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32 votes
Accepted

When did the anonymous "you" become popular in western pop music?

I'm going to go with "it was always common". Certainly many Renaissance madrigals are written to "you" (or "thee", as the case may be): Come again! Sweet love doth now invite Thy graces that ...
  • 20.3k
16 votes
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Lilypond is not aligning lyrics correctly

It turns out the Word document I copied the lyrics from contained some non-breaking spaces; these don't stand out in the Lilypond editor* but the compiler doesn't recognize them as word separators. It ...
  • 3,472
13 votes

Rhythm notation for lyrics?

A very common way to notate lyrics where pitch doesn't matter is to just use a single line staff to note the rhythmic hits. In this system everything is the same except there are not distinct pitches ...
  • 46.5k
10 votes
Accepted

Is writing lyrics similar to writing poetry?

Do you need lyrics? If it is hard to write them, it's easiest to skip them and compose instrumental music. If this is not an option, do you have a friend that can write them? Not all musicians write ...
9 votes

Replacing words in the vocals of a recorded song

I'm afraid the short answer is no. It may be possible if you could find an instrumental version Load both the completed track and the instrumental into a DAW and make sure they line up (I.e. listen ...
  • 2,317
8 votes
Accepted

Add text at the end of the score in LilyPond

Yes, it is very simple. In your lilypond file, you can use any number of \score and \markup blocks, one after another, and Lilypond just typesets it all and puts it into one file in the same order. So ...
  • 5,085
8 votes
Accepted

How do I get started again when I've lost heart?

You've experienced significant trauma, and it doesn't take a licensed psychologist to say you're experiencing (quite understandable) depression. By all means, you can aspire to return to making music, ...
  • 8,522
7 votes
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Stress in music

There are several different kinds of stress in music. Meter (lyrical) is the stress added by accents (real or implied) in the lyric. It's important to remember that meter, as it was used in writing, ...
  • 3,717
7 votes

Can non-voice instruments produce the sounds of vocal lyrics?

Speaking piano The idea behind synthesizing speech from a mechanical instrument is that since speech sounds are (highly complex) combinations of sine waves, and each sine wave represents a pitch, ...
  • 62.1k
7 votes

How do I get started again when I've lost heart?

When you have a problem, you should deal with the problem. Your problem is not musical. It's completely off topic to advise you about your actual problem. No one here knows anything about your ...
6 votes
Accepted

Lyric writing - books or essays?

I took a course on Coursera for songwriting and the emphasis was lyrics and fitting them to rhythms. Pat Pattison is an author with great advice for the lyric writing point of view. http://www....
  • 2,529
6 votes

A seriously difficult question about mistakes and intepretation of music

Perhaps the main thing to consider here is expectations. If you lived in a world where all musical lines had note starts (or other 'events') that only fell on the strong beats, then a vocal line that ...
6 votes

If I just change the lyrics and flow (very slightly) of a song is it called a cover or a remix?

If you play and sing it yourself, then it's a cover. If you merely use editing tools to change it around, then it's a remix. A remix generally doesn't include a new performance or recording, it's ...
  • 52.2k
6 votes

How would you arrange the lyrics to this sheet music for Amazing Grace?

The problem is that your tune is wrong in bars 9 to 11. At least, it's different from the versions I've heard. I prefer your version, but then I'm old and jaded and wouldn't care if I never heard the ...
5 votes

How does one remember epic song lyrics?

Wow - that song has a ton of words! And as you said, there is not really a chorus that repeats over and over. This one would be a challenge for anyone and it will take some persistent practice. ...
5 votes

Is writing lyrics similar to writing poetry?

The best explanation of the difference between lyrics and poetry I've ever heard was in a broadcast of a talk at the Dramatists Guild by Stephen Sondheim; there's a transcript of it here. It would ...
5 votes

Rhythm notation for lyrics?

I've certainly seen some notation being used for chords that can be used for lyrics, too. Basically, you add the bars, and then you divide each bar into an equal number of intervals, usually 2, 4 or 8....
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5 votes
Accepted

Question about terminology for a music sheet

Most of your name suggestions aren't wrong. Chords and lyrics sheet -> This seems a bit long, but it is accurate, since it describes exactly what we are looking at Chord charts [with lyrics]-> Short ...
5 votes
Accepted

Singing the words to one song along with the music for another - what is this called?

As pointed out by Killian Forth, "parody", in the original musicological sense, should cover this -- initially musical parody was merely the resuse of musical content in another work, and didn't have ...
  • 17.6k
5 votes
Accepted

Beams in classical vocal music

There have been various fashions over the years. There seems no justification for syllabic beaming in a modern edition. I sometimes, semi-jocularly, wonder if the practice might be responsible for ...
  • 81.2k
5 votes

Scansion. Vocabulary

A poetic foot need not have an even number of syllables, and a poetic line need not have an even number of feet. Furthermore, in some styles of poetry, if not most, it is not uncommon to vary the ...
  • 15.1k
5 votes

How would you arrange the lyrics to this sheet music for Amazing Grace?

Look at this version of "Amazing Grace" from the Gather 3rd edition hymnal. It uses the same version of the melody as your sheet music. Link to image source
  • 5,029
5 votes

melisma extender line minimum length

You're almost there! Using \override LyricSpace.minimum-distance = #1.0 is what you're looking for. This changes the space between the words (or syllables) themselves, in doing so also changing the ...
  • 80.2k
5 votes

Lilypond avoid \melisma code

It depends on the situation. You have three paradigms: One is using either slurs or beams or using \melisma (which basically just sets melismaBusy to true). The other one is manually skipping notes ...
  • 5,961
4 votes
Accepted

Little 'aside' in a vocal

I am not sure there is actually a name for these impromptu embellishments or an official term to describe them. In some cases you could describe it as ad-lib - but that's not an official music term. ...
4 votes

Is writing lyrics similar to writing poetry?

Poetry, Rhymes and Lyrics are all different, the only similarity is that they should hit an emotion somewhere. Lyrics have a lot to do with story telling and sometime rhymes, but most importantly ...
4 votes

What's the term for speaking fast in a verse

Patter song is the term you are looking for. The patter song is characterised by a moderately fast to very fast tempo with a rapid succession of rhythmic patterns in which each syllable of text ...
4 votes

How does one remember epic song lyrics?

Just to add to the great post from RC - there's lots of imagery in that song. In cases like that, one thing I sometimes do is visualise the scene that the song is describing. Then when singing the ...

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