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Thread: Songwriters don't have to be good musicians

  1. #1
    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Default Songwriters don't have to be good musicians

    Last week I was plucking around on our piano and came up with a melody I thought could be used in a hymn or children's song. So I input the melody into MuseScore along with a verse of lyrics. Since then, I've added a couple of verses along with harmony to the original melody. MuseScore has been indispensable in my efforts - makes adding/changing notes/harmonies pretty easy.

    The song has the same meter (I think that's what it's called) as "More Holiness Give Me" and kind of has SATB harmonies. The problem is that now the piece is beyond my meager piano skills. The only way I can play it properly is by using the computer software.

    I feel like, as it is, it could work as a Primary song. I looked at the Church's website for information on submitting music for publication. The only info I found is at the link below. Seems that they have an annual contest for a few different categories (Hymns, Children's Songs, Relief Society, etc.) for which they give a small monetary prize ($100-300). The rules for the General Music Category include the following:

    Before the awards are announced, do not transfer ownership rights to the Church. When you accept an award, you grant the Church a nonexclusive, perpetual license for unlimited use.
    https://www.lds.org/music/submit-music?lang=eng

    Maybe I'm a little too greedy, but it seems that $100-$300 is kind of not very much for a perpetual license for unlimited use. I realize it's a nonexclusive license, but what other avenues of revenue could a church music writer expect? Sheet music sales seem like they'd be pretty limited since the Church could include the song on its apps or in the Friend (or other medium). Royalties from performances seem like they'd be pretty slim, too. Any other way to monetize this awesome song I can't even play myself?

    Anyone here submit music to the Church before (or know someone who has)? Anything I'm missing?
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
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    That's interesting Pelado. I wasn't aware that boring accountants were creative

    My advice: make the song as doctrinally bland as possible. Shop it around all the major Christian sects, and sell to the highest bidder.

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    Senior Member BigFatMeanie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    Last week I was plucking around on our piano and came up with a melody I thought could be used in a hymn or children's song. So I input the melody into MuseScore along with a verse of lyrics. Since then, I've added a couple of verses along with harmony to the original melody. MuseScore has been indispensable in my efforts - makes adding/changing notes/harmonies pretty easy.

    The song has the same meter (I think that's what it's called) as "More Holiness Give Me" and kind of has SATB harmonies. The problem is that now the piece is beyond my meager piano skills. The only way I can play it properly is by using the computer software.

    I feel like, as it is, it could work as a Primary song. I looked at the Church's website for information on submitting music for publication. The only info I found is at the link below. Seems that they have an annual contest for a few different categories (Hymns, Children's Songs, Relief Society, etc.) for which they give a small monetary prize ($100-300). The rules for the General Music Category include the following:



    https://www.lds.org/music/submit-music?lang=eng

    Maybe I'm a little too greedy, but it seems that $100-$300 is kind of not very much for a perpetual license for unlimited use. I realize it's a nonexclusive license, but what other avenues of revenue could a church music writer expect? Sheet music sales seem like they'd be pretty limited since the Church could include the song on its apps or in the Friend (or other medium). Royalties from performances seem like they'd be pretty slim, too. Any other way to monetize this awesome song I can't even play myself?

    Anyone here submit music to the Church before (or know someone who has)? Anything I'm missing?
    If you send it to one of the many folks on the board with some decent piano skills they can play it for you and tell you what they think of it.

    The problem with LDS church music monetization is you are competing against the likes of Sally DeFord who is prolific, very good, and doesn't monetize her creations. There are also tons of sites like this: http://freeldssheetmusic.org/, and this: http://www.tuiofuandthomasmusic.com/, and this: http://www.freewardchoirmusic.com/. Not all of them are as good as Sally DeFord but they all chip away at the earnings of the traditional LDS music publishers like Jackman

    I don't know how the likes of Jackman stay in business these days but if you want to try and monetize it, send it to Jackman and see if they think it's worth publishing: https://jackmanmusic.com/

  4. #4

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    I've never used MuseScore but it sounds cool. You're absolutely right though, you don't have to be a great musician to write songs. An understanding of theory helps but most of the time when I write I don't consciously think it terms of keys and modes. Afterwards sometimes I will look at the piece after and figure out what is going on from a theory standpoint. The most important thing to being a songwriter is just finding a melody and riding it out. Sounds to me like you've done that using an interesting piece of software.

