The Muse's Muse  
Muses MailMuses Newsmuse chatsongwriting resource home
The Muse's News

Issue 4.11 - February 2002
ISSN 1480-6975

[ Back to The Muse's News Index ] [ Home ]

This issue sponsored by:OnlineRock


I n   T h i s   I s s u e :

@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Copyright & Publishing Q&A with Nancy A. Reece from Carpe Diem
    Copyright Management
@-- Music Reviews - by Ben Ohmart & Eliot Popkin
@-- Songwriting Book Review - by James Linderman
@-- Featured Article - THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC: 
                       Practical Realties of Securing A Record
                       Label Agreement - by Charles Katz
@-- Musical Notes - Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
@-- Muse's Clues - Songwriting Web sites that inspire - brought
    to you by singer/songwriter & teacher, Irene Jackson.
@-- Featured Article - ON COMPOSITION & FLOSS - By Adam Nierow
@-- Columnist In Spotlight - Debbie Ridpath Ohi
@-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your
    viewing pleasure.
@-- Classifieds & Useful Services
@-- Contact information
ISSN 1480-6975.  Copyright 1998 - 2002, Jodi Krangle.  For more 
contact information, see end of issue. ================================================================= S p o n s o r M e s s a g e : (Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SELL YOUR MUSIC AT ONLINEROCK! OnlineRock now lets any band or musician sell their music directly from their own Web site. We take the order, process the payment, fill and ship the order 24 hours a day. OnlineRock, a leading music resource site, also provides free Web building and hosting services, bulletin boards, and editorial content of interest to musicians. Each week we profile a different artist, Web site and song. OnlineRock - Empowering Musicians ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ E d i t o r ' s M u s i n g s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Hi everyone and welcome to another issue of The Muse's News. As it happens, this is the last issue before the beginning of this newsletter's FIFTH YEAR. Pretty nifty, huh? First off, I wanted to tell you that Radio Muse is still kicking! Honest! :) Jan has been really busy lately and the holidays have really thrown our scheduling for a loop - but show #8 will be live soon. Probably some time around the beginning of February. Keep a look out on the front page of the site as I'll make the announcement there when it's online. I do apologize profusely for the delay. If you're super eager to get your music on the radio though, you can drop by to find out more about their new Radio Free Virgin Just Plain Folks Artist Channel! This is the perfect opportunity for independent artists to get their music on the radio - and this station is set to reach a huge number of regular Radio Free Virgin listeners. Though you need to be a Just Plain Folks member to send in your music, membership is totally free. So what are you waiting for? I'd also like to mention that it turns out I will have some time for consulting. :) What this means is that if you have a website that no one knows about and you're looking for help on promoting it online, you can have a look at and see if any of these services might be of some use to you. For those of you interested in promoting your websites who are also songwriters, I've been authorized by the generous folks over at InsideSessions to give away a few copies of their new "Songwriting & Publishing" package. More information on that package can be found at . I'll be including a "Songwriting & Publishing" package from InsideSessions with the first one or two "Package #2" offerings that are commissioned on a monthly basis for as long as the copies last (I have five). Online promotions is my specialty and I look forward to putting that knowledge to work on your behalf. I've learned a thing or two in six years. ;) You can also email me directly at if you'd like to talk further about it. I'll be happy to hear from you. In other news, there are lots of new articles written by the columnists (thanks guys!) . You can check that out at whenever you'd like. Michael Allison in particular, has a new article about the do's and don'ts of a great band website that is a MUST READ for any of you out there with sites of your own. And in still other news, I'd like to ask all of you to refrain from adding new links to The Muse's Muse Music Resources for now. (That's at in case you're looking for something music-related. There's a fantastic list of links there - all contributed by YOU!) I'm about to update that script to something a LOT more interesting and any people that submit links between now and then, will just be told to re-enter their information into the new database when it's finally online. I'll let you know when the changes are live. I'm very excited about it! And last but certainly not least, I'd like to congratulate our two prize winners this month! Randy Harp from Columbia, SC has won himself a copy of Jim Halsey's excellent book, How to Make it in the Music Business (reviewed below) and Nancy Bobbitt from Lexington, KY has won herself a copy of VSS's fantastic Lyricist product. For a review of Lyricist, see . Thanks for reading, folks! Best of luck with your songwriting. --Jodi Back to Menu ================================================================= C o p y r i g h t & P u b l i s h i n g Q & A : With Licensing executive Nancy A. Reece & attorney Duff Berschback ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: I am a student studying