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#1949863 - 08/27/12 02:29 PM So I wrote my first song
Teodor Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 945
Loc: Bulgaria
I found an empty notebook lying around and I started writing sentences and the moment I began I had this melody in my head and I started singing and within 10 minutes I had a song written down, now I just finished writing the chords on the piano and playing the melody. And now all of a sudden I am getting paranoid and it just seems so natural to me (the melody) that I am thinking maybe I stole it without knowing and there is a song similar to mine. If you ever write your own music, have you ever felt this way? It's really strange.

I guess it doesn't really matter in the end because my lyrics are my own for sure and they describe my feelings but I kinda hope I made something new and not subconsciously copy someone else's inspiration.


Edited by Teodor (08/27/12 02:39 PM)
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#1949865 - 08/27/12 02:39 PM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: Teodor]
Derulux Offline
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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5344
Loc: Philadelphia
All the time.. the upside is, there are some musical encyclopedias in here, so if you can post it, I'm sure someone will help you figure it out. smile
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#1949876 - 08/27/12 03:03 PM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: Teodor]
pg2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Hi Tedor,

Let me tell you a story. Years ago I was studying painting privately with a professor from OCAD [Ontario College of Art and Design].

I spent all kinds of time sketching people every where I went. I always had a pen or pencil in my hands. It's one of the ways you become very fast and very good at training hand eye coordination, training your visual memory and remembering what you have seen long after it's gone and so on.

Anyway, just sitting noodling around, not looking at anything in particular one afternoon I created some small drawings. Maybe a half dozen or so.

Once I was finished and looked them over. I was sure I recognized them. I knew them. I just knew them. I got to worrying I'd taken them from some one else. Maybe an old book I'd seen as a kid perhaps. I chewed it over and over. I was quite upset with myself. I was really afraid I had taken them from someone else's work.

Anyway I showed them to my prof and explained my concerns, that I didn't want to steal someone else's work etc.

I'll never forget what he told me.

"I'm sure," he said, "these are your own work. You recognize them immediately because they are part of you. They came from inside your own imagination and feelings. You have a deep gut feeling you know them? How could you not recognize them? Learn to greet them as old friends who have dropped in to say hello."

He went on to explain that when you lift someone else's work even accidentally you don't have those feelings deep inside you.
You just think I have seen that some place before.

It happens with music too. You are studying a lot of music, theory, and have been listening to all kinds of music intensely for a while now. Deep in inside you it's all been mixing together in that secret place in you where your creativity lives and has it's being. An invisible tool box has been developed.

You are using of all these techniques, tools and musical experience instinctively. You don't have to stop and check out everything as you are doing it. It just starts to flow out effortlessly. That's scarey in a way

You are now using these tools in a very natural way giving voice to your own thoughts and feelings.

It's a lovely way to get to know yourself.

Greet this song as an old friend that has been cooking in you for a while and has now found it's way out where you can see and hear it and share it for the first time.

Congratulations.

pg2






Edited by pg2 (08/27/12 03:08 PM)
Edit Reason: typos
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#1949886 - 08/27/12 03:16 PM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: Teodor]
eNOTEquest Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/12
Posts: 41
You may misunderstand the process to an extent.

Music is very relative and there is not much that you can come up with, especially in terms of simple melodies, that hasn't been expressed before somewhere.

All art is borrowed to some extent, there is nothing new under the sun. Even the greats were great emulators of past artists, because ultimately all art is imitating the world around us and we all perceive it in a similar way.

Subconscious copying is definitely going to happen, it's part of the process. What's new is your particular arrangement of musical memories, including lyrics of course.

You aren't "stealing" melodies; even if you did mimic someone else's melody, you did not intentionally take it from them knowing they owned it and you were committing copyright. Copyright is the only thing you have to be worried about, and for someone to sue you and win they'd have to prove that you had access to the melody and had good reason to commit copyright.