    I'm a hack on the piano so I am no help there. However, I've written pieces on keyboards with the help of soft instruments and may be able to help you out. Will MuseScore output a midi file?

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    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input so far. I spent some time looking at Jackman's site and will probably send the song over. Seems like they are more about arrangements for ward choir usage while my song (as presently constituted) is not really for that.

    The lyrics right now are mostly about having courage and overcoming adversity, so relatively bland from a doctrinal perspective and could be marketed to various religious sects. There are a few references to the Lord, so it's appeal would probably be limited to Christians. I hadn't originally considered it's potential appeal outside of the LDS world.

    Shaka - MuseScore seems to have its own proprietary format. MuseScore is free to download and use, though. I could send you a copy of the MuseScore file or a pdf of the sheet music.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
    - Goatnapper'96

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    I'll check it out in the morning. See if you can export to a midi file.
    Last edited by Shaka; 01-18-2018 at 09:13 PM.

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    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    So I just submitted one of my songs in the Church's competition in the Children's Songs category. The deadline is March 31. Hope my entry doesn't scare off the rest of you.
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
    - Goatnapper'96

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    Board Bookworm happyone's Avatar
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    Good Luck!

    I may be small, but I'm slow.

    A veteran - whether active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to, "The United States of America ", for an amount of "up to and including my life - it's an honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    So I just submitted one of my songs in the Church's competition in the Children's Songs category. The deadline is March 31. Hope my entry doesn't scare off the rest of you.
    I would be curious to see the piece, if you would be interested in sharing. I am not a great musician by any stretch (You may have heard the phrase, I'm singer, not a musician), but my wife is an amazing pianist.
    “Every player dreams of being a Yankee, and if they don’t it’s because they never got the chance.” Aroldis Chapman

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    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copelius View Post
    I would be curious to see the piece, if you would be interested in sharing. I am not a great musician by any stretch (You may have heard the phrase, I'm singer, not a musician), but my wife is an amazing pianist.
    Of course. I wish all to receive it:

    https://musescore.com/user/27633993/...04046/s/4c0b6f
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
    - Goatnapper'96

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    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Only one week left for everyone to submit their songs for this year's contest.
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
    - Goatnapper'96

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    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    So I just submitted one of my songs in the Church's competition in the Children's Songs category. The deadline is March 31. Hope my entry doesn't scare off the rest of you.
    Got an email update on my submission earlier in the week. They indicated that results of the 2018 competition will be emailed by the end of July.

    They also mentioned some changes for the 2019 annual competition, followed by this about the hymnbook and Children's Songbook revisions:

    You may have also seen the recent announcement about the upcoming revisions of the
    hymnbook and Children’s Songbook. This is certainly an exciting time for Church music! You can
    read more about this effort at newmusic.lds.org.

    As you may have expected, this announcement affects a few categories in the annual
    submission. Related FAQs are listed below:

    - Does the recently announced call for new hymns and songs for the hymnbook and
    songbook revision affect the annual music submission?
    The hymnbook and Children’s
    Songbook submissions will replace the hymns, children’s songs, and hymn texts
    categories for the 2019 and 2020 annual music submissions. For more information on
    the hymnbook and Children’s songbook submissions, see newmusic.lds.org.

    - Is there a limit to the number of works I can submit? Yes. You may enter up to five
    works per category (hymns, hymn texts, children’s songs, and children’s song texts) for
    the new hymnbook and Children’s Songbook submissions. In addition to these
    submissions, you may submit one work per category to up to three categories in the
    annual music submission.
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
    - Goatnapper'96

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    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Guess who has two thumbs and just received the "Award of Merit" for Children's songs in this year's Church Music Submission competition?
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
    - Goatnapper'96

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    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    Guess who has two thumbs and just received the "Award of Merit" for Children's songs in this year's Church Music Submission competition?
    Janice Kapp Perry?

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    It is NOT a monkey! creekster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    Guess who has two thumbs and just received the "Award of Merit" for Children's songs in this year's Church Music Submission competition?
    Nice job!
    PLesa excuse the tpyos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    Guess who has two thumbs and just received the "Award of Merit" for Children's songs in this year's Church Music Submission competition?
    congrats!!

    I may be small, but I'm slow.

