The Everything Songwriting Book: Can Lyrics Be Skipped?

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GraysonPeddie
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The Everything Songwriting Book: Can Lyrics Be Skipped?

Post by GraysonPeddie »

Chapter 4 in a book called The Everything Songwriting Book is about lyrics. However, I'm not into writing lyrics. Can the chapter be skipped if I am writing instrumental music?

Does anyone have any recommendations for those writing instrumental music?
--Grayson Peddie

Music Interest: New Age w/ a mix of modern smooth jazz, light techno/trance & downtempo -- something Epcot Future World/Tomorrowland-flavored.

cidian
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Re: The Everything Songwriting Book: Can Lyrics Be Skipped?

Post by cidian »

I'm not familiar with this particular book, but some of what you learn about vocals could be applied to instrumental music as well. The "hole" that is left by not having vocals is often filled with a lead synth, guitar or other instrument of a similar frequency range as the human voice.
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GraysonPeddie
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Re: The Everything Songwriting Book: Can Lyrics Be Skipped?

Post by GraysonPeddie »

Okay, thanks.

Update: Okay, so I've delved into chapter 5 about melodies and some of the sections deal with lyrics when it comes to writing a melody. In my opinion, it's not applicable for me when it comes to writing instrumental music.

Update 2: The book tells me about keeping up with the trends and gave me the advice that I should listen to top 40 countdown music in the radio. Well, that made me laugh, because I listen to a lot of new age music. Yanni, David Arkenstone, 2002, Medwyn Goodall, Cusco, and a couple of others in Google Play Music All Access since I'm a subscriber. Now the question is, is there a Top 40 Countdown radio for new age (instrumental)? I'm not writing music as a career, but as more of a hobby. I don't intend to make money off of my songs in the future.

It seems the book is more for those who want to start a career in becoming a professional songwriter.
--Grayson Peddie

Music Interest: New Age w/ a mix of modern smooth jazz, light techno/trance & downtempo -- something Epcot Future World/Tomorrowland-flavored.

cidian
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Re: The Everything Songwriting Book: Can Lyrics Be Skipped?

Post by cidian »

Or you could keep up with trends that are more relevant to you by listening to the type of music you plan on creating :D

I also make instrumental music and two books that helped me tremendously in developing my skills are:

Music Theory for Computer Musicians
Dance Music Manual: Tools, Toys and Techniques
KXStudio 14.04, Ardour 4.6, Hydrogen
Komplete Audio 6, Novation Impluse, Waldorf Pulse2

GraysonPeddie
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Re: The Everything Songwriting Book: Can Lyrics Be Skipped?

Post by GraysonPeddie »

The more I read the book, the more it feels like making music is feeling so restrictive, such as making an intro that is very short -- less than 7 seconds for publishers to listen to. Granted, it's more of when it comes to getting my songs in FM radio (laughs). I don't mean to bash The Everything Songwriting Book, as it contains useful information, but I've had a feeling I'm not following it... (sigh)

So, I went ahead, purchased Music Theory for Computer Musicians in Google Play Books, and I'm getting started in reading it.

Thanks for listing the books you've linked.
--Grayson Peddie

Music Interest: New Age w/ a mix of modern smooth jazz, light techno/trance & downtempo -- something Epcot Future World/Tomorrowland-flavored.

Metrophage
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Re: The Everything Songwriting Book: Can Lyrics Be Skipped?

Post by Metrophage »

It always puzzles me how many people equate "songs" with music. Even a drum machine might refer to conjoined structures as being a song. To me, a song means... people singing. I guess it could be dismissed as mere semantic nitpicking, but it always comes up because I like music, but typically disline songs, so to me they are definitely not equivalent.

Still, if I was reading a book on music that discussed writing lyrics, I would maybe read that part out of curiousity, even if I didn't intend to use it. My feeling that 99.99% of people are "doing it wrong" probably just means that I have some very peculiar ideas about it.

Dominique
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Re: The Everything Songwriting Book: Can Lyrics Be Skipped?

Post by Dominique »

I agree with Metrophage. A song is a song, and when birds are making music for our ears when singing, human beings are using words. These words are the meaning of a song and the music is just an accompagnement. Which imply I always write the lyrics first, because its meaning and ambiance give me the best tonality(ies) for it. I begin to play and sing, and try different tonalities and rhythms to see what fit best. The rhythm is also important because if it is too fast, the song is too difficult to sing well, and when it is too slow, the song is boring. The rhythm can change with time, because I can find something better sometime, or because I am not in the same mood and want to play it differently.

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Re: The Everything Songwriting Book: Can Lyrics Be Skipped?

Post by AlexTheBassist »

Lyrics is the least required part in music, if not an undesired at all. However, “songwriting” doesn't only refer to writing songs. There's a lot besides silly rhymes.
Being creative does not imply being lazy, stupid, or illiterate.

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Re: The Everything Songwriting Book: Can Lyrics Be Skipped?

Post by AlexTheBassist »

GraysonPeddie wrote:The more I read the book, the more it feels like making music is feeling so restrictive, such as making an intro that is very short -- less than 7 seconds for publishers to listen to. Granted, it's more of when it comes to getting my songs in FM radio (laughs).
That's how the show business rolls. If you want to be on top of charts, follow it. If you want to stay in the underground, do whatever you like, but you won't earn much with music, if anything at all.
Being creative does not imply being lazy, stupid, or illiterate.