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#1949890 - 08/27/12 03:22 PM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: Teodor]
jjo Offline
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Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 646
Loc: Chicago
The climax of Sondheim's brilliant Sunday in the Park is the song Move On, sung to an artist losing his inspiration, which concludes:

Anything you do, let it come from you--
then it will be new.


Edited by jjo (08/27/12 05:21 PM)

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#1949914 - 08/27/12 04:03 PM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: pg2]
JimF Offline
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Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1811
Loc: south florida
Pg2,

Good story and a nice way of thinking about learning/creative process. thumb
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#1949933 - 08/27/12 04:51 PM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: JimF]
Teodor Offline
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Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 945
Loc: Bulgaria
Thank you smile
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#1949977 - 08/27/12 05:59 PM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: Teodor]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6151
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Yes, it has happened to me quite a few times and I felt exactly like you about it... I think I even posted about this strange feeling in the PC some time ago.
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#1950007 - 08/27/12 06:54 PM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: Teodor]
Sand Tiger Offline
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Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1082
Loc: Southern California
As eNOTEquest wrote, most all simple melodies have been done already, especially anything in a popular key. There will be differences in arrangement and phrasing, and minor differences in the line, but many main melody lines have been claimed. As hobbyist songwriters and composers, I see it is a minor concern.

I can tell a story: A friend of mine wrote a piece very similar to the Burt Bacharach hit song "What's it all about Alfie?" before that became a big hit. Unfortunately, he was 13 when he wrote it, and it was obvious that the writers of the hit hadn't heard his tune. It did bother him though. It did help him, when many years later, he stumbled upon a similar melody line that was written in the 17th century.

If a melody line sounds familiar, something with similar structure almost certainly was recorded or transcribed by someone somewhere. That doesn't mean the new work isn't worthwhile, or isn't original. The caveat comes if something generates big money, then the lawyers come in to sort it out. As hobbyists, it isn't worth worrying about.

Enjoy your new composition, enjoy the wide world of songwriting.
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#1950500 - 08/28/12 05:03 PM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: pg2]
John_In_Montreal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 402
Loc: Montreal Canada
Originally Posted By: pg2
It happens with music too. You are studying a lot of music, theory, and have been listening to all kinds of music intensely for a while now. Deep in inside you it's all been mixing together in that secret place in you where your creativity lives and has it's being. An invisible tool box has been developed.

You are using of all these techniques, tools and musical experience instinctively. You don't have to stop and check out everything as you are doing it. It just starts to flow out effortlessly. That's scarey in a way

You are now using these tools in a very natural way giving voice to your own thoughts and feelings.

It's a lovely way to get to know yourself.

Greet this song as an old friend that has been cooking in you for a while and has now found it's way out where you can see and hear it and share it for the first time.


I've always thought that this would be the process and natural outcome of years of study and listening - everything you see, everything you hear, is recorded somewhere in your mind. Also, the sum total of who you are as a person - your experiences, feelings, thoughts, moods etc has a great influence on the creative process and what you eventually bring to the world as an original work. A creative mind juggles with and reassembles some of these "bits and pieces" and out comes something new, original, even though it may at times be similar to something done before.

I amaze myself at times, just noodling around then stopping to say to myself "now where have I heard that before", as a stream of notes seem to have just poured out from nowhere. Sometimes I say "oh yeah, I just played a part of such and such a song" (but without realizing it at first); other times it will be "hum, this sounds familiar... I get it, I just mixed such and such a song with another song, sounds interesting". Sometimes there will be something completely original - either that or someone already created (that melody or chord progression, whatever) this but I never heard it before in my life.

I don't recall the name at the moment but there is an iPhone app that listens to a piece of music then searches an extensive database / library and displays the author and song title. Pretty amazing (like speech recognition). Maybe you could submit your song to this "electronic ear" and confirm it is original or someone else's work ? This should give you some peace of mind.

