The Muse's News
||The Muse's News
Copyright 1998-2011 - Jodi Krangle.
For more contact information, see end of issue.
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Welcome to another month of songwriting resources at your fingertips. :) Here's my obligatory mention of the weather: I love the Fall. There. That's done. :D
A few things to mention before I get into the meat of things. First off, I'm tremendously proud to say that my sister Raina has released a CD called Solstice. There's more information about her and how you can purchase the CD in the Artist Spotlights area below, but I wanted to mention it here too because ... well... she's my sister. And if I can't menton things like that in my own newsletter, where can I mention it, right?
Secondly, SongU.com is having an open house celebrating their 10th year (wow, how time flies!) - and you can sign up for 30 days free (no credit card required!), to take up to 5 do-it-yourself (DIY) or instructor-led online courses, attend feedback and mentoring sessions, pitch songs and more. Visit SongU.com and enter the redemption code TEAMSU166 to take advantage of this. But you have to do it before September 30th, or you'll have missed the boat! If you're serious about being a songwriter, SongU is definitely one of the BEST things you can do for your career. There's more info on this below in the Musical Notes section too.
Thirdly, I should also mention that The Great American Song Contest has a brand spankin' new website! It's looking really great. You should check it out when you get a chance. :) They're on their 14th annual contest - AND they actually send you a written evaluation of your work with every entry. Pretty cool.
And now - on to the lucky raffle winners! Remember that there are instructions below on how you could be one of those lucky folks too!
The raffle winners this month are:
Alice Hesselrode from Shokan, New York, has won a downloadable version of Rhyme Genie, a dynamic rhyming dictionary featuring over 300,000 entries and 30 different rhyme types.
Russell Jones, from Arnold, Maryland, has won a copy of Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software.
And once again, as I've mentioned many times before (you guys should have this memorized by now :D) if you'd like to be considered for a raffle prize yourself, have a look at the various prizes offered at the top of The Muse's News webpage, decide which prizes you'd most like, and email me with your top two choices along with your mailing address so that I can get the prizes to you. Yes, it's really that simple. :) (And yes, the mailing address is kinda important. I promise it won't be used for any other reason than to send you your raffle prize - and to mention your approximate location in the notice of raffle winners you see above here.)
I wish you every inspiration for the coming month and beyond.
All the best,
(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)
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Great music is only a click away!
Here is a selection of the great artists and bands highlighted
the Artist Spotlight section of The Muse's Muse.
Raina Krangle - Genre: SINGER/SONGWRITER
A singer-songwriter for over 20 years, Raina is a self-taught musician with a fresh folk-rock vibe. The soon to be released CD is a compilation of her songs over the last 20 years. Raina has heartfelt lyrics and a soulful voice that soothes your ears and makes you want to keep listening. Stay tuned for her new release- Solstice.
Rick Stephenson - Genre: RELIGIOUS & DEVOTIONAL
Fascinating, moving music that will draw your heart and your spirit towards a deeper relationship with God. You will enjoy the unique sounds and style of Rick Stephenson's original Adult Contemporary Christian music. This is thought-provoking and reflective upbeat yet worshipful music that will get you singing right along with it! You will certainly appreciate the idea that God loves you with a Love that goes Beyond all Reason once you experience Rick's music.
|Songwriting Book Review
By: Anastasia Karalekas
"Startin’ A Band (Or All The Stuff No One Told Me)"
by Randy Ballard
If you are thinking about starting a band, or even in if you’re already in the process of it, you need this book. Yes, need it. “The purpose of this book is to give you the truth about the real music business. You need to know this stuff ahead of time. So let’s look at some hard-core reality.” (p. 88)
And hard-core reality is exactly what Randy Ballard gives you in his book “Startin’ A Band (Or All The Stuff No One Told Me)”. And he does it while keeping you hanging on his every word for all 115 pages. I read this book from cover to cover one sitting. And then I read it again. It was a very easy read, and, frankly, I just couldn’t put it down.
This book is filled with straightforward advice from a guy who has been playing in a band since 1984, and has lived to tell about it through humor, candor, humor, honesty, humor, and more humor. As I read it, I would come across some line (read: truth) and an involuntary smile would just pop up on my face. Ballard conveys the cold, hard facts of the brutal music biz, all while making the reader laugh. Continuously.