Working in Harrison Mixbus and Ardour on KDE Neon + KXStudio.

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Re: The Everything Songwriting Book: Can Lyrics Be Skipped?

Post by raboof »

cidian wrote:some of what you learn about vocals could be applied to instrumental music as well. The "hole" that is left by not having vocals is often filled with a lead synth, guitar or other instrument of a similar frequency range as the human voice.
I tend to agree: I'm not familiar with this particular book, but when writing for e.g. sax the 'phrasing' of your 'lines' as a sort of 'sentences' in a larger whole is a very powerful aspect. They may cover much of this in the 'melody' section, but it seems useful to at least skim the 'lyrics' section and see if there's any lessons that might carry over to other instruments.

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Re: The Everything Songwriting Book: Can Lyrics Be Skipped?

Post by S1gmoid »

This dicussion made me think... Where does music even come from in the first place. ;) About five minutes of contemplation gave me the following idea: there are two "sources" or "inspirations" for creating music. The internal musical quality of human life, and the external musical quality of the world surrounding us.

Humans working together, through the phenomenon of frequency entrainment, will create some form of rhythmic baseline. Cutting trees, shoveling the earth, banging on keyboards... Even in the time of our grandfathers, it was customary to sing during manual labor, which I think has an evolutionary role of creating a sense of community. The same goes for going to war or walking a long trek in the woods, the rhythm of walking providing a beat - it keeps wild animals away, might help humans find each other and meet, and helps reassure a sense of purpose before a battle.

Even when we are resting, our body has an internal music. Of course we have our heartbeat and our breathing, but also a separate rhythm of blood pressure going up and down, the sinusoidal pattern of our heartbeat slowing and quickening (which I currently believe might be the source of the elusive 'swing' in music played without machine timekeeping). Just amplifying and broadcasting our internal music is a social activity, and may become a form of intimate bonding.

In more "civilized" music, especially classical and certain electronic genres, there's often an attempt to recreate the feel of an outside scene. A forest or meadows brimming with life and birdsong, or an oncoming storm, a field of battle, or even the endlessness of space, or the mystery of the subatomic realm. Or even a human scene, with its human rhythms. Which are not really songs at all, but rather "soundscapes" or "musical sculptures".

Ultimately, most music is either a song, or a soundsculpture. Songs will always be more relatable, because singing is a basic bonding ritual. And for this reason, a melodic line (a song with the lyrics stripped out) appearing as a high point in a soundsculpture, will always create a powerful emotional response, so I think songs are not irrelevant to purely instrumental music either... Just think of a drop in a trance track, with a haunting melody coming up from the sudden chasm of relative calm. That's the part where the whole club goes flipping WILD, not the most uptempo crazy busiest part.

And I think to write a song, it's good to have lyrics, even if you intend to throw them away. It can be your shopping list, or the letter you got from the tax authority, or the morning news on TV, but it should be speech. Because it's hard to create natural-sounding melodic rhythms without words.

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Re: The Everything Songwriting Book: Can Lyrics Be Skipped?

Post by GraysonPeddie »

"Because it's hard to create natural-sounding melodic rhythms without words."

Then in that case, it's hard for me to come up with words. In my three songs I've written to create music, I didn't need words at all. Because I don't write love songs or sad songs, and because I wrote songs that are for optimists and dreamers (think "EPCOT Center" and the movie of "Tomorrowland" and "WALL-E," with a modern architecture--something space age), how can I write lyrics? Lyrics is poem to me and poem is very hard for me to write.

That's why I let instruments speak for themselves rather than lyrics, which is why lyrics require words, and words requires vocalists and I'm not a vocalist.

https://soundcloud.com/grayson-peddie

David Arkenstone does not need words when it comes to optimism and fitting into the theme of Innoventions music at EPCOT Center.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnKggt6xDBI

And how about Carousel from Checkfield?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLThFQRGeMI

Anyone for "Looking Glass" by Yanni?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGUFCd6btBk

The two songs are just a sample of what you hear at defunct "Wonders of Life" at EPCOT Center.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko_D97_tM5I

Papillon is heard at Innoventions and near the Fountain of Nations that Disney is demolishing.

So my question is, how can I come up with lyrics if I'm going for the theme of optimism and dreamers and space age theme? I cannot.

Well, if I could write a song similar to Horizons, then maybe I could but again, I'm only focusing in instrumental if I could write melodic lines similar to my songs I've written when I published my songs to SoundCloud.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZaU-Oqo-qs
--Grayson Peddie

Music Interest: New Age w/ a mix of modern smooth jazz, light techno/trance & downtempo -- something Epcot Future World/Tomorrowland-flavored.

S1gmoid
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Re: The Everything Songwriting Book: Can Lyrics Be Skipped?

Post by S1gmoid »

Dude. Chill out... :?

You do you, whatever makes you happy. Nothing is mandatory.

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Re: The Everything Songwriting Book: Can Lyrics Be Skipped?

Post by GraysonPeddie »

I am always calm when posting links to examples of instrumental music.

Thanks.
--Grayson Peddie

Music Interest: New Age w/ a mix of modern smooth jazz, light techno/trance & downtempo -- something Epcot Future World/Tomorrowland-flavored.

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