John


Edited by John_In_Montreal (08/28/12 05:24 PM)
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#1950516 - 08/28/12 05:49 PM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: Teodor]
Greener Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014


Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1242
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: Teodor

but I kinda hope I made something new and not subconsciously copy someone else's inspiration.


If you created this through the flow of subconscious thoughts than this would suggest an ability to tap into and translate infinite intelligence. What could be greater then that.

I heard Michael Jackson (of all people) say in an interview once. The trick to the creative process in writing is in "Getting out of your own way and let the music flow through you."

I'm not just making this up and have plenty of proof to substantiate ... "the subconscious mind is the door to the temple of wisdom"
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#1950549 - 08/28/12 06:53 PM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: Teodor]
SoundThumb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 346
Loc: San Diego, CA
Can happen very easily. I wrote a song for a family reunion. When done, I played the melody over a few times wondering, did this come from another song? Couldn't think of anything. Then the first time my brother heard it, he said, "Hey, you ripped that off from a Beatles tune!" He found the song and played it for me, and indeed the first 6 notes tracked the Beatles song. However, it was not one of their more popular songs and I really didn't remember it. So, did my subconscious pull up something I had heard 40 years ago and I now wrote it down, or was it just a coincidence? As others have said, it is pretty hard to come up with any simple tune that hasn't been used before.

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#1950969 - 08/29/12 01:50 PM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: Teodor]
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
pg2: that was a very interesting story about your art and your teachers response.

Tedor: Congratulations on your writing your first song.
I've always thought that it's pretty amazing that people are still able to come up with original music. (But, also wondered if people have unintentionally "stolen" something just because they have listened to music for so long). It seems music has infinite possibilities. It's interesting that people can take something that is the same (an instrument, theory, etc) and make something unique and different from what everyone else is doing-pretty cool.

Anyway, here's a little story for you. One day a few years ago I was listening to a song by Heart. Suddenly my son, who was 12ish at the time, exclaims "Hey, that sounds like this song!" (he has a very good ear) and played a song from one of the bands he was into at the time. I don't recall who it was but it was a genre that was completely different from Heart. So, I listened and the riff was EXACTLY the same just the tempo was faster. I wish I could remember what song/band it was but I am sure they were not the type that listened to Heart and am pretty sure they weren't even born when the song I was listening to was popular. Just thought it that was interesting.

Here's another non - music related story.
I took a video field production class with a friend of mine. We had to create two short films over the duration of the class. One was a group project (with other members of the class) and the other was and individual project - but we could work with other people if we wanted. My friend and I worked together on the individual project. Between writing the script, scheduling the actors and my friend who kept saying anytime is fine but it turned out anytime wasn't fine (that was the most stressful part because we had a very small window of time) filming, editing, working full time, piano lessons and so on. I was pretty much exhausted and a little stressed to say the least. I didn't help that people kept saying they had high expectations for us (including the teacher). It also doesn't help that I can be a perfectionist at times. So, its the last day of class we are viewing all the projects. Then it's our turn and all of a sudden I just get way too critical of our little 8 min film. Afterwards I just start getting really anxious thinking/wondering: Was our film ok? Was it good enough? Was it up to everyone's expectations? When I should have been celebrating a job well done. I was ripping it all apart, decided I suck at this and vowed never to do any filming ever again! In reality our film was definitely one of the betters ones (not that that's what matters). After my little tantrum was over I reminded myself that it was my first time EVER making a film, it's not meant to be perfect and I was there to learn. And I did. I learned a lot from the experience. I gave myself the credit I deserved because, taking everything into consideration, I did do damn good job. And we got an A for the course.

