Log in

No account? Create an account
Home, Sweet Home to Dailenna [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Dai Stuart

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Poetry vs. Songs [Jun. 27th, 2011|07:21 pm]
Dai Stuart
[Tags|, , , , , ]

When I was younger, I used to compose music for the piano. Not huge, amazing pieces - I didn't have the knowledge or technical skill for that - but just little, repetitive pieces that sounded kinda cool to me. When I started taking piano lessons, I stopped composing. Not because I didn't like the piano anymore, but I guess because I felt obliged to practice those particular pieces I was learning with my teacher rather than work on anything else. Any attempts to compose anything since then have been feeble and abandoned after too long. I never had a method for writing music; I kind of just mashed the keys until I found something I liked, and tried to hear where it should logically go from there.

Now, I want to compose stuff again. Not just music, but it's like . . . I'm expanding my creative options to include music again. I can never get a theme I like, though. So I thought maybe instead of composing something with a focus on the music itself, I could write a song. I use words, so I should be able to do that. Problem is, how do I do that? The only song I ever wrote before was . . . so-so at best.

So I've asked one of my friends, who frequently writes songs, and I've been observing her methods a bit. She says she writes her lyrics before her music, because they're the focus of it all, then she finds a melody that fits them, and then puts the chords around that. I've even seen a glimpse of her lyrics for a Bridge before she'd figured out the melody, and it sort of sparked something in my brain. The lyrics rhymed sometimes but not always, and their rhythm was questionable. But I've heard her music, and I've seen how she puts things together, and I fully believe she'll make it work. It's sort of reminded me of the difference between poetry and song lyrics, though.

Poetry relies on the consistancy between the writer and the reader to get timing right - that's why syllable count and meter is so important in the poems that choose to use it. Lyrics, however, are made to be heard, so the song itself can be built to accomodate inconsistancies in length of lines so long as equivalent lines (eg. line A of Verse 1 and line A of Verse 2) are roughly the same.

Armed with this knowledge - of lyrics first, and flexibility of meter - I feel a bit more confident. I haven't tried anything yet, but I'm thinking that effectively, I could write something as a poem, except with those little flourishes that make it song-friendly, and that could work as a base for a song. Or I could even take one of the poems I've already written.

I dunno. I want to, but I'm still figuring out how to make it work or where I'd start. Some day.

[User Picture]From: 0_0dbo_o
2011-06-28 03:21 am (UTC)
This is really interesting to think about! I write little bits of poetry and song lyrics offhandedly at times, although the "lyrics" have never made it further than the typed phase... It really is a bit of a different mode, though.
A month or so ago I rifled through my poetry folder and sorted out what I'd written, and pieced together all of my "good" stuff... There are a few which I put together at the end as lyrics. They're all a bit different - a few are still a bit more poemy, with rhyme and meter, but they also have choruses, which I think is why I pulled them to the end. One doesn't have a chorus at all but a lot of repeating and rearranged lines that, in my mind, would be a slow, bellowing, very vocal and free kind of song, the sort that's just a singer and drums and a piano. And then the very last last one is the very first poem/lyrics I wrote unprompted - it's more or less emo/punk song lyrics XD And yet, it's my pride and joy piece... It's weird how that works.

Maybe we can exchange poems & lyrics to read sometime? :3 Perhaps I could make a post on my journal or something... I'm sure my bestie would enjoy reading some of it too...
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: eranith
2011-06-28 11:22 pm (UTC)
Ay, it's strange that there is such a difference between poetry and lyrics that a little change like putting in a 'chorus' can make the whole thing change tone. I'd love to write a whole song with guitar and drums and bass and piano, but all I know how to do is piano, and I don't have any recording programs on my computer to even hear what adding other things would do to it XD Although, now I think about it, I think Dad might :/ Not a recording thing that you play into, but a thing that you choose the notes and beats for and "write" it into the program. You can't always get it sounding just right that way, but it'd mean being able to add other instruments at least.

That'd be fun to exchange :D Most of my stuff is on dA, but I'm sure I've got a reserve pile around, and now I'm gonna start lyricising, too :B
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2011-07-06 10:46 am (UTC)

nice idea

What do you mean?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: eranith
2011-07-06 12:12 pm (UTC)

Re: nice idea

About which part?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: strandedthought
2011-07-17 08:00 am (UTC)
Good luck!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: eranith
2011-07-17 11:58 am (UTC)
Haha, thanks :D So far, that way hasn't worked for me, but I have got a bit of a piece I started mucking around with when I finally had a full piano to play on for a while. Then one chord turned it into "To Zanarkand" and I realised that I had to find some way to avoid that particular chord or I'd just get distracted when I got to that part @_@ Haven't had access to a full-size piano since then, just my little 5-octave keyboard :(
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)