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The Muse's News
The Muse's News
The Muse's News
An E-zine For And About Songwriters.
Issue 15.9
December 2012

In This Issue:
* Editor's Musings
* Music Reviews - Cyrus Rhodes
* New Artist Spotlight Additions
* Songwriting Book Review - by Anastasia Karalekas
* Musical Notes - Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
* Muse's Clues - Songwriting Web sites that inspire - brought to you by Songwriter's Hall of Fame member, John Brhel.
* Featured Article: Quick Tip: Here a bridge, there a bridge, everywhere a bridge -- bridge by Brad Dunse
* On Site Featured Article - An article (or articles) already online for your viewing pleasure.
* Classifieds & Useful Services
* Contact information
ISSN 1480-6975. Copyright 1998-2011 - Jodi Krangle.
For more contact information, see end of issue.


All sorts of products and services especially for songwriters, negotiated so that you get the best price possible. You'll find means of promotion and distribution, songwriting aids, educational products, musical instruments and their accessories, and lots more. Any of these items would make a fantastic present for a songwriter in your life (even if it's you! :-) ) Check it out!

Sponsor Message:
(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)

Write Better Songs with MasterWriter 2.0 - at a New Price!WRITE BETTER SONGS WITH MASTERWRITER 2.0 - NEW PRICE!
(And Muse's News readers *still* get a special discount!)

Looking for something really special for that songwriter in your life? (Maybe it's you!) MasterWriter 2.0 is the most powerful suite of songwriting tools ever assembled in one program. MasterWriter is endorsed by ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, NSAI and is used by some of the world's leading songwriters including Gwen Stefani, Rob Thomas, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Jimmy Webb, Kenny Loggins, Trent Reznor, Clint Black, and many more.

In addition to giving you Rhymes, Close Rhymes, Phrases, Pop-Culture, Synonyms, and the Definition, new features include Word Families and Parts Of Speech, two unique and revolutionary reference dictionaries that will open up a new world of possibilities for descriptive words and ideas. There have been updates and improvements to the existing features, including greatly expanded Sound-Alikes (close rhymes), and a completely redesigned Interface. These are serious tools for the serious songwriter.

MasterWriter's NEW price is now only $199 - but you'll still get a *$20* discount (your price is just $179!) by ordering through The Muse's Muse! Take the Tour, Download a Free Trial, and get a $20 discount! Note that the auto-inserted discount number 3004 will apply the $20 discount when ordering online. Windows and Mac compatible.

Editor's Musings:

I sincerely hope that all my American friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with fun and family and laughter, and lots of things to be thankful for. As we move further into the Holiday season, I hope you've found it inspirational, too! There's a great deal to write about in this special time of the year. I'm sure I don't need to tell you guys that, but it bears repeating. Giving back can create a lot of inspiration too - for a lot of different reasons.

The New York and New Jersey areas are still recovering from Sandy - as is Cuba, Haita and Jamaica (that wasn't reported on much, now was it. :-/ ). Giving to your local red cross could mean a LOT to a lot people. But there are a lot of other ways you can help out. Again, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, so I'll leave it at that and get on with the newsletter.

For those of you looking for holiday gifts for the musician in your life, there are a ton of suggestions in this newsletter and on the Muse's Muse website itself. Have a look around and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Now, in the holiday spirit, I'm giving away stuff! :) Here are the raffle winners for this month - and there's instructions on how you can scoop up one of these prizes for yourself, after the list of raffle winners.

This month, those winners are:

  • Melissa Wilkins, from Lula, GA, has won a free 3 month membership to SongU, an Internet-based learning environment providing online coaching, co-writing and pitching opportunities, in addition to over 70 multi-level courses developed by award-winning songwriters.

  • Chris Keating from Carthage, TX, has won a 6 month membership to GMC has tons of helpful videos, instructors and lessons along with a forum for chatting with teachers and students 24/7, recording collaborations, attending video chats, & content for bass, drums, singing, piano, etc.

  • John Bunts, from Galena, MD, has won a copy of Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software.

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 hope you have the most wonderful of Holidays!

All the best,


Sponsor Message:
(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)


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The package includes 12 audio CDs (packed with 17 repeatable lessons, including both technique--the simple, yet powerful exercises, and style lessons for building vocal licks and trills); a workbook for illustration; and a DVD for visual reference and demonstration. It's a complete course - and it has a money-back guarantee!

Drop by for more details and start yourself on the road to improving your vocal chops today.

Music Reviews: Cyrus Rhodes


Cyrus Rhodes:

* The Perfects
* Miles Jo
* Nick Peay
* Gina Longo
* Engloria
* Erez and the End

Click here for bios on each of the reviewers. If you're considering sending in your own CD for review, you can also view that page to find out which reviewer reviews your genre. Thanks!