music law and am finding a part of it really difficult. If performers complete a 30 day world live tour, and they write all their own material, their live set includes nobody else's material. At each European concert the promoter pays a license fee to the local performing right society. The amounts the promoter say they have paid each society are shown in the tour accounts. Now the artists want to make sure that the PRS has paid them the correct amount of live royalties from the tour. What questions do the artists need to ask their accountant to ask the companies to answer? Hope you can help because I'm really stuck!! Thanks! -------- A: The answer would be the same for any territory. Contact your performing rights representatives and give them a set list and a tour schedule. They should be able to account to you for the monies collected if you have the documentation. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: I want to use a cd of Bette Midler (SP) singing "Wind beneath my wings" to back a PowerPoint presentation of pics to be shown at a memorial service for a friend and to be made into a video for sale to family and others. What do I have to do to get total copyright clearance for the project? I know that people are entitled to be paid for their work and I want to do so. I need your help to get that done. Thanks. - Chuck F. -------- A: If you plan on giving the product away to family members (see definition of private use in Title 17) then you do not need permission. If you plan to sell the product then you will need synchronization licensing form both the sound recording holder and that of the underlying copyright holder of the composition. The performance of the song in any funeral home will be covered under the NFDA agreements with the PROs. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: Hello! I am a first time songwriter. There is a label exec. who may be interested in purchasing my songs. What is the average price of an R&B song? How do I derive a reasonable price and some type of royalties if the song is a hit? Thank You. -------- A: I would highly recommend that you contact competent entertainment counsel to assist you. You probably want to get an assignment with a reversion right and an advance upon signing. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: I just recently opened a small publishing company. Is there a copy of a standard mechanical liscense agreement that I can use as a guide? How can I find one? Thanks, Susan -------- A: The best place to see good examples of mechanical licensing would be in the books "Music Money & Success" by Brubec & Brubec or in "Kohn on Licensing". You could also hire an independent copyright administrator to draft something for you. ----------------------------------------------------------------- TO VIEW OTHER QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES, SEE NANCY'S "COPYRIGHT & PUBLISHING Q&A" ONLINE AT Please note: She receives a *lot* of e-mail in a month. If you sent in a question but have not heard a reply, it's very likely it already *has* an answer online. It's always a good idea to thoroughly look through the Q&A's online to see if your question has already been asked before you send in a request. Thanks! ----------------------------------------------------------------- ***** ABOUT NANCY A. REECE: Carpe Diem Copyright Management's owner and president, Nancy A. Reece has been involved in the music business since 1983. She was the president of an independent advertising agency for eight years as well as a successful personal artist manager for nine years. She represented the careers of several recording artists and songwriters including those with EMI, Zomba and Liberty Records as well as Benson, Starsong, WoodBridge, Temple Hall and N'Soul Records. She also represented, for a number of years, a Grammy and Dove nominated record producer. Reece has won awards of excellence in print magazine advertising and has been named as one of 2,000 Notable American Women (1995) as well as being listed in the International Who's Who of Professional and Business Women (1993). She was also named Cashbox Magazine's Promoter of the Year (1989). In addition to her work at Carpe Diem Copyright Management, Reece works at a performing rights organization in the United States and is an accomplished contemporary artist working in abstract and multimedia on canvas and wood. **If you would like to ask Nancy a question, you can send your e-mail to Nancy at . She can't guarantee she'll get to all of the questions, but she'll certainly try.** Back to Menu ================================================================= M u s i c R e v i e w s : by Ben Ohmart & Eliot Popkin ----------------------------------------------------------------- Randy Moore & The Fabulous Deltones - self-titled (by Eliot Popkin) This country-rock CD was a real treat for me to listen to. The album starts out with a bang of "Rope Me With Fire", co-written by the Nashville songwriting star Pat Brunch. Moore's writing is so strong, you can just hear yourself in these stories and picture yourself in their moments. The wonderful songwriting continues with "Life is Good", where Moore sings "Life is good here in Georgia, this must be the promised land." I've never been to Georgia, but after hearing this I sure would like to go. Moore and company really rock out on "Beg, Borrow, Steal". They sound at home both in the more commercial country territory, as well as on the more roots-rock material you hear on this disc. As Moore sings "I would beg, borrow, steal, all