.  That
may seem somewhat mercenary, since some (many?) people like to think
of music as something done purely out of love.  If you go into
negotiations with labels with the attitude that you are doing
business, you will save yourself a lot of disappointment and
frustration.

Also, if you have any doubts about the legality of a contract, consult
a lawyer.  Better to spend a little money up front to protect yourself
than a lot of money later.

20. How do I get a publishing deal?

This is also a difficult question to answer for the same reasons as
above.

The best way to go about it is after you have gained some experience
and an idea of the marketplace, to approach some publishers with your
material.  (It helps to have several songs, so they get a general idea
of what you can do.)  If the publisher thinks he or she can find homes
for your material, they'll sign you to a publishing deal.

21. How do I get a staff writing deal?

Some publishers offer writers staff writing deals.  In this case, the
staff writer is an employee of the publisher.  The staff writer is paid
a regular salary to write.  There is usually some requirement on the
part of the writer to have a minimum number of songs cut by recording
artists.

It usually takes a fair amount of experience and commercial success to
get a staff writing deal.

22. What are royalties?  How do they work?

Royalties are money that is paid for the sale or use of music.
The amount of money you get from royalties depends on the type of
contract you sign with the record label and the performing rights
organization you join.

A performance royalty is paid for a public performance of a song.
Public performances include live performances, songs played on the
radio, songs featured on television, songs played in the doctor's
lobby, etc.  A mechanical royalty is paid for the manufacture or sale
of a song.

Performing rights organizations collect money from organizations who
use their members' music and distribute it to their members.

23. Do I need to join ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, or a similar organization in
    order to collect royalties?

You need to join one of these organizations to collect royalties from
users of your music, if you're not equipped to seek out these
individuals and collect money from them yourself.  However, you must join
the organization appropriate to the use of the music in question.

Information on several performing rights organizations is available
via the WWW:

ASCAP -- http://www.visualradio.com/ascap/as0.htm
BMI -- http://bmi.com
SESAC -- http://online.music-city.com/SESAC.HTML

ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) has offices
in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, Chicago, Puerto Rico, and London.

New York -- One Lincoln Plaza, New York, NY, 10023, USA
            phone +1 212-621-6000, fax +1 212-724-9064

Los Angeles -- 7920 Sunset Blvd, Suite 300, Los Angeles, CA 90046, USA
               phone +1 213-883-1000, fax +1 213-883-1049

Nashville -- Two Music Square West, Nashville, TN 37203, USA
             phone +1 615-742-5000, fax +1 615-742-5020

Chicago -- PO Box 11171, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
           phone +1 312-481-1194, fax +1 312-481-1195

Puerto Rico -- 1519 Ponce de Leon Ave, Suite 505, Santurce, PR 00909, USA
               phone +1 809-725-1688, fax +1 809-721-1190

London -- 52 Haymarket, Suites 10 & 11, London, SW1Y 4RP, England
          phone +44 171-973-0069, fax +44 171-973-0068 

BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc) has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville,
and London.

New York -- 320 West 57th St, New York, NY 10019, USA
            phone +1 212-586-2000, fax +1 212-245-8986

Los Angeles -- 8730 Sunset Blvd, Third Floor West, Los Angeles, CA 90069, USA
               phone +1 310-659-9109, fax +1 310-657-6947

Nashville -- 10 Music Square East, Nashville, TN 37203, USA
             phone +1 615-291-6700, fax +1 615-291-6707

London -- 79 Harley House, Marylebone Road, London NW1 5HN, England
          phone +44 171-935-8517, fax +44 171-487-5091

SESAC, Inc. has offices in Nashville and New York.

Nashville -- 55 Music Square East, Nashville, TN 37203 
	     phone +1 615-320-0055, fax +1 615-329-9627 
             phone +1 800-826-9996 (may not be available outside of the US
	     and Canada)

New York --  421 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019-4405, USA 
	     phone +1 212-586-3450, fax +1 212-489-5699 

24. Should I self-publish?

This is a difficult question as well.