What other book encourages you to highlight its pages, let alone tell you what passages to highlight? The only other way you’re going to get this kind of knowledge is if you live it yourself. Ballard put so much thought into this book: from how to choose each member of your band; what to look for in each player; and how many people you need in your band. Then there’s band names; a very good lesson to be highlighted here. (It brought the movie “That Thing You Do” to mind; and if you’ve seen it, you’ll understand this point very well.) Then there’s the jam sessions. And the warning signs. No detail is left out. So much thought has been put into the content of the book. (And Ballard didn’t stop inside the pages; he even picked the perfect cover design for the book! I think it’s very clever.)
And if you read just one chapter of the whole book, the chapter on “Song List” is it. The author gives you a list of songs that you must have in your repertoire, because no matter where you play, someone will ALWAYS request at least one of them. Having been playing in a band for so long, he’s more than qualified to know what he’s talking about. Get this book just for this song list; know that you’ll gain a lot more from it.
I have to say I don’t feel good about recommending this book only to those who want to start a band. The truth is anyone who loves music in any way, shape or form will really get a kick out of this book. Even if you’re not starting a band yourself, there may come a time in your life when you cross paths with someone who is thinking about it, or doing it. You’ll instantly recommend this book to them. And even if that’s not the case, ever, it really is an amusing story all on its own. See for yourself.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
Anastasia Karalekas is a self-taught guitarist and music absorber. When she is not learning, learning, learning, she spends her time writing fiction and poetry. After taking some private guitar lessons, her teacher encouraged her to try putting some of her poems to music, and she's been writing songs ever since.
If you'd like *your* book reviewed (as long as it has something
to do with songwriting, of course!), please do email us and let
(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)
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|Musical Notes: Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
In the interest of conserving space (when I need to), I will be including only
changes to this listing in this newsletter. All other contests
and market information that have already been listed here, are
displayed at http://www.musesmuse.com/contests.html &
Please check there regularly for updates!
14TH ANNUAL GREAT AMERICAN SONG CONTEST NOW ACCEPTING ENTRIES!
The Great American Song Contest features awards for 45 winners in 9 categories and provides $10,000 in Prizes. Entrants receive written song evaluations from music-industry judges, including publishers, music producers and recording artists. Open to songwriters, lyricists and composers around the world. Sponsored by Songwriters Resource Network, a trusted educational resource for songwriters everywhere. Submission deadline is October 31, 2012. For details, visit: http://www.GreatAmericanSong.com
2011 GREAT AMERICAN SONG CONTEST WINNERS:
Johnsmith won top honors for his original song "From His Window." First-Place category winners were Ed Romanoff & Crit Harmon for "Two Yellow Roses" (Acoustic/Folk); Debra Gussin & Dale Effren for "This Is Our Time" (Adult Contemporary); Eric Colville for "End Of War" (Singer-Songwriter); John L. Sullivan for "Ghost Town" (Rock); Lynne Stewart & Tracy Newman for "Mama, I Know You Ain't Santa" (Special Category Music); Steven Michael Johnson for "Shadow Of the Sun" (Christian/Gospel); Angela Evans for "Warm Hands" (Country); Tony Chen for "Recognizing the Beloved One" (Instrumental); Larry Hamlet for "Climb Back Up" (Pop); Lisa Horan & Stephen Joseph Antonelli for "Spin This World the Other Way" (HipHop/R&B); and Randall & Sara Effner for "Beijing Lullaby" (Lyric Writing). You can hear these winning songs on the Great American Song Hall Of Fame at: GreatAmericanSong.com
DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR THE 29TH ANNUAL MID-ATLANTIC SONG CONTEST!
