• So What Exactly Is A Song?
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So What Exactly Is A Song?
on: March 08, 2017, 00:42:20
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 02:32:05 by M57 »
I'll just start off by coming out and saying it.  I'm not interested in listening to and critiquing instrumental music, at least not while I visit this site. That's not why I click on the kitchen.  Call me closed or narrow-minded, even a snob (I'll happily plead guilty to all of the above), but I am more and more often finding it a frustrating waste of my time to cull through posts and recordings that end up having no lyrics and no singers.  Yes, I can simply skip posts that do not have posted lyrics, but often the lyrics are posted on the SoundCloud page (or wherever the music is hosted).  And yes, that's only an extra click or two, but at that point OCD, ADHD, and any number of other acronyms ending in D kick in and I end up listening and kicking myself for wasting even more time.

So cut to the chase - I would like to recommend that the solution is to open up an "Instrumental" kitchen forum. Heck, I have written an instrumental piece or two and I would be happy to contribute if that's what it takes. Of course, Pandora might advise against such a recklessly conceived idea. She would argue, "So you want a lyric? What if I wish to sample my voice yelling, 'Fluffernutters are better with milk' and then drop it into the recording? Isn't that a song? Oh, did I mention that it's heavily processed and auto-tuned beyond recognition?"

Oh, what a slippery slope we weave..


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Re: So What Exactly Is A Song?
Reply #1 on: March 08, 2017, 01:01:10
Hey @M57 , thanks for giving us food for thought..
Before running into a possible solutions for a potential issue, I'd love to read answers to the subject question. What is a Song?
The 'hidden' question imo is: how do we take care everybody can look up song-types they're searching for more easy?

If I understand correctly, your definition of a 'Song' is an instrumental with sung lyrics by a singer.
For me a song can be (not intending to be exhaustive): an instrumental, an instrumental with sung lyrics by a singer, a beat with rapping going on, a soundscape that expresses a certain feel, an a-capella sung song etc etc etc.

I guess all answers will vary, and I'm looking forward to the answers of the different kitcheners. So kitcheners, we're curious how you define a 'Song'!
Looking forward to the replies..
Cheers!
:mart:

 


Re: So What Exactly Is A Song?
Reply #2 on: March 08, 2017, 01:29:39
I agree that it makes sense to differentiate between "songs" with words and "instrumentals" without words.. So you know what you're clicking into... In the same way as some find it hard to review instrumentals, some find it more appealing to head in that direction and vice versa... so identifying them upfront makes sense to me...


K


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Re: So What Exactly Is A Song?
Reply #3 on: March 08, 2017, 02:29:28
I have always thought of a song as a musical story.

A song is...sung...which implies..singing...which further implies lyrics that tell a story or perhaps impart a message. I guess that is my traditionalist side speaking.

I also do not tend to listen to many instrumentals. An instrumental has to speak to me very early of a musical story to catch and keep my attention and for that to happen it has to have been composed as...an instrumental song. Wait....did I just contradict myself?  8)

That is not to say that instrumentals are not "music" as they certainly are. I think much of today's music is beat oriented and looks to grab the listener at a deeper level than a story would. Is an EDM production a song? Even some with vocals may not qualify as such if you buy into my above definition as the vocals are often times there just to elicit more emotion rather than to tell a story.

More food for thought.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

"Special thanks to Steve Gleason for making me who I am today." Leonard Scaper

Lenny's Tunes: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=540680

https://soundcloud.com/vincentgleason


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Re: So What Exactly Is A Song?
Reply #4 on: March 09, 2017, 19:46:52
.....What if I wish to sample my voice yelling, 'Fluffernutters are better with milk' and then drop it into the recording? Isn't that a song? Oh, did I mention that it's heavily processed and auto-tuned beyond recognition?"

Oh, what a slippery slope we weave..


 ;D ;D ;D ;D @M57
"Fluffelnutters are better with milk", that is a great line!
And if you wish to yell that, please do  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

i get your point, but it is a slippery slope indeed
i like to listen to instrumentals myself
and also the ones with the (seemingly  ;D ;D ;D) irrelevant, one or two vocal lines
and have fun making things like that myself

but perhaps we can add when we upload a track to the forum that is an instrumental
or that the song has no relevant lyrics
but without separating the boards, so without a separate board for instrumentals (we want to keep the number of boards low if possible, and we just added one)

but i don't want to type out the 'lyrics' of my tracks in almost all cases
because indeed, they are so pointless
and look even worse when typed out  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D, so without the sound which they were (nevertheless carefully) dropped on

on the other hand, i sometimes (not very often, but on occassions) don't like the seriousness with which lyrics on pop songs nowadays are regarded

before you know Bob Dylan could even win the Nobel Prize for literature!!!!  :o :o :o :o no really.... :o :o :o

we gone a long way from:
"Bee-bap-a-loola, she's my baby
beebapaloola, i mean not maybe"

all the early rock and roll songs, and also think very early stones, early Beatles or all Elvis lyrics