Artist Spotlights:

Great music is only a click away!
Here is a selection of the great artists and bands highlighted
in the Artist Spotlight section of The Muse's Muse.


Melissa Auf der Maur - Genre: ROCK

For her second solo album “Out of Our Minds” Melissa wanted a more diverse album than her first. She made a creative promise to herself to try new things. For example: For the first time, she wrote a song for someone else’s voice and persona: “Father’s Grave” her duet with one of her teenage heroes Glenn Danzig. She pushed herself to write songs starting with different root sources: the bass, the piano, autoharp, lyrics, melody, guitar, a drum beat. She also made a commitment to herself to return to her visual and conceptual art roots, and make an accompanying “Out of Our Minds” fantasy film and comic.

Ross Douglas - Genre: SINGER/SONGWRITER

Mr. Douglas is eclectic by nature. Variety is to be expected.
Comment on his work
"One fascinating song after another -unique perspectives, heartfelt performances superb craftsmanship and a generous dose of humour. Bravo!"
"Terrific songwriting that deserves the widest audience."
He has 3 critically acclaimed albums so check him out.

Songwriting Book Review By: Anastasia Karalekas


Anastasia's taking a month off so she'll have another review for us next month! Thanks for your understanding, guys!



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 us know!

Sponsor Message:
(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)


GMC is a video lesson archive & community. GMC has tons of helpful videos, instructors and lessons. GMC also features forum for chatting with teachers and students 24/7, recording collaborations, attending video chats + content for bass, drums, singing, piano etc. All genres and styles are covered - Rock, metal, shred, blues, jazz, country & acoustic, funk.. We want you to have fun while learning - so get rocking NOW!

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-14273 videos, 2262 lessons and 37 instructors.
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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 &
Please check there regularly for updates!


The Great American Song Contest features $10,000 in Prizes and provides awards for 50 winners in 10 songwriting genres. Entrants receive written song evaluations from music-industry judges, including publishers, music producers and recording artists. This event is open to songwriters, lyricists and composers everywhere. Sponsored by Songwriters Resource Network, a trusted educational resource for songwriters everywhere. Submission deadline is December 12, 2012. For details, visit:


The Tipperary International Song of Peace Contest will take place in Tipperary Town, Ireland during 2013. The Contest is now open for the acceptance of entries. So what kind of song is Tipperary Peace Convention looking for? Well a song of Peace, Love and Harmony, about people, places or things, in fact anything that one feels constitutes a 'Sense of Peace'. The organisers are most anxious that the contest embraces all musical tastes so all genre of music is welcome. Entries must be submitted on a compact disc or cassette tape with one copy of the type-written lyric. The entry fee is €25 (euro) or equivalent amount in your own currency.

The closing date for entries is February 1st, 2013.

From the entries received, 10 songs will be chosen to compete 'live' in the Grand Final in Tipperary Town, Ireland at a date to be announced in 2012. The winning song will receive a cheque for €1,500 (euro) and a specially commissioned Tipperary Crystal Trophy. Entry Forms are now available and can be downloaded from the organisers website: or from the Contest Secretary, Martin Quinn at Telephone inquiries to: 00353 62 33990.


Shipwreck Productions will be producing 4 music festivals in the Summer of 2013. Each of our 4 summer long weekends will be a 4 day festival in Belleville Ontario!

With 3 stage areas we will bring you Rock, Country and Hip-hop/pop performances – from battle of the bands to the headliners YOU want to see. There will be hundreds of vendors, lots of camping areas, farmers market, activity areas and our Kids Kabana child care area. Be sure to visit our website for more information. or call 416.846.7684!


The New York City Chapter of NSAI is hosting a 1 day Jason Blume Songwriting Workshop on Dec. 2nd. Topics will include Lyric Techniques to Communicate What’s In Your Heart, Crafting Melodies That Listeners Can’t Forget, and selected participants’ song critiques. Muse's Muse members receive the members discount. Sign up before 11/10 and receive an additional discount. For full details, go to:


The San Francisco Chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) will present a two-day songwriting workshop with hit songwriter/publisher/best-selling author Jason Blume at the Musician’s Union on November 3rd and 4th. Muse's Muse members receive the members discount. For full details, go to:


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.


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 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 to schedule a class.


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 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!


Pete and Pat Luboff are offering a special rate to Muse's Muse readers on a single song consultation: MM readers get a $5
discount by sending $15 via PayPal to 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.


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 1,000 colleges for any artist that wants to plan a college tour.

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

“I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
underneath the Christmas tree”

--“All I Want for Christmas is You,” Mariah Carey

Sing it, Mimi. Who needs an iPad, Kindle, or nasty sausage gift basket anyway? You know what I want this year? A hit song. While I don’t think I’ll make the Hot 100 before the ball drops (unless I become some sort of Rebecca Black-esque viral sensation), I’ve at least found a website that could lead me in the right direction. Oh, and you guys might like it too.