You still have time! The deadline for MASC has been extended to September 30, 2012. MASC is an international competition. You could win studio time, cash, NERFA and FARM conference registrations, and more! The categories are: Adult Contemporary, Children's, Country/Bluegrass, Folk/Acoustic, Gospel/Inspirational/Christian, Instrumental, Open, Pop, R&B/Hip Hop/Urban, Rock/Alternative, Vocal Jazz/Blues. MASC is presented by the Songwriters Association of Washington (SAW ). It's All About the Song! http://www.masc.saw.org
SOUTHERN SONGWRITING SEMINAR
The Clarion Hotel in Knoxville,TN is the location of this outstanding seminar being held Oct. 5-6, 2012. A panel of 5 top music professionals will be answering your questions, explaining the ins and outs of pitching your songs and giving personal critiques of your original material.Complete details on Facebook.com/southernladyproductions or Linda Perry and look under Southern Lady Productions on the left side. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 865-405-2617 for questions. JAM session starts at 8pm on Friday night!!!
SONGU.COM VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE
SongU.com is celebrating entering their 10th year in existence. Now through Sept 30th, non-members can sign up for 30 days free (no credit card required) and take up to 5 do-it-yourself (DIY) or instructor-led online courses, attend feedback and mentoring sessions, pitch songs to unscreened pitching opportunities and more. Just visit www.SongU.com, click on the "Join" link at the top, fill in the required info (no billing info will be needed) and use redemption code TEAMSU166 Hurry, this special invitation code is only valid through September 30, 2012 (no exceptions).
BOOKING & TOURING SUCCESS STRATEGIES & SECRETS ONLINE COURSE
Getting great gigs, building your audience and selling more merchandise is exactly what your career is all about. This online course is jam-packed with 12 hours of downloadable audio mp3s and PDF Action Guides. There are 5 modules: Module 1: Tour Goals & Planning Strategies, Module 2: Routing Your Tours, Module 3: Negotiation Techniques & Contracts, Module 4: Working with Presenters, Bookers, Promoters/Advancing the Date, Module 5: Targeting Your Markets for Maximum Audiences. Plus 2 hours of bonus classes, BONUS #1: Website Maximizer-Is you’re your Website Selling You? Learn how. BONUS #2: Copy Writing: How to write fan emails, press releases and other promo copy that get responses. Bonus # 3: Three free Industry Biz Booster Monthly Mentor Interviews. And finally, weekly call-in office hours to talk with former agent, manager, author, creator, Jeri Goldstein directly, about the course and your career. Booking & Touring Success Strategies & Secrets gives you artist-tested, step-by-step strategies to help you reach your career goals and make all of your tours profitable. http://performingbiz.com.
MUSIC CLOUT: CREATING NEW MUSIC INDUSTRY RELATED OPPORTUNITIES FOR MUSICIANS EVERY DAY
We are music based promotion experts with the solutions, services and support to help you optimize the success of your promotion strategies. Our services capitalize on intelligent and proven forms of promotion to achieve maximum awareness building for your music. Within our first year of business, Music Clout has placed artists in over 1,000 different music industry opportunities including deals with record labels, publishing and licensing, radio stations, blogs, and many more.
AWARD WINNING SONGWRITER OFFERING SONGWRITING TIPS AND CRITIQUING SERVICES
Award winning songwriter Jane Eamon is offering songwriting one on one classes via Skype. These sessions are one hour in length and can cover any topic you'd like to address. From writing, to critique, to ideas and games. Or just to share your thoughts and get feedback. If you're interested in a session contact email@example.com to schedule a class.
HAVE YOU EVER STRUGGLED TO FIND THE RIGHT CHORD OR NOTE TO FIT SOMEWHERE IN YOUR SONG?
Hooktheory is a free resource that can show you how to integrate basic music theory into your songwriting process, making it easier to write catchy chord progressions and melody. Hooktheory currently consists of three main areas:
1. The Hookbook demonstrates basic principles of music theory and how they relate to popular music. It's filled with multimedia-rich content explaining musical concepts synchronized to real songs so you can hear what you are learning and make connections easier.
2. The Music Editor lets you write chord progressions in Roman Numeral notation and listen to them in any key. Add a melody, save your work, share it with friends, or export it to Garageband, sheet music, or guitar tab.
3. The Analysis Wiki is a user-generated collection of analyses of popular songs. Look up the chord progression and melody of a song, or use the music editor to create your own analyses.
Check it out now!