So, I think my point to all that is I think the mind can really mess with us when we are being creative. At least maybe for those us who might lack a little confidence.
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#1950995 - 08/29/12 02:58 PM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: Teodor]
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Btw...
When do we get to hear this song?
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#1951336 - 08/30/12 04:03 AM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: Teodor]
Teodor Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 945
Loc: Bulgaria
Probably not any time soon. It's meant for someone special, I can sing it only to her because it's our story.
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#1958753 - 09/14/12 09:07 AM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: Teodor]
Teodor Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 945
Loc: Bulgaria
I wrote a new song! And this time it was easier to do than the first time! Although it has so many changes in melody that I don't think I can write accompaniment for it or at least it should be quite difficult but I will figure it out sooner or later.

Here are the lyrics. What do you think about them? I also have an outline of the vocals but I'd rather keep that to myself until a day comes when it has a more finished sound. (if ever) smile


If I could start today
A million miles away
I ‘m sure that I would still do the same


And if we met again
I’d still be in love with you
No matter how much time’s gone by

It’s not been easy
But I’ve been getting by
Life is kind of empty now
But I have no regrets


If I could start today
A million miles away
I know that I would still want you
Just as bad

The clouds up the sky
They all gather up to see
Our victory
a meeting of two hearts


If I could start today
A million miles away
I know that I would still
Feel this way




PS: See if you can find a reference to a Johnny Cash song in it. It's pretty obvious smile



Edited by Teodor (09/14/12 10:32 AM)
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#1958826 - 09/14/12 12:07 PM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: Teodor]
Bentissimo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/17/12
Posts: 31
Loc: Illinois, USA
Teodor

Could you explain the lyrics a bit? I think I might be starting to get the idea of it. Is it about someone who loved & lost but says they would do it all over again if given the chance?

I know sometimes lyrics are meant to be open so each listener may have a different experience of it and can relate in different ways. But then I'm an engineer and I like explanations smile
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#1958848 - 09/14/12 01:04 PM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: Teodor]
Teodor Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 945
Loc: Bulgaria
It's about two people falling in love but they have to separate soon after because of things that are beyond their control. When this happens its hard to decide what to do in the time you got together. Something happens between the two people and they fall in love together bad even though they both know it can't last.
But after you are away from that person you start to feel lost and you wonder if you should have done it or not. And our lyrical hero here believes if he had to do it all over again he'd still do the same because it was so good. In the song there is this little part where there is hope that they will one day meet again and that's basically it.


Edited by Teodor (09/14/12 01:05 PM)
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#1958853 - 09/14/12 01:20 PM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: Teodor]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8582
Loc: Georgia, USA
Congratulations, Teodor!

Writing your own songs is a lot of fun... it's creative, it's individual and it is a part of you, as someone else said.

I've written about 60 of my own songs... some are better than others, and none of them are all that good; but they are original! smile

When I write a new song, I usually search the internet to see if someone else has written a song with a similar title or similar lyrics. Of the millions of songs that have been written in the past, it is not easy to come up something totally different and unique. So, there will be some similarity somewhere.

Can't wait to hear it!! smile

Rick
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#1958889 - 09/14/12 02:36 PM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: Teodor]
Teodor Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 945
Loc: Bulgaria
Thanks I wanna get some friends of mine to do the instrumental together. I am not even sure if my melody makes any sense yet, I will know once we try making the song. I found this really cheap studio. They got everything and you pay 5$ per hour to use it. Local bands go there to jam often because if you book for 2 hours and you got 4 people, it's almost free laugh

So why not make an amateur recording in a professional studio, at least the sound quality will be great.


Edited by Teodor (09/14/12 03:14 PM)
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#1959387 - 09/15/12 08:54 PM Re: So I wrote my first song [Re: Teodor]
Newman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/27/11
Posts: 700
Loc: Australia
Hi Teodor

As others have said, we absorb all the music we hear and when we come to write our own it's a culmination of all that we have taken in. I'm not sure about the view that, if I can summarise, "all melodies have already been written somewhere, sometime" on the basis of the, I would imagine, almost infinite combinations of notes and time. But it's true we sometimes 'rewrite' another famous tune. I've been writing for around 25 years and once 'wrote' the opening four bars of "Fly me to the moon" before it dawned on me.
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