Did you know that Miley Cyrus and The Rolling Stones actually have something in common beyond being insanely rich and famous? If you’re wondering, the Stones aren’t doing a Nickelodeon show and Miley won’t be releasing a Muddy Waters cover album anytime soon, at least I don’t think. No, both artists songs’ share similar elements. For example, Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb” and The Rolling Stones’ “The Last Time” are both in the key of E! Okay, it’s not much of an overlap, but it goes to show that even songs from vastly different genres can have something in common.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t spend my time figuring out what keys songs are in unless I plan on covering them. While I do listen to both Miley Cyrus (on occasion) and the Stones (more so), I found out which keys both songs are in at

If you’re curious as to what makes hit songs tick, SongChemistry is your pop professor, melodic mad scientist, chart chemist, etc. According to its FAQ, the site provides in-depth information about hit songs to help future hitmakers craft their own:

“Making a potential hit record these days is 10% talent, 40% marketing, and 50% song chemistry. With an adequate evaluation of today's top songs, you can identify viable patterns applied to hit songs. With our tool, you're taking the DNA from hit songs and planting the seed for your next masterpiece.”

With a database of over 1,700 songs and growing, SongChemistry is making good on its goal to provide songwriters with both tried and true and cutting-edge songwriting elements. The site offers insight on an eclectic mix of songs spanning genres as diverse as reggae, classical, and jazz. Curious about the KISS hit “Flaming Youth”? Want to know what makes Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” sound so flipping good? Search through the database and get your fill.

Or maybe you’re interested in finding out what KISS and Flo Rida’s hits have in common. Thanks to the Song Forensics feature, you can easily compare up to five songs in SongChemistry’s database. I plugged in Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Want to know what I found out? Well, both songs are pop, in 4/4 time signature, and were released in September! I always knew these two chart-toppers had something in common other than an inspirational message.

Speaking of the charts, every week SongChemistry offers insight on the top 10 songs in the country, including info on instrumentation, song keys, arrangements, samples, and lyrics. It also breaks down hits by genre in charts like Top 5 Country Songs or Top 5 Rock Songs. With this info, you’ll have what it takes to write your very own hit (or at least cop Bruno Mars’ arrangements and/or lyrical themes.)

If words turn you on (I’m more of a melody junkie), SongChemistry also offers a convenient lyric search. To test it out, I searched for that most common of lyrical tropes: “baby.” Of the more than 1,700 songs in its database, 300 included the word baby. I then searched for “spaghetti,” which only turned up one song: T.I.’s “Undertaker.” You’re a groundbreaker, Clifford.

Think SongChemistry would be cooler if it had more songs with pasta references in its database? Well, you could always sign up for a profile and make requests. Interested in Three Dog Night’s favorite keys or Bon Iver’s go-to instruments? Create a profile and you make all the song requests you want. Not only that, but you can also create top 10 lists for other members to discuss and butt heads over.

For all you smartphone-carrying troubadours, SongChemistry is also available in app form. So, if you’re waiting for a bus and suddenly feel the need to know more about a Ke$ha or Curtis Mayfield song, you’ll have all the info at your fingertips.

Take a break from singing songs about snowmen and roasting chestnuts this month and check out SongChemistry. It might not be super in-depth at the moment, but it does offer some interesting information for the studious and hit-hungry songwriter.

With that, I’m off. Enjoy your holiday. Here’s to scoring a hit in 2013 (or at least an appearance in a laundry detergent commercial.)


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: Here a bridge, there a bridge, everywhere a bridge -- bridge

How many different bridges are there? To name a few: dental bridge, bridge on a guitar, draw bridge, even the old card game at the Blue Hair Invitational.

A song’s bridge has many similarities to those listed above. What do I mean?

• The Dental Bridge. Like a dental bridge, a song only needs one when a whole needs to be filled. Putting one in where there isn’t a need doesn't accomplish anything. In fact, a needless bridge causes your song to lose its bite.

For example, if you’ve got a song where both music and lyric stand up fine on their own, why would you feel it needs a bridge?

Over the years I’ve seen writers put in bridges because they thought it was cool, or that every song was supposed to have one. Sometimes though, there just isn’t a need for it and it only adds length to a song, bores a listener, and leads to nowhere. Boredom is a leading cause for listener decay!

So, before you just slam a bridge over the teeth of your song, make sure there is a missing tooth that needs filling first to help your song get a full healthy bite, otherwise don’t use one.

• The Guitar Bridge. Without a guitar’s bridge to lift strings up off the fretboard, strings would lay directly on the frets making a horrible racket.

To make music, strings need space to sing out for the ear’s pleasure. A song that needs space between choruses, or verses if an AABA format, is similar.