MUSIKPITCH: NEW ONLINE MARKETPLACE FOR SONGWRITING OPPORTUNITIES
MusikPitch is a brand new website where songwriters can find the
latest opportunities from companies, studios, and individuals
looking for custom songs. It's a straightforward marketplace,
where you can get your music heard and win contracts, regardless
of your experience and location. New projects are posted daily —
from big name movie studios and company brands to non-profits and
schools. Start browsing for great new opportunities today! http://www.musikpitch.com
SONGWRITING CONSULTATION SPECIAL OFFER:
Pete and Pat Luboff are offering a special rate to Muse's Muse
readers on a single song consultation: http://www.writesongs.com/consults.html MM readers get a $5
discount by sending $15 via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org instead of using the $20 single-song button on the site. Please
email the songs to the same address (mp3 attachment with the
lyrics in the body of the email - lyrics only are fine).
Response will be by email.
THE INDIE VENUE BIBLE - A GROUNDBREAKING VENUE DIRECTORY FOR ANY
ARTIST PLANNING TO TOUR IN THE US OR CANADA!
32,000 live music venues of all sizes are featured including
clubs, bars, restaurants, lounges, coffee shops, theaters, halls,
churches, book stores, community centers, house concerts and open
mics. There are also 1,500 festivals listed as well as over
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Jumpstart your tour today! Click here for more information!
Muse's Clues - By John Brhel
©2011-2012 John Brhel. All Rights Reserved.
Used By Permission
“You know I’m bad.
I’m bad, you know it.”
--“Bad,” Michael Jackson
In the words of Michael Jackson, “Who’s bad?” The King of Pop didn’t mean bad in a literal sense, of course. With that soft voice and Peter Pan image, who could honestly have considered him any sort of real threat? No, Michael’s “bad” translates to good, to supreme confidence and indisputable talent. So, I must ask again, “who’s bad?” Are you? Do you possess so much musical talent as to warrant a single sequined glove?
If you’re bad and you know it, head over to SoYouWrite.com and sign up for a membership. Connect with other musicians and music lovers. Get feedback on your dubstep-meets-outlaw country tune. Post videos of your live shows. Show off your tunes. Shamone!
A new songwriting website aims to provide an outlet for all “bad” songwriters out there. SoYouWrite.com, launched on September 19, dares songwriters to show off their talents (So, you think you can write songs? Prove it.)
According to the site’s About Us page, “SoYouWrite.com is the only social networking site connecting singers, songwriters, and fans.” Are you tired of spamming your friends, family, and coworkers with news about your CD release show or Kickstarter campaign? Well, SoYouWrite.com provides an outlet for you to connect with fans without having to compete against your uncle’s daily musings and your friend’s vacation photos.
The site offers two kinds of free memberships. You can either join as an Artist or join as a Fan. As an Artist, you’ll be able to upload your music, connect with other folks in the music industry, and promote. Fans get the chance to connect with up-and-coming artists, cast their votes on songs, and enter contests.
With the abundance of social networks out there, it’s surprising that there aren’t any aimed exclusively toward musicians and songwriters. CEO Dwayne Bell explained the purpose of SoYouWrite.com in a recent press release:
“SoYouWrite.com has taken the best aspects of other social networks and combined them for the ultimate music social network. Unlike other social networks, SoYouWrite.com has invaluable connections throughout the music industry that will give new songwriters and artists a chance to launch their careers instead of struggling at open mic nights.”
Bell and the site’s co-founders describe themselves as diehard music fans who aim to “see great new artists succeed in the music business.” There’s an abundance of talent out there, and SoYouWrite.com wants to give everyone a chance. You don’t have to be from New York, LA, or Nashville to be a star. Heck, Michael Jackson grew up in Gary, Indiana for crying out loud.
Whether you’re from Gary or Gary City, Texas, SoYouWrite.com is a great place to show off just how bad you are. Submit your songs and let the Fans make up their minds. If you’ve got the goods, your song(s) just might end up featuring in the site’s Top 20 list. If you’re really bad, you might be chosen as an Artist or Writer of the Month.
SoYouWrite.com functions like Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites, just with an emphasis on music. You’ll be able to build a profile and post status updates, pictures, and videos. You can make friends with Fans and other Artists. If you’re short a bassist or a kazoo player, you’ll even be able to get in touch with other musicians in your area.