your love", I can't help but hear Dwight Yoakam wailing away. Mr. Moore, you need to send this song to Mr. Yoakam and I don't need a percentage. Good song my friend. The publicity notes say that Moore wrote this song after spending a day listening to the Doors. That makes sense to me. This is the first (and possibly only) CD I will ever hear with a song about a golf club named "Big Bertha." "Bertha" was written with rockabilly legend Carl Perkins, about his missing golf club. And I thought I heard it all before! My favorite song here is "A Mother's Prayer", a beautiful piano ballad about a Mother giving up her child for adoption. For those who want to learn about great songwriting, put this disc in, listen over and over, and take notes. My only request here is to include the lyrics! Let the listeners enjoy these words. In closing, simply put - this is a strong, strong album. Contact: Ginny Foley (201) 866-5618, Website: [[ EDITOR'S NOTE: As the wife of a golf fanatic, I should inform folks that "Big Bertha" is actually the *brand* of a golf club, believe it or not. So while Eliot's certainly right that writing a song about such a thing is unique, I'm not sure it would be the only one. ;) -- Jodi ]] ------------------ OTHER NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE: AeTopus - (by Ben Ohmart) Jean-Paul Bourelly - (by Ben Ohmart) Jorge Sylvester - (by Ben Ohmart) The Lynne Arriale Trio - (by Ben Ohmart) Larry - (by Ben Ohmart) Spectre VII - (by Ben Ohmart) Andrew Wagner - (by Eliot Popkin) Joi Veer - (by Eliot Popkin) Sandy Kay - (by Eliot Popkin) Staticland - (by Eliot Popkin) --------------- ****** Ben lives in Boalsburg, PA where greedy people want to put up condos in place of a nature preserve. He spends his off hours listening to radio comedy - especially British - loves reading and watching horror, and hates trying to make ends meet. Send him money and gifts. While waiting for bribes, he's currently writing the official biographies of The Bickersons, Paul Frees and Daws Butler. His latest bit of immortality? The text for Contact him at: Eliot is a Boston born singer/songwriter who saw his debut album "Down Along This Road" have 3 songs find their way into movies, radio airplay on more than 100 stations across the country as well as countless wonderful reviews and feature stories. He currently is writing songs for various major label and film projects, and is in the studio working on his follow up album. He lives in Los Angeles, enjoying a nice view of the Hollywood sign. To hear his music, drop by his web site at . Contact him at: If you're considering sending in your own CD for review, please drop by to find out which reviewer reviews which genre. Thanks! Back to Menu ================================================================= S o n g w r i t i n g B o o k R e v i e w : by James Linderman How to Make it in the Music Business - by Jim Halsey ----------------------------------------------------------------- The Italian word "Impresario" is the name given to those who put on concerts. It's as old as opera itself and is derived from the same Latin root as the word "impression" which means "to mark or imprint". Jim Halsey is more from the world of "Opry" than the world of "Opera" but this book shows that he has certainly left his mark as an Impresario with over 50 years of successful experience in the country music business. In the pages of "How to Make it in the Music Business" you will find lots of great advice, some wonderful stories, and the constant implementation of Halsey's own personal philosophical approach referred to as the "power of performance". There are plenty of inspiring examples of how to "give your all" and make an impression, whether on or off stage, and regardless of whether you are a celebrity entertainer or just starting out as a small town booking agent. Part one, explains how to acquire a winning attitude and build the internal tools for success in a business that can be very tough and discouraging. Part two reveals how to determine and establish your place in the business by thoroughly explaining the roles and responsibilities of the artist, the manager, the record company, the producer, the agent, the press, the publisher, the attorney and the promoter. In part three, Halsey uses his experiences in building the careers of artists like The Oak Ridge Boys, Roy Clark, The Judds and others to illustrate how the power of performance can be used to build your career. In his "Suggested Reading" section there are books on music and the music business specifically, but also books on general marketing and media. The appendix has over 1000 contacts that range from industry magazines to record labels and from conferences to county fairs. This book would certainly interest someone in Country music, but it would be short-sighted to suggest that this is the book's only audience. I think that it should make great reading for anyone interested in finding a recipe for the kind of success that goes beyond the markers set by convention. I found it particularly impressive that Mr. Halsey had the vision to take country music beyond the safe and certain markets of the Southern U.S. and into unlikely places like The Soviet Union, where culture, diplomacy and global unity are impacted by the sound of music being made. This is where impresario and impression come together and, what appears to be a mere "how to" book on the music business becomes a road map to success in the art of music, in the world of music and in life itself. ****** James Linderman lives and works at