On the positive side:

* By self-publishing, you collect both the writer's share and the
  publisher's share of royalties.
* You do not have to spend a lot of time trying to find a publisher! :)
* You have more control over where your music goes.

On the negative side:

* It takes more time to publish -- time you might spend writing songs.

25. Should I join a musician's union?

It depends on your goals and personal situation.  Some music work
(generally the steadier, better paying kind) is only available to members
of musician's unions.  Musicians' unions can also provide instrument
insurance and medical insurance.

Even if you aren't a writer/performer, you might be called upon to
assist on a studio recording of your songs.  In this case, being a
member of a musician's union can help you get paid (at least) the
standard rate for studio work.

Union entry fees, dues, and policies vary with location.  Check with
your local union for more details.

26. Why do I keep getting rejections, despite the fact that many
    people think my music is good?

Another difficult question.  In general, try not to take it too
personally.  It may be that publishers or record companies cannot
readily identify a market for your music, or they don't have an artist
on their roster who performs the type of music you write.

It's important for songwriters to be aware of the market for music.
Styles come and go.  If you want to pitch your songs to other artists,
you need to know what types of material they are likely to accept.

27. I get conflicting messages from music business people.  They tell
    me I need to be different, but on the radio I keep hearing the
    same old things.  What's the story here?

Record companies and artists tend to be somewhat conservative when it
comes to releasing material.  They tend to want to go with what has
worked in the past and what seems to be working (for their
competition) in the present.  This means that a lot of songwriters
write similar-sounding and similar-feeling material targeted towards
certain types of artists.  Publishers and labels can pretty much pick
and choose who they will accept material from, and they're likely to
go with someone who is already established in the business.  As a new
songwriter, you can distinguish yourself by doing something slightly
different; taking a different approach to, say, a love song.  Every once
in a while, artists, etc. will look for something fresh.  If you have
something slightly different that looks like a possibility to them, they
may pick it up.  As your reputation grows among artists, etc. will come
to you for tried-and-true styles as well as fresh things.  However, don't
be limited by the tried-and-true methods if they just aren't your voice.

28. How do I get my music played on the radio?

Generally speaking, to get your music played on the radio, the music
or program directors of the stations you want your music to be played
on need to approve it.  So, it is a good idea to try to get to know
music and program directors of radio stations to find out what their
policies are for accepting music.

Commercial stations tend to get their music directly from the labels
or on compilations put out by large distributors.  So, if you want
to get your music on a commercial station, you should probably try
to use one of the methods described above for getting record or
publishing deals.  There are some commerical stations that are willing
to accept music from small indie labels, but they tend to be in the
minority.  On rare occasions, commercial stations will accept tapes
(DAT tapes are preferred since the audio quality is better).  However,
CDs are generally preferred.

Noncommercial stations, and college stations in particular are
generally more flexible about accepting new music, since they are
not (usually) in the business of competing for listeners, so they
are more free to present a diverse mix of music to their audiences.
They are also usually more willing to accept tapes, although CDs
are also generally preferred.  Many noncomms and college stations
feature some sort of live showcase of new music, which is another
opportunity for getting your music on the air.

So, in general, the best thing to do is to get to know the music
and program directors at the stations that you want your music to
be played on.  If possible, visit the stations to get an idea of
how they're run.

29. Do I need to move to a place like LA or Nashville to get
    recognition?

Again, this depends on your goals, financial situation, etc.
(Especially with regards to places like LA where the cost of living is
high.)  Large entertainment centers offer the best chance of direct
contact with music business people, musicians, top studios, etc.
However, the competition is very tough, especially if you are trying
to make a living from music while waiting for a publishing or record
deal.