Should you need tips for promoting or caring for your instrument, the site also offers a great selection of helpful articles (no kazoo technique articles yet however.) You’ll find articles on topics as varied as motivation and proper vocal care. With this info at your disposal, there’s no stopping you from being the baddest artist out there.
Social networking is crucial in building an audience and/or spreading the word about your songs. You’re probably already promoting your music on Facebook, Twitter, and other networks, so why not add one to the list specifically geared toward music? You’ll know that the people you’re connecting with are there to hear new music and not just passing time between retweeting and Liking lolcat pictures. It’s a chance to build relationships with real music fans and show off that you really can write.
SoYouWrite.com is not only an opportunity to promote, but to prove yourself as a songwriter. Sure, you write, but do you have decent songwriting chops? If you want to see how your songs stack up against other songwriters, here’s your shot. It’s a challenge any songwriter worth his salt should be willing to take.
Whether you write pop, country, or acid jazz, you’re welcome at SoYouWrite.com. The site is home to a diverse range of artists and musical styles. Launched within the last few weeks, the number of artists is limited, but you’ll already find musical styles as varied as hip-hop, country, Americana, hard rock and many more represented.
John Brhel is a songwriter from upstate New York who wrote his first batch of pop songs before graduating from elementary school. A lover of all music, John writes country songs, plays in a punk band and spends a good deal of his free time listening to Diane Warren ballads. John regularly attends industry events in New York and Los Angeles and is a member of ASCAP and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. A lover of melody and the left-field chord change, John lives and breathes songs. He is always on the lookout for Skype cowriters.
Featured Article - By Brad Dunse
QUICK TIP: 3 Kinds of Re-writes
Months ago I challenged you to introduce yourself to others as a songwriter, not your day job position. I should have suggested you introduce yourself as a song re-writer, that’s more like it.
Here are 3 basic re-write perspectives.
1. The sacrilegious.
2. The equestrian abuser.
3. The Goldilocks
Sacrilegious. Some writers won’t re-write at all. Either for reasons of “Awww, it’s good enough out of the gate,” have a lofty attitude of “I NEVER re-write,” or feel the song was inspired by the gods and they have no right interfering.
I suppose it is a personal choice, but if you want to write songs most others can live with, you have to be willing to evaluate whether you’re hitting the intended mark and make the necessary adjustments.
Imagine if we had drivers out there with the same independent attitude towards a speedometer and the right highway speed?
We’d have blue haired grannies riding the white line at 45 MPH and 90 MPH twenty-somethings texting while zig zagging traffic like the Indy 500 pole position… there’d be highway chaos.
I know, I know. You’re shaking your head and I think I just heard you say, “What are you talking about; that’s just the way it is around here at rush hour.”
Well then you get my point, don’t you?
I love what hit writer Jason Blume said, “It’s presumptuous of us to think we can write a song without any re-writing and get it right the first time.”
Equestrian abuser. Beating a dead horse as it were.
Just don’t get caught in the trap of over writing… wait let me re-phrase that…
Don’t let the trap of over writing catch you… no wait…
Don’t let over writing, a trap, catch your writing… hang on I’ve got it this time…
Okay, so you get my point. Songs can be over written striving for that vanishing point of perfection. Re-writing lines that say the same thing with ten different syntaxes and minor changes is over writing.
I’m not suggesting to skip the process of tightening up with word economy, that is a different thing altogether.
But if your re-writing isn’t’ making some decent strides forward, you may have reached the pinnacle of that particular song.
There is an intuition that will come and you’ll know, “Hey, for what this song is? It’s done.”
If you feel the point of the song is missed, it’s nagging at you, yet you’re stalemated; either call that song done and start a fresh one with the same goal, or bring a co-writer in to help out (see last month’s tip on co-writing).
Goldilocks. Like Goldilocks and the 3 bears, you’ll know when your re-write snuggles in “just right.”
How can I explain that songwriting intuition? Try this.
If you’re a guy, remember those first couple steaks you ever grilled up?
The first one might have passed for a piece of petrified bark with grill marks. The second one practically jumped off the plate it was so rare…
Eventually you got it down though, didn’t’ you?