theharmonyhouse, a music lesson, songwriting and music pre-production facility in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. He has worked as a collaborating songwriter and consultant for The Toronto Office of Catholic Youth and leads a music workshop program for Life 100.3 Christian radio. James writes songwriting articles for The Muse's News web magazine, Canadian Musician Magazine and Professional Musician Magazine. Contact James at: Back to Menu ================================================================= F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : Charles will be providing us with a series of articles discussing common problems performing songwriters might face within the music business. THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC: RECORDING: Practical Realties of Securing A Record Label Agreement ©2002, Charles Katz. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission. ----------------------------------------------------------------- "One Fine Day" Words and Music by Gerry Goffin and Carole King was a classic hit in the late 60's. The repetitive lyric "One fine day // you'll look at me // and you will know//our love was meant to be//" is the opening of a very famous song and is essentially the chemistry that must exist between a record label and the performing artist. Running a successful record label today is more difficult than winning the National Lottery. As a day to day trawler for exceptional talent I am looking for that unique individual who has a fan base, released a successful CD on their own, has their own contacts in the music business and is looking for the money man to complete the team. To start with, I manage an International Song Writing Contest for Performing artists. When I hear something I like, I ask the artist to send a press kit with a good quality CD, radio quality, lyric sheets, photographs, bio material, and tour information. The quality of the sound must be there. It cannot be an amateur production. You are competing with thousands of artists for only a few hundred record deals a year. I want to see where that artist has been and who has reviewed their music the last year. What airplay have they already received? · Campus · Commercial · Film · TV Syndication · Local Cable Then I will meet with the rest of the team. · Manager · Attorney · Record producer (Very Important) · Radio Promoter · Publicity/Promotion Agent You have to know which genre you are in and which major record label/distributor specializes in that genre. Due to a rationalization in the industry the few major record labels/distributors are : · BMG(BMG,RCA,Arista) · CEMA (Capitol, EMI, Virgin) · Polygram (Polygram, A & M, Island, Motown) · SONY ( Sony, Columbia, Epic) · UNI (MCA, Geffen) · WEA (Warner Brothers, Elektra/Asylum, Atlantic) Take your pick. There are not too many. To date I have found only one artist that I am comfortable investing with and shopping to major labels. The chemistry and timing has to be right. Stay tuned for next month's article: Relationships Between Independent and Major Labels ****** Charles Katz owns a high-tech company, Printerm, established for 20 years, and manages a Record Label, Windrift Music Inc. He currently has a CD "Night Driving Music" installed at Internet sites in the US, UK, and Asia collecting royalties. Charles is presently working on his second CD with a female recording artist and has established a virtual band, Spencer K for that project. As a business leader, musician, publisher, and promoter, he is now providing his expertise for fellow artists. Contact: Back to Menu ================================================================= M u s i c a l N o t e s : Songwriting Contests & Market Info. In the interest of conserving space, I will only be including 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! ----------------------------------------------------------------- 'RADIO MUSE' WEBCAST FOR INDEPENDENT SONGWRITERS - SEEKING MUSIC! The Muse's Muse & Host, Jan Best of Independent Songwriter Web-Magazine, are putting together a series of shows, one every month, featuring the songs of independent songwriters just like you! See for details on how you can send in your own music for consideration. ----------------------------------------------------------------- WINDRIFT MUSIC SONGWRITING COMPETITION 2002 Windrift Music and Sonic Foundry(Sound Forge/ACID), are sponsoring the 2002 Songwriting Competition. Fabulous Prizes * $1000 in cash * Sound Forge 5.0. * ACID PRO 3.0 * Vegas Video 3.0 * Five loop libraries * Make Your own demo CD * 50 CDs courtesy of Windrift Music * Web Hosting of Your Song on Windrift Music Site * Artist Home Page with download of music * 1000 promotional Flyers of CD * Free promotion of artist CD to major labels. The deadline is June 30th, 2002. $10 entry fee. Contest details are located on the Windrift Music web site: ----------------------------------------------------------------- CAROLE BAYER SAGER'S VALENTINES DAY SONGWRITING CONTEST! Tonos hosts many songwriting contests and Industry Opportunities specifically for songwriters every month. January contests include: * Carole Bayer Sager's Valentines Day Love Song Contest - Grand Prize winner to receive a Shure KSM27 Studio Cardioid Condenser Microphone valued at $575 plus Carole will be selecting the winner herself. * Wade Robinson Seeking Pop Songs for His New Project - Get your song heard by the producer/dancer and remixer who has co-written with 'N Sync and he may just sign it for his new project. * Veteran Producer Dito Goodwin (No Doubt) Seeking Rock Songs - Submit your best rock or alternative track and Dito may just use it for one of his upcoming projects. Click here for your chance to enter! (Sorry folks - it's a long one. If this splits, which it likely will, just copy and paste both parts into your browser.) ----------------------------------------------------------------- JUST PLAIN FOLKS INVITES MUSE'S MUSE MEMBERS TO ENTER THE 2002 JUST PLAIN FOLKS MUSIC AWARDS! The 2002 Just Plain Folks Music Awards Entry Deadline is approaching and we welcome Muses Muse Readers to enter and get involved. In 2001 we had over 2,400 CD's and 35,000 Songs entered from all around the globe making it, we believe, the largest Music Awards program in world history. Entry is free and all we need is your complete contact information on your CD or Liner Notes including name, address, phone, email address and website if available. All genres are welcome and all entries must be sent on CD. (No cassettes.) Release dates don't matter, but you can only enter the same music 1 time for our awards. In 2001 we gave out 75 awards for both Songs and Full Albums. Mail all entries to Just Plain Folks, 1315 N. Butler Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46219. Press kits are welcomed but not mandatory. Entries will also be considered for Airplay on the new Just Plain Folks/Radio Free Virgin Radio Internet Radio Channel (, which has over 2.5 million registered listeners. If you'd like more information about the Just Plain Folks Music Awards or would like to sign up for a free Just Plain Folks Membership, please visit ----------------------------------------------------------------- ALL SHE WROTE SONGWRITING CONTEST All She Wrote is interested in cultivating and promoting talented yet unrecognized female artists & to be a bridge between her and the entertainment industry. To amplify the female voice in various fields of creativity and art. The goal of our contest is not to make money on the entrants.... it is to be here for women artists and help them improve and excel. We have a staff of professionals and numerous contacts in the industry just chomping at the bit to help women artists. Visit for more details. ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE FIRST AMATEUR ONLY SONGWRITING CONTEST IN THE WORLD! Cooch Music has launched it's fourth amateur songwriting contest. Entry fee is only $10.00 per song. Prizes amount to over $7,000.00 including a fully digital mastered demo from Def Ro Productions as part of the Grand Prize valued at $3,505.00. All prizes offered are designed to help the amateur songwriter further their careers. "Helping The Amateur Songwriter is What We Do Best" Learn how to earn free entries into our contests! e-mail us at For complete details and entry form visit us at ----------------------------------------------------------------- USA SONGWRITING COMPETITION & GUILD/FENDER GUITARS SPONSORS CIRCLE OF SONGS SHOWCASE USA Songwriting Competition and Guild/Fender Guitars sponsors the Circle of Songs™ showcase at Los Angeles' Knitting Factory every third Wednesday of the month in Los Angeles. The first show will start on January 16, 2002. It is a "Songwriters In A Round" acoustic/unplugged format, meaning four songwriters will be featured on stage each month. Vocals and guitar or keyboard is usually the case for each performer. Aside from Singer-songwriters performing, many Rock/Alternative bands regularly feature their lead vocalists with their songs at the showcase. For more infomation check out: ----------------------------------------------------------------- GGM SONG CONTEST 2002 NOW OPEN The GGM Song Contest has come a long way, with two amazing years of successful contest. Entries will be accepted through April 15, 2002 with a huge winning package. All early bird entries received before FEB 28th, 2002 entitled to FREE custom designed GGM T- Shirt. This year entries are expected from all over the world. Our annual song contest has helped many of the participants accelerate their music careers and has created an opportunity to have their songs heard by the music industry. For more information visit: ----------------------------------------------------------------- SONGS WANTED: Darion (Label Shopping) - US music publisher and independent A&R firm is seeking songs for Darion and two other female artists. Seeking top quality demo's. Please include lyric sheets. Mid to up tempo Pop/R&B/Dance in the style of Toni Braxton / Janet Jackson / Taylor Dayne and Tina Turner. Songs must have POWER! We ask that all songs be UNPUBLISHED. Please include two versions of the songs, one with vocals and one with the music only. Songs should be Radio ready hits - no album fillers. Serious writers only. Send only your very best! We will contact writers only if interested. No downloads or MP3's. Publisher: Joseph Cuccia 22 Williams Way South Baiting Hollow, NY 11933 USA Tel: 631-664-6340 e-mail: ----------------------------------------------------------------- OPEN STAGE W/ACCLAIMED TORONTO SINGER/SONGWRITER, NORM HACKING Open stage every Thursday at the Silver Dollar Room (486 Spadina at College) in Toronto), no cover, sound system. Drop by to perform 2 or 3 songs and if you have your own CD, bring it! Sign-up starts at 7pm, with a 7-8 pm finger-picking guitar workshop led by Brian Gladstone to start things off. Each evening includes a feature performer and a short set by Norm Hacking. For further info, visit, e-mail or call the Silver Dollar info line at (416) 763-9139. ----------------------------------------------------------------- INTERNATIONAL