A smaller entertainment center with a thriving (live) music scene
might be a better alternative for someone who is just starting out.
Another alternative is to take advantage of electronic communication
(ie. the Internet) and publishing.  The number of music business companies
joining the Internet grows each day, as does the number of individuals who
make their music available on the Internet.

However, major entertainment centers are Meccas for songwriters
and musicians of all types.  Opportunities for collaboration and
the influence of being in a community of people who spend a lot of
time on music may help you to reach your goals.

30. Where can I find lyrics on the Internet?

There are several archive sites for lyrics on the Internet.  Lyrics
can be accessed via the WWW or anonymous ftp.  One such site is
ftp.uwp.edu.  Visit ftp://ftp.uwp.edu/pub/music/ or ftp to
ftp.uwp.edu giving a username of anonymous and your full email address
(user@site.domain) as the password.

There is also the newsgroup alt.music.lyrics, where many people post
lyrics for songs they know.  If you have a lyric request, chances are
someone who reads that group will know how to answer it.

31. Where can I find music on the Internet?

There are lots of places to find music on the Internet.  As I said
before, music business organizations are starting to come online in
great numbers, as are individuals who want to make their music
available for others.

Here are a few music URLs:

BMI Music Publishing (http://metaverse.com:80/bmi/)

Kaleidospace (http://kspace.com).  Click on the "Music Kiosk" area of
the page.

Sony Music (http://www.music.sony.com)

The World Wide Web of Music
(http://american.recordings.com/wwwofmusic/index.html)

Nashville Online (http://www.nol.com/~nol/)

WWW index services like Yahoo (http://www.yahoo.com) are excellent
places to look for Internet music sites, or information in general.

Many individuals are making their music available on the Internet as
well.  They will periodically announce the availability of their music
on music-related newsgroups.

32. Are there places on the Internet where I can make my music
    available so others can listen to it?

Yes.  If you have access to an Internet site with WWW service, you can
make digitized versions of your music available on the Internet.  For
information on how to set up a WWW page, visit
http://www.ncsa.uiuc.edu and follow the links to the WWW page
authoring instruction guides.

If you do not have access to an Internet site with WWW service, the
IUMA (Internet Underground Music Archive) will make your music
available via their WWW service.  Visit http://www.iuma.com for more
info.

33. What other songwriting-related newsgroups are there?

Many of the newsgroups in the rec.music and alt.music hierarchies
discuss songwriting and songwriters.  Before
rec.music.makers.songwriting was created, discussion of songwriting
took place in rec.music.compose, rec.music.country.western,
rec.music.folk, rec.music.makers, rec.music.misc, alt.music.filk, and
many others.

34. What references exist for music theory, songwriting, the music
    business, etc?

There are many sources of information on these topics.  Here are a few
you might find useful.  Several are available on the Internet via the
WWW.

Davis, Sheila, THE CRAFT OF LYRIC WRITING, Writer's Digest Books,
1985

Davis, Sheila, THE SONGWRITER'S IDEA BOOK, Writer's Digest Books,
1992

Field, Shelley, CAREER OPPORTUNITIES IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, Facts on
File Publications, 1990

Fields, Matthew H., "Gems of Compositional Wisdom", available via the
WWW at http://www.umich.edu/~fields/gems/0.htm

Josefs, Jai, WRITING MUSIC FOR HIT SONGS, Writer's Digest Books,
1989

Passman, Donald S., ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE MUSIC BUSINESS,
Simon & Schuster, 1994

Piston, Walter F., HARMONY, W. W. Norton, 1978

Sabatella, Marc, "A Jazz Improvisation Primer" by Marc Sabatella",
available via the WWW at http://www.acns.nwu.edu/jazz/ms-primer/

There are also several magazines you can read, such as Performing
Songwriter (which is geared towards folk music), and the Music
Connection (which features songwriters, producers, performers, and
others involved in the music business).  Billboard Magazine is
generally considered to be essential reading for music industry
news.

Copyright 1995 Greg Skinner
All Rights Reserved

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