Now you can grill a steak while yelling at the referee’s bad play call, serve up brewskies, and high-five your pals on the TD without even paying much attention to the steak… you just know when it’s done.
If you’re a teenager, you know from trial and error when your mom or dad is about to ground you, right? There’s that sweet spot you can nuzzle up to just before the hammer comes down on your privileges.
You learned that from experiencing the difference between missing out on your buddy’s all-night gamer party and over stepping your bounds with your mouth trying to get there.
If you’re a lady, I better be careful here… hmmm…
Aahhh… You know just when to tell your girlfriend, “Awww I always thought he was a good guy… what a cutie too, things might work out you never know,” rather than dissing your GF’s sweetie saying “he was a loser anyway, I never liked him,” then facing your friend with a crooked smile and red face next week after they got back together.
It takes experience on both sides of the intuitive sweet spot to hone in on it.
The more you re-write, the easier it becomes recognizing you’ve squeezed the emotional sponge enough and it’s time to move on.
You can always keep the version you have, so fear not, and get re-writing, okay?
Brad Dunse is a performing songwriter based deep in the country's heartland reflecting sensitivity of daily living in his songs. Writing primarily in Folk, Country, Pop, or Americana, he occasionally writes CCM. Co-writer of The Wall, a tribute to Viet Vets receiving major market airplay, he's also received airplay on NPR, local public, independent, and web radio. He is a freelance writer, is board member of Minnesota Association of Songwriters, been member or involved in ASCAP, NSAI, SongU and other organizations. You can visit his web site at WWW.BRADDUNSEMUSIC.COM as well Add As Facebook Friend or Follow Him On Twitter.
|"ON SITE" FEATURED ARTICLE(S)
What To Do When Your Guitar Playing Hits A Wall - How To Overcome Guitar Practice Challenges - by Mike Philippov
In this article I will show you 5 steps to take when you encounter a problem in your guitar playing that you do not know how to overcome. The fact is that solving any problem on guitar is entirely possible and is within your control to achieve. Read this article to find out how.
Using Contrast Between Verse and Chorus, as Done by REM
- by Anthony Ceseri
Using contrast between your verses and choruses as a way to get them to sound different from one another, is a great way to keep your songs interesting. In this article, we'll see how R.E.M. did that, while having the meaning of their lyrics tie into that contrast to really ramp up their song’s ideas.
Songwriters Are Imagineers! - by Beth Lawrence
Imagineering combined with reality is a great way to write songs that give you a protected space, so that no one really knows if it's truth or fiction. It will remain a mystery whether or not whatever you're singing about really happened to you, and will keep the audience guessing as to whether you are baring your soul, or just being a brilliant Imagineer!
Untangling the Maze of Music Conferences - by Bill Pere
Each year we hear of dozens of music events of many types, all across the country. There are endless pitches for Conferences, Festivals, Expos and gatherings of all types. How do you know which ones are worth your time and expense to attend? How can you tell if attending a particular event will help you move closer to your goals? This article will provide some insight.
|Classifieds & Useful Services
THE 11th EDITION OF THE INDIE BIBLE IS NOW AVAILABLE!
The Indie Bible shows you where to get your music reviewed, your
songs played, and your CDs sold. Now in its Seventh Edition, The
Indie Bible has 330 pages of valuable contacts and music-related
The 11th Edition of the Indie Bible contains:
4200 publications around the world that will REVIEW your CD!
3400 radio stations around the world that will PLAY your songs!
500 vendors and services that will help you to SELL your music!
200 sites where you can UPLOAD your band's MP3 files!
500 helpful resources and sites where you can PROMOTE your band!
52 articles that will help your career to MOVE forward rapidly!
Listings include web, e-mail and physical address, as well as
phone and fax numbers.
Click here for details and to order online.
LYRICIST VERSION 3: THE SONGWRITER'S BEST FRIEND
Lyricist is the first-of-its-kind word processor designed
specifically for musicians, songwriters, and poets. The software
includes a Rhyming Dictionary, Thesaurus, Album Categorization,
Chord Charting, Chord Generator, Song Arrangement, and On-Line
The new version 3 release adds support for "Piano Style" chord
symbols, Nashville Number System, and Transposition features -
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