were either: completely pointless
or...oh boy....Love Songs  :P :P :P :P
but these were the options


it will turn out to be hard to agree what good lyrics for a song to make it to work are, and once in a while these strange vocal hooky silly songs become hits, and almost everybody likes them (well i do)
i personally usually don't like lyrics that very clearly take the time (and a lot of words) to make a point that the listener should agree on while listening to the music, songs with a message

unless the singer is John Lennon  ;D ;D ;D ;D

it is a bit like saying: modern paintings, or art in general that is non figurative (what is the word for that.... ???), paintings that don't portray anything very clearly or not at all, is not art, while others can appreciate it anyway

i have that: 'Fluffernutters are better with milk' line in my head,
reminds me of the best solo work of Yoko Ono  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
 8) 8) 8) 8) :-X :-X :-X :-X

what if we just have a sort of option to mark: "instrumental only" in the thread we start?
we could also add a: lyrics are important or irrelevant option
if pressing: "lyrics are important or relevant" we can have a screen popping up which says: [copy and paste the lyrics here]

but i am serious, we can come up with a way within one board that gives options to choose what listen to (and what to read)

right @Mar T. , you ICT wizard?



me, myself, and Pie


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Re: So What Exactly Is A Song?
Reply #5 on: March 11, 2017, 00:29:50
Ok great replies to the 'What is a song' question... I'd appreciate even more kitcheners give us their opinion, so keep your thoughts/feelings coming!


Re: So What Exactly Is A Song?
Reply #6 on: March 11, 2017, 12:05:53
I think music as a whole is just a collection of sounds that are put together by an artist to portray an expression.

To make an analogy, "what is a work of art?" You can make a landscape, paint a portrait, or even throw splotches of paint on a canvas. Is the splotch of paint less art than than the landscape? Maybe to some people, but if the work of art elicits an emotion from the viewer, then that makes it a work of art.

If the collection of sounds, even just someone banging a fork on a tin can, elicits an emotion or reaction from a listener, I would call that music.

According to the dictionary, a song conventionally would be a poem or words meant to be accompanied by music. So by that logic, a set of lyrics by itself is not a song without music and at the same time, music (an instrumental) without lyrics would not be considered a song.
Song = Lyrics + Music

However, I think the purpose of some beats/instrumentals is to let the listener interpret their own form of lyrics/expression. If an artist wishes to tell a story with lyrics in their music, then by all means, listen to it. But if they are sharing music for you, the listener, to make your own interpretation, then by all means, just enjoy it for what it is.

As to the initial comment, I think it would be fine to separate "songs" from "lyrics" from "instrumentals," but it mostly already exists on this forum, just needs to be re-labeled in the proper channels.

As an aside, I personally enjoy listening to songs sometimes and just instrumentals other times, like when I study. So when I listen to the works on this site, I am just experiencing other peoples creativity and then in my mind, deciding when that music is appropriate for me to listen in my own life. For example, I don't listen to heavy metal when going to sleep.

 Every work of art has a time and a place, and it is different for different people. That's what makes art so unique and individualistic.

Anyways, thats my 2 cents
D$


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Re: So What Exactly Is A Song?
Reply #7 on: March 11, 2017, 12:51:26
I think it would be fine to separate "songs" from "lyrics" from "instrumentals," but it mostly already exists on this forum, just needs to be re-labeled in the proper channels.

How is this so @denovo ? There are no separate sub-forums for songs with lyrics and music that is instrumental, and I am unaware of any "labels" or "channels" pertaining to those distinctions, at least not that have been outlined by the mods or agreed upon as convention, and certainly not any that people use with any consistency.


Re: So What Exactly Is A Song?
Reply #8 on: March 11, 2017, 13:06:33
Well, there is a lyrics section. I guess the songs for review should be divided into 2 then, although if the posting consistency remains the same, it won't make much of a difference.


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Re: So What Exactly Is A Song?
Reply #9 on: March 11, 2017, 15:16:36
« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 15:18:33 by M57 »
Well, there is a lyrics section. I guess the songs for review should be divided into 2..

@denovo If your are suggesting that a songwriter submits in two places - a lyric section and a music section, I can only say that I think that would be untenable on any number of levels. For one, it suggests that the two could be independently reviewed as if they were unrelated.

Quote
..it won't make much of a difference.

It would be completely different

When you say "posting consistency," what do you mean? Are you talking about the way it is now?  The way it should be?


Re: So What Exactly Is A Song?
Reply #10 on: March 11, 2017, 15:23:40
I was saying if you want to review lyrics only without music, it should be in the lyric section.
Music/instrumental, the instrumental section,
complete songs i.e. music and lyrics, in its own section.

But if for example I posted a song in the lyric thread and not songs for review, it is misplaced. So you'd have to make the rules clear to make posting easy and consistent to find just the "songs" you are looking for (if that makes more sense).