Eventually it becomes musically intuitive, but there is a point in writing where you just know, “Okay, the listener has had enough of the verse and chorus of this song. I’m not finished making my point, they need something different musically… they’re getting bored, and attentions are drifting.”

Songs are all about grabbing and holding a listener’s attention. Sometimes boredom is musically driven.

People can even get irritated when listening to a boring or pounding song when simultaneous negative external stimulus is experienced, like rush hour traffic woes. You don’t want that emotion attached to your song.

Experiment with that intuition. Too thick of a guitar bridge gives too much space. Your fingers and hand will fatigue trying to push the strings to the frets, not unlike the listener’s ear in too long a bridge.

Too thin of a bridge, and strings buzz on the frets, again not unlike a listener’s experience with a bridge that doesn’t fulfill its job, it’s just noise.

• The Draw Bridge. Imagine your verse and chorus are on the mainland, and your interesting perspective or primer to give your song new life is the castle. The problem is there’s a moat separating the castle from the mainland. So, down comes the castle’s draw bridge to draw you in.

That’s the job of a bridge, to draw a listener in to your song deeper, giving your chorus or verse new life or meaning.

Face it, after a couple minutes of listening folks think they’ve gotten yours song figured out, until they get to the bridge that is, where musically and lyrically you’ve given them a treat they didn’t expect. Suddenly they’ve been drawn back into your song, right into your castle.

• The Blue Hair Invitational. Just like the old card game, a bridge is strategic and skillful. You don’t randomly toss cards out, strategy is involved.

What skilled strategies might you use in a song’s bridge?

A different rhyme pattern than other parts of your song? Maybe different vowel sounds in those rhymes as well.

Switch from major to minor chords? Use a different chord progression? Maybe a different key all together?

If your song makes a statement you might ask a question in the bridge to toss in a soft wrench; or conversely, a bridge statement if your song asks a question.

Perhaps your bridge can bring a listener closer to a scene with more detail? Or the opposite using a bird’s eye view giving a broader perspective.

You don’t want lyrics and music so different they seem out of place, but different enough to breathe new song interest, or a new meaning for the old chorus or upcoming verse.

Pay attention to the songs you hear this month. Do they differ musically and lyrically from the rest of the song? If so, how?

Were they really needed to help the song?

Until next time…


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.


How To Gain The Power To Create Intense Musical Emotion
- by Tom Hess

Have you ever wondered how your favorite musicians make such great music? The answer is this: They fully understand how musical emotion works, and how to use this to create intense emotions in YOU while you listen to them. Understanding musical expression is key to becoming a great guitar player and musician. When you control emotion in music, you will gain the power to greatly affect the listener’s experience...


Making Your Listeners Want To Hear Your Song Again, as Done by Queen
- by Anthony Ceseri

One thing we all songwriters want is for people to want to hear our music. And not just hear our music, but we want them to be listening to it over and over again. The best way to have that happen is to have a really catchy hook. But there are other little things you can do, to maximize the impact your song has on your fans. We'll look at one of them, in this article.

Classifieds & Useful Services


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The 11th Edition of the Indie Bible contains:
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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 Copyright Link.

The new version 3 release adds support for "Piano Style" chord symbols, Nashville Number System, and Transposition features - all in one easy-to-use package - and all for only $54.95! (That's $5.00 off to all Muse's News readers who purchase from the review link at!)

This tool will revolutionize the way you write and organize your writing.
Be the best songwriter you can be and purchase Lyricist today!


Inspired by the songwriter's journey, and through understanding the principles talked about in "THE SECRET", this audio program is specifically created for the songwriter based on those findings. Through Power of Thought and Understanding the Law of Attraction, you will have the tools, knowledge & ability to create the thoughts, experiences, and circumstances to be a phenomenally Successful Songwriter. Included is a guided meditation that is as passionate as it is empowering!

Muse's Muse Visitors - Enter Promo Code: 42567 for Discount.

Limited Introductory Offer of $12.95 for Digital Download Discounts for CD, and CD/Digital Download Combo shown on ordering page.

For Classifieds: US$50 Max. 7 lines (though I do make exceptions), where a line = 65 characters including spaces and punctuation. All contracts must be prepaid. Write to:

Click here for Newsletter Sponsorship rates and other advertising opportunities.

Contact Info & Credits

Jodi Krangle, Editor:

The Muse's News is a free monthly newsletter for and about songwriters. Subscribers are welcome to recirculate or reprint The Muse's News for nonprofit use as long as the appropriate credit is given and the ENTIRE text of the newsletter is included (including credits and information at the end of each issue). Others should contact me at All articles copyrighted by their authors.

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The Muse's News is part of The Muse's Muse, a web resource for songwriters.

For further information, send your e-mail to: - How to place a classified ad, pass on market information or sponsor The Muse's News. - How to subscribe or end your subscription. - To submit articles,reviews,ideas,etc.

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