SONG OF PEACE CONTEST Tipperary Peace Convention in Tipperary, Ireland, are holding their International Song of Peace Contest in early May 2002. The Contest will be staged in the Excel Theatre in Tipperary Town, Ireland. The Irish Music Rights Organisation and Waterford Cystal are involved as sponsors. Entries are now being invited for the Contest. Songs must have a theme of peace, love and harmony. They can be about people, places or things, in fact anything that one feels constitutes a 'Sense of Peace'. The closing date for entries is March 31st, 2002. The entry fee is 20 Euro for the first song and 15 Euro for each additional song. The winning song will receive a cheque for 1,500 Euro and Waterford Crystal Trophy. Entry forms and further particulars are available from Martin Quinn at 062-33990/087-6101628 or e-mail: Back to Menu ================================================================= M u s e ' s C l u e s : by Irene Jackson ©1998-2002 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission ----------------------------------------------------------------- One tool that I often hear about songwriters getting a lot of use out of, is a rhyming dictionary. Honestly, it wasn't until I started hanging out on the net that I realized how much some songwriters depend on these. Okay, I admit I use one now and then :-) Recently, when this topic came up again, I did some surfing and found a great website called "RhymeZone"( which is so much more than just an online rhyming dictionary. Beyond rhyming syllables and phrases, you can find synonyms and antonyms, definitions, similar sounding words...this is a serious word-related website! Another very interesting feature on this website reminds me of something I was watching recently. There was a PBS special about Mark Twain, a two-part series that covered his life and his work. As some of you probably know, he was a very well-known writer whose quotes you'll still hear from time to time...that's because some of them are so priceless. RhymeZone has a huge section full of quotes by famous people, politicians, comedians, and anyone else who had a quirky perspective on this world of ours. Why would this be helpful to a songwriter? Sometimes when you read a good passage in a book or hear a great quote, it creates a kind of altered state and puts you in a "zone" where your perspective changes, even if just for a moment. This state is highly creative and a way for you to get past those writer's blocks you all complain about from time to time :-) Beyond that, you can take a quiz in word definitions, read a little Shakespeare or even the Bible if you feel so inclined! So if you're stuck for a word or need some inspiration, I'd highly recommend checking out the RhymeZone. And don't you dare complain about writer's block again :-) ****** Irene Jackson is a performing songwriter from Victoria, BC in Canada. Aside from writing, recording and performing, she also maintains a website for songwriters that includes tips, articles and more links of interest. Her eagerly anticipated CD "Catnip" is finally here, and her earlier recordings have had attention everywhere from Japan to South America. Songwriting Tips: Homepage: Songs on MP3: Back to Menu ================================================================= S p o n s o r M e s s a g e : (Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ UNLEASH THE FULL POTENTIAL OF THE INTERNET WITH SONGSCOPE.COM! SongScope is a valuable tool enabling you to build an on-line song catalog, accessible only by proven industry professionals. Receive FREE email informing you every time record producers and industry professionals make requests. Song listings are only $29.95 per year. An ecommerce enabled marketing/promotion page and tour calendar are also available for performing songwriters to get further artist exposure. See for details or contact: ~ Tel: 770.754.4543 ================================================================= F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : On Composition and Floss - By Adam Nierow ----------------------------------------------------------------- I have the urge to create. It pulsates and keeps me pleasantly occupied. I am doing it now; humming a melody, mumbling dummy lyrics about getting corn stuck in my teeth: (Ate a nice meal except for that cob.) I will be inspired again later. Creative impulses are like guests at a dinner party. At the table, hungry mouths crave satisfaction. It takes a patient host to filter through all the demands. Often it helps to prioritize (i.e. well-bred children first). The rest are usually served in due time, although some relatives may complain that the mashed potatoes are cold, and then refuse to finish their meal. This is all part of the process. Just deny them dessert. As a child, I dabbled in imaginary worlds of possibility. When I was eight, my first attempt at musical composition spewed "Blazing Fire," the masterpiece of my passionate childhood. This solo piano experiment sparked a desire to explore deeper emotional landscapes through music. Since then, plenty of songs have trickled out, and the honing process never ceases. (Throbbin' gums are my reward.) I remember my teenage "pathetic love song" stage. Those sappy attempts were like syrup-drenched pancakes screaming for air. Oh how I pined. I suppose Mozart had difficulty writing substantial music when he was, say, a fetus-hard to find a pen in there. For the rest of us (or most of us), it takes somewhat longer to develop awe-inspiring creations (if we ever