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Re: So What Exactly Is A Song?
Reply #11 on: March 11, 2017, 15:42:41
« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 15:49:15 by Mar T. »
So far I see there's a difference between the definition of a 'song' according to the dictionary and how we kitcheners think about songs (given that we also post 'music' in the 'songs' thread).
The latter is what happens if a site develops a few years. The community developed it's own perception of concepts in the kitchen context. In our case we accepted the more general 'music' for songs as well.
Of course please keep discussing the definition of a 'song', it's interesting to read.. But please keep those two perspectives in mind.

With that in mind I'd like to know if there's more people who have issues with 'mixed music and songs' in the Songs for Review thread.
I'll add a poll to this thread to investigate. If a lot of people have issues with the current setup we'll discuss what we can do to improve.

Please answer the poll kitchen friends!

Cheers!
:mart:

 


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Re: So What Exactly Is A Song?
Reply #12 on: March 11, 2017, 16:05:54
I was saying if you want to review lyrics only without music, it should be in the lyric section.
Music/instrumental, the instrumental section,
complete songs i.e. music and lyrics, in its own section.

But if for example I posted a song in the lyric thread and not songs for review, it is misplaced. So you'd have to make the rules clear to make posting easy and consistent to find just the "songs" you are looking for (if that makes more sense).

@denovo Really, the only concern I have is the posting of "music" when all I'm interested in is "songwriting."  I make a distinction between instrumental music and music with lyrics. I understand that the latter is a subset of the other and I may be in the minority, but I feel there should be a separate sub-forum for "Music with No lyrics," or "Music with Lyrics" - whichever is less ambiguous.


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Re: So What Exactly Is A Song?
Reply #13 on: March 11, 2017, 16:12:43
@Mar T. very ok to have a poll about that, but i think (well that is my opinion) instrumentals will and should without a doubt have a place on this forum. We even opened a board about "other arts" than music because we want to give room for other creative expressions (painting, photography, poetry, writing, video) and liked to stimulate combinations of these art forms and music.

i think it is more a question of whether we should have a separate place or notification for instrumental tracks only.....for me that is not necessary, and i think i can just add something like [instrumental only] to the heading of a new thread, if i place an instrumental track

besides that, many of the (collab) songs on this forum have started with someone posting an instrumental track first, and then others (vocalists / lyricists) proposed lyrics and offered to sing to it later on.

separating the boards may make that the thread of an instrumental idea then has to be moved to the songs board later on.....i don't think that would be very practical  and we like it (well again that is my opinion) when we get to follow how first musical ideas develop from wip to a full finished product

so i am not for separating boards, but perhaps we can have a system of tags, where we can say "instrumental only", "wip", "lyrics included" or things like that? It may make it easier for people to choose what they like to listen to and comment on


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Re: So What Exactly Is A Song?
Reply #14 on: March 11, 2017, 16:48:12
« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 16:54:34 by M57 »
@Mar T. very ok to have a poll about that, but i think (well that is my opinion) instrumentals will and should without a doubt have a place on this forum. We even opened a board about "other arts" than music because we want to give room for other creative expressions (painting, photography, poetry, writing, video) and liked to stimulate combinations of these art forms and music.

i think it is more a question of whether we should have a separate place or notification for instrumental tracks only.....for me that is not necessary, and i think i can just add something like [instrumental only] to the heading of a new thread, if i place an instrumental track

besides that, many of the (collab) songs on this forum have started with someone posting an instrumental track first, and then others (vocalists / lyricists) proposed lyrics and offered to sing to it later on.

separating the boards may make that the thread of an instrumental idea then has to be moved to the songs board later on.....i don't think that would be very practical  and we like it (well again that is my opinion) when we get to follow how first musical ideas develop from wip to a full finished product

so i am not for separating boards, but perhaps we can have a system of tags, where we can say "instrumental only", "wip", "lyrics included" or things like that? It may make it easier for people to choose what they like to listen to and comment on

@Dutchbeat  Though I would prefer a separate sub-forum, I think yours are all good ideas. Here are a few thoughts/concerns:

I'm afraid people will simply ignore a tag system unless it is mandatory to check a category.

I do not see it as a much more than an inconvenience for the mods to move an instrumental over to the "Song" forum once it has reached a reasonable set of criteria. For starters, I don't think this will happen very often, and I actually it's more work because in the absence of separate sub-forums mods end up having to tag things themselves.

I'm going to speculate that a lot music posted to this site that is 'waiting' for a lyric is usually 'waiting' for a melody as well. At that point, it is simply not a song.  If I were to write a song for someone else to write a lyric to, I would include a melody - or at least the bones of one.  That would qualify as a song in progress and I believe that would be acceptable in a "song" forum.  After all, we don't post lyrics in the song forum, because there's no melody. I think that is a reasonable litmus test for instrumental music as well.

That said, I personally make a distinction between a song and rap/poetry spoken over music - and I would go as far a suggesting that these are not 'songs' either, but that's likely to be an unpopular minority opinion teetering on a tender and contentious line. After all, consider where sprechstimme would lie on such a continuum? There, I just played devil's advocate to my position - So as long as there's a sung part or a melody. I'm willing to acknowledge that it's a 'song' or at least a WIP.