Adding Soul to Your Songwriting

Article from SongwritingLab.Com

We all have a varied opinion on what exactly a song is and considering the 140 character limit of twitter no longer applies here, I can now happily share my own view with you.
Pedantically, we can look at a song as being part melody, part rhythm, part arrangement and part “ message”. I wish to focus on the message, but just to clarify the first three:
A melody is a series of notes. We play the notes with various textures and in varied rhythm as we stop, start and mix how the melody flows. A melody is usually presented on top of a rhythm (not necessarily a drum), possibly as simple as the rhythm you get from pausing, sustaining or holding. You can easily whistle a good melody but can struggle to whistle a bad one.
Take Singin’ in the Rain – by Freed and Brown. The melody has a wonderful rhythm to it. If you started whistling it now, you may very well be distracted from reading the rest of this article, so don’t start whistling now!
The term arrangement changes with genre and with time but effectively is the chosen structure, for the chosen instruments, playing the chosen melody/chord etc. This can have an effect on the message.
The message part of a song is an interesting one and where the rest of this article will now concentrate. It is interesting because it is relied on heavily by modern pop music. The message is not just lyrics but also the vibe.
Take hip-hop as an example. Hip-hop contains more message than rhythm, more rhythm than arrangement and more arrangement than melody. Take message away and you have a mediocre poem. No one wants to listen to average. So to improve the rap, one must big it up to compensate. Hip hop relies on a kick ass rhythm which creates a vibe, which reinforces the message.
To avoid dull rap, rappers write lyrics that test. They put violence or a sexy/lust slant into the message, something to make it edgy.



The Global Songwriter Shell Game: Why The Major Music Companies Are Getting Your Royalties

Reblogged from Tunecore Blog

In the past five years, hundreds of millions of dollars of songwriter royalties have been generated and never paid to the songwriter, or have been given to Warner Bros, EMI, Universal, Sony and others based on their market share- estimates put this new income at over half a billion dollars.
Once these companies get the money, they keep it and don’t account to anyone.
All the while, the songwriters that earned this money have no clue their pockets are being picked, their royalties are not being paid, and their rights are being violated.
I discovered this infringement and lack of royalty payments while embarking on a journey to discover how much money TuneCore Artists earned as songwriters. In the past three years, TuneCore Artists have sold over 500 million songs and earned over a quarter billion dollars from the sale of the recordings of their songs. With the help of Jamie Purpora, the former SVP Bug Music Publishing Administration and now President TuneCore Songwriter Publishing Administration, we identified another $60 to $70 million earned by these artists in songwriter royalties. The upsetting part, over 70% of this money never made it back to them. And keep in mind, I’m only talking about artists that use TuneCore—there are many more.
This infringement and lack of payment is one of the biggest outrages of the music industry and yet it is rarely talked about and even more rarely understood.
It needs to stop.
Let me explain the nutshell version of how it happens.
The new music industry is global. However, outside of the United States, digital services require additional rights, use different royalty rates and pay the owed royalties differently than the United States music industry. The end result is:
-The digital music service does not get all the rights needed from songwriters and therefore never pay the songwriter the money he/she is owed.
-At the same time, local performing rights and collection agencies outside the U.S. illegally take a % of the songwriter’s money while making it impossible for the songwriter to get what’s left over.