do). Personal pools of experience fuel my quest for artistic success. I draw upon fresh possibilities from anywhere at anytime (it is 2AM, I am at the reception desk of a hotel in Lima, Peru, and the rhythm of construction noise outside spurs me to rap quietly to myself). This sensitivity to surroundings stems from paying attention to seemingly insignificant moments. I remember images, and I attempt to describe them completely. When I extract a new characteristic from a mundane situation, it becomes available as subject matter for creation. Through continued practice of selectivity, ability expands, significant art emerges, and originality shines. Although otherworldly topics provide good material as well, what is here right now rivals even the wildest thoughts on alien abduction and the subsequent Takeover. Here on earth, my particular taste in music favors emotional diversity. Human experience offers a universe of subtleties. (Went to visit my dentist Bob.) The dark singer-songwriter who squirts a smile every so often connects with an audience at yet another level. The classical violinist who goes electric to interpret the works of Metallica taps into a vibrant novelty. This richness of detail feeds my musical gut, and the ability to imbue multiple layers of expression requires talented attention (unlike "pathetic love pancakes"). Moreover, I encourage the idea that greatness knows no particular genre. Influential threads swarm from a web of angles-Leonard Bernstein, Jonatha Brooke, Kurt Cobain, Peter Nero (my uncle), Puccini, Gipsy Kings, Rush, Israeli folk tunes, anything on La Mega 97.9 FM...NYC's #1 radio station playing salsa & merengue, Afro-Peruvian ballads sung by Susana Baca, Rachmaninoff, Barenaked Ladies, bare-naked ladies who are not men, Seal, seals at the zoo, Sting, bees, Queen, Queen Latifah; well, maybe not so much Queen Latifah. I think the point has been made, though. When artistic freedom seeks remuneration, business sensibilities pave the way. Commercial success concedes no distinct plan of attainability; nevertheless, accessibility of an artist's work plays a significant role in its chance for acceptability. Back at the dinner party, those well-bred children are now eating dessert-their reward for excellence. Similarly, those creative impulses that effectively blend artistic and commercial strands discover sweet rewards in the form of critical praise, popularity, payment, and legitimacy. Furthermore, this balancing act contributes to a better understanding of an artist's body of work by more people, and clear communication achieved in any form-language, art, gestures, grunts, extraterrestrial signals, or music-leads to happiness. (He gave me floss...oh thank The Lord!) With that last verse, I may have a hit chorus for a Country-Christian pop ditty (crossover potential is key): Ate a nice meal except for that cob Throbbin' gums are my reward Went to visit my dentist Bob He gave me floss...oh thank The Lord! Then again, maybe not. In any case, I can always sing it to the ocean. Ultimately, I find no greater joy than immersing myself in music. I could be entertaining with my college a cappella group, applauding a steamy rendition of Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo" at a local jazz club, or serenading a lucky (or unlucky) lady on her birthday with guitar in hand and sweet professions on the tongue. Well, that is not entirely true. It is hard to argue with the intense joy of truly loving someone, or perhaps even the sublime pleasure derived from flossing daily and using talcum powder after every shower. ****** Adam Nierow is a songwriter/producer, and a founder of Musical-Mind-Productions, a music production company out of Brooklyn, NY. Along with his associate Peter Habib, they form a contemporary pop songwriting/production team, and work out of a recording studio run by Peter. They are currently building up a catalog of material to pitch to a variety of recording artists, music supervisors, etc. Adam or Peter can be contacted at for more info. You can listen to some of their music at . Back to Menu ================================================================= C o l u m n i s t I n S p o t l i g h t : Songwriting Music Theory 101 - by Debbie Ridpath Ohi ----------------------------------------------------------------- ABOUT THE COLUMN: "Ack!" you may cry. "I remember music theory back in school. I fell asleep during the class and dreamed that I was still in class, so I woke up from sheer boredom!" Believe it or not, a fundamental knowledge of music theory -can- enhance any songwriter's abilities, and the learning process doesn't have to involve self-torture. Debbie Ridpath Ohi will gently introduce the basics with humor and direct application to the songwriting process. ABOUT THE COLUMNIST: Debbie Ridpath Ohi is a freelance writer, editor, and songwriter living in Toronto, Canada. She performs with the folk group, Urban Tapestry (, and her songs have been aired on national radio. Debbie taught piano and theory lessons to adults and children for over twenty years, and successfully completed the theoretical requirements of her ARCT degree at the Royal Convservatory of Music in Toronto. Her book, The Writer's Online Marketplace ( was published in Jan/2001 by Writer's Digest Books. Back to Menu ================================================================= " O N S I T E " F E A T U R E D A R T I C L E : Make Your Songs Stand Out - Lyrical & Musical Contrast by Danny Arena & Sara Light Some great advice from two fantastic songwriters who would know.
