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Thread: Song writing?

  1. #1
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    Default Song writing?

    Does anyone on here have info on getting a song published...By that I mean does a person have to show words AND music for a song to get published? I have a few that I have written but could not for the life of me write the music to go with the tune...Any info would be a big help...Thanks in advance...

    Willie
    W.G. Poole

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Song writing?

    Howdy...You can do what I done,start your own publishing company. At the time I was working in Nashville,went to the license office,where you got license' for a business etc,AND I was promptly told that one does not need a publishing license in Tennessee.I had 'em make me one anyway,still got it...What is hard is getting someone to record your stuff that will make you some money......Loafer
    Raymond E. Huffmaster

  3. #3
    Registered User Cheryl Watson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Song writing?

    A "song" has words (lyrics) and music. An instrumental is, of course, is music without any lyrics. You can publish your lyrics but I'm not sure what form you would use. Everything that you consider a finished work should be copyrighted with the United States Copyright Office. Mailing lyrics and or a CD of a song to yourself will not hold up in a court of law.

    You probably need to find a co-writer who writes music. I can say that from personal experience, that this is not an easy thing to do--there are plenty of people to write with, it is finding the right fit that is so challenging. Co-writing is VERY common, and in fact, the norm in Nashville. Just beware of companies with ads that say that they will put your words to music. There are a lot of scams out there.

    You can, as Raymond suggests, start your own publishing company. If you get with BMI or ASCAP then you can register your company through them for no charge, at least I have been told this by someone very reputable who owns his own publishing company and record label. If you write exceptionally well, BMI or ASCAP have connections in the business and if you develop a friendly relationship with someone who works there, they will often give you advice and point you in the right direction. This business is all about relationships. Luck plays into it but is not really a major factor, I have been told by so many people who are successful in songwriting.

    I plan on starting my own publishing company because it is almost impossible to get a known publishing company to review your music. They have relationships they have developed with people in the business and go through them. Any material that is not given to them by the people in their circle is deemed "unsolicited" and it gets filed in the trash can.

    Also, if you DO find a publisher then you usually lose 50% of the rights in the standard deal. Publishing your own material gives you ownership and therefore more control. If your song gets a cut, then it can be distributed by Bug Publishing (you always hear about Bug but I know there must be others) and they get paid a percentage.

    A lot of publishing research can be done online and there are some good music business books in print. The business changes almost weekly so your info has to be very current and from reliable sources.

    Good luck and if I knew a lot more, I'd tell you, but maybe this will help just a little.

  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Song writing?

    Are you really asking how to copyright a song? There is a wealth of information contained in these threads. The applicable subject lines will jump out at you.

  5. #5
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Song writing?

    If you have lyrics but no music, then it is poetry and still copyrightable. The copyright exists from the moment you created the poetry. Proving when you created can be the essential issue. You can put "Copyright 2012 by Willie" on the lyric sheets, as long as they are your original works.
    Chronic MAS

  6. #6
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Song writing?

    From cwtwang - "Mailing lyrics and or a CD of a song to yourself will not hold up in a court of law.". That's something that almost every Folk singer/songwriter in the UK did during the Folk boom of the '60's-70's. You put your lyrics etc.in an envelope & posted it to yourself by 'registered' mail.The contents were written on the mail receipt for the envelope & were meant to 'register' the ownership of the lyrics by the 'poster'. Whether it would have worked or not,who knows.I don't think any plagierism occured in order for it to be contested in court,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
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