================================================================= C l a s s i f i e d s & U s e f u l S e r v i c e s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- LYRICIST! VERSION 2 HAS ARRIVED - NOW WITH CHORD CHARTING. Virtual Studio Systems, Inc. is proud to announce Lyricist V2 - The Songwriter's Best Friend -the first-of-its-kind word processor designed for musicians, songwriters, and poets. The software includes a rhyming dictionary, spell checker, thesaurus, album categorization, chord charting, song arrangement and much much more - all in a user-friendly package. We have now begun shipping so get your holiday order in soon. A review can be seen at . Muse's Muse visitors can take home the product for $5.00 off the regular selling price, just for purchasing through the form provided off of the review! For more information, visit the review url above or call us at 888.732.1176 inside the U.S.A. or 603.669.0411 outside the U.S.A. ----------------------------------------------------------------- SONG AND MUSIC LICENSING NOMA Music, an established music promotion company, has the ways and means to place and license songs for use in major and indie television and film projects. If you are a songwriter with broadcast quality recordings and are interested in our services, send over your CD for consideration. "Good music deserves to be heard" ~ ----------------------------------------------------------------- SPECIAL OFFER FROM THE MUSICIAN'S ATLAS The Musician's Atlas is a music industry resource created exclusively for artists and the independent music community. This 368 page directory delivers over 15,000 key business contacts in more than 25 industry categories. We are pleased to offer Muse's Muse subscribers a 15% discount off the already low retail price when you order your copies directly from Or you can receive a free copy of the 2002 Atlas and still save 15% when you order a copy of the new and improved Atlas CD-Rom. Just log on to and enter MUSESMUSE into the purchase code key found on The Atlas order page. ----------------------------------------------------------------- GO GLOBAL WITH CDSTREET.COM is your secure source for credit card music ordering in your own website. As a member of the CDstreet network, you will have access to the most cost-effective, secure transaction processing for global music merchandise distribution. Plus, no setup fee and no sales equals no cost! Check it out - ----------------------------------------------------------------- GET YOUR COPY OF THE INDIE CONTACT BIBLE & START MAKING WAVES! This is an absolutely priceless resource for indie musicians. If you want your music reviewed, on the radio, *heard*, THIS is the resource you need to have. It's not going to tell you "how" but it will *certainly* tell you "who". I highly recommend you pick it up in order to compliment your other music marketing techniques. Have a look at this url and read through a few sample pages to see what I mean: (Full review at ----------------------------------------------------------------- INTERESTED IN YOUR VERY OWN MUSE'S MUSE SHIRT, MUG OR MOUSEPAD? WOULD YOU LIKE TO SELL YOUR OWN MERCHANDISE? Drop by today! And while you're at it, think about starting your *own* store. It would be pretty cool to sell your own band's logo or design on promo items, wouldn't it? And starting up a store requires no investment of money on your part at all. Details on how to do that are only a click away... ================================================================= ADVERTISING RATES: For Classifieds: US$25 Max. 8 lines, where a line = 65 characters including spaces and punctuation. All contracts must be prepaid. Write to: For Newsletter Sponsorship rates and other advertising opportunities, please see . Back to Menu
================================================================= C o n t a c t I n f o & C r e d i t s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Jodi Krangle ............................................. EDITOR Kathryn Obenshain ...........................GRACIOUS PROOFREADER ----------------------------------------------------------------- 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. Back issues and other information will be available at: 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, unsubscribe, etc. - To submit articles,reviews,ideas,etc. SNAILMAIL: Please contact me first at ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Back issues of the newsletter can be read at the National
Library of Canada ecollection: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Back to Menu

[ Back to The Muse's News Index ] [ Home ]

Help For Newcomers
Help for Newcomers
Helpful Resources
Helpful Resources
Berklee Music Resources
The Muse's News
Entertainment Cyberscope
Newer Articles
Past Columnists
Past Columnists - After March 2007
Market Information
Songwriting Contests
Chat Logs
Songwriting Books
Regular Columnists
Services Offered
About the  Muse's Muse
About Muse's Muse
Subscribe to The Muse's News, free monthly newsletter for songwriters
with exclusive articles, copyright & publishing advice, music, website & book reviews, contest & market information, a chance to win prizes & more!

Join today!

Created & Maintained
by Jodi Krangle


© 1995 - 2016, The Muse's Muse Songwriting Resource. All rights reserved.

Read The Muse's Muse Privacy Statement