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    My Mic Sounds Nice falafel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    Guess who has two thumbs and just received the "Award of Merit" for Children's songs in this year's Church Music Submission competition?
    That's awesome. What does it mean tho.
    Ain't it like most people, I'm no different. We love to talk on things we don't know about.

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    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Shockingly, I was not actually among those honored with the Award of Merit. Here are the winners, according to the email I received:

    CHILDREN’S SONGS

    Award of Merit

    One Bright Star
    Tom Edward Clark, Kaysville, UT

    Read the Book of Mormon and Pray
    Teresa Barlow, Kaysville, UT

    The Shepherd and the Lamb
    Sally DeFord, Colorado Springs, CO
    Toni Marie Thomas, Poway, CO

    Special Recognition

    The Armor of God
    Jennette Jay Booth, Taylorsville, UT
    Rebekah Anne Pitts, Taylorsville, UT

    Book of Mormon Prophets
    Jenny W. Francis, Alberta, Canada

    Choosing
    Penelope Moody Allen, Centerville, UT
    Michael Moody, Bountiful, UT

    Come unto Me
    Rachel Mohlman, Kennewick, WA
    Anna Marie Molgard, Colbert, WA

    I’ll Try My Best
    Andrew Moore, Gloucester, United Kingdom

    What Would Jesus Do?
    Wayne Burton, Alberta, Canada
    Heather Burton*

    When I Come to Him
    Matthew Joseph Neeley, La Verne, CA
    As for what that means, here's the language from the LDS Music Submission Guidelines website:

    Awards of Distinction ($200), Awards of Merit ($100), and special recognitions may be given in each category. A grand prize ($300) may also be awarded. Award money for a single submission will be divided equally among collaborators (if applicable).

    Submitters who are granted awards in turn grant the Church a nonexclusive, perpetual license for unlimited use. Submitters always retain the copyright for their work.

    Awarded submissions may be used on the Church music website, in Church magazines, or for other purposes. Submissions are subject to editorial changes.
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
    - Goatnapper'96

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    Dyslexics are teople poo...

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    Cool beans, Pelado!

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    Local Character clackamascoug's Avatar
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    After reading your thread, you inspired me to take a stab at writing a Primary song. $200 sounds like a good deal.

    I'm not completely finished with it yet, but the theme and title is "Don't tell the Bishop Everything." The chorus is... "Jesus already knows, what no one needs to know, so don't tell the Bishop everything."

    Like I said... it's a work in progress.
    Last edited by clackamascoug; 08-02-2018 at 02:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clackamascoug View Post
    After reading your thread, you inspired me to take a stab at writing a Primary song. $200 sounds like a good deal.

    I'm not completely finished with it yet, but the theme and title is "Don't tell the Bishop Everything." The chorus is... "Jesus already knows, what no one needs to know, so don't tell the Bishop everything."

    Like I said... it's a work in progress.

  23. #23
    The dude abides Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clackamascoug View Post
    After reading your thread, you inspired me to take a stab at writing a Primary song. $200 sounds like a good deal.

    I'm not completely finished with it yet, but the theme and title is "Don't tell the Bishop Everything." The chorus is... "Jesus already knows, what no one needs to know, so don't tell the Bishop everything."

    Like I said... it's a work in progress.
    Believe me, there are some things the bishop doesn't want to know.
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
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    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    Believe me, there are some things the bishop doesn't want to know.
    Am I supposed to confess sins committed in a different dimension?
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
    - Goatnapper'96

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by clackamascoug View Post
    After reading your thread, you inspired me to take a stab at writing a Primary song. $200 sounds like a good deal.

    I'm not completely finished with it yet, but the theme and title is "Don't tell the Bishop Everything." The chorus is... "Jesus already knows, what no one needs to know, so don't tell the Bishop everything."

    Like I said... it's a work in progress.
    Whoever said clack can't be legit haha funny is an idiot.
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  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    Am I supposed to confess sins committed in a different dimension?
    I just assume that I've done all my confessing in another dimension, and I should be good to go.

  27. #27
    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bo Diddley View Post
    I just assume that I've done all my confessing in another dimension, and I should be good to go.
    Sounds like the makings of another Primary song:

    Repent, repent...in an alternate dimension.
    Sins you commit here you don't have to mention...
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
    - Goatnapper'96

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    Sounds like the makings of another Primary song:

    Repent, repent...in an alternate dimension.
    Sins you commit here you don't have to mention...
    Maybe you could have one of those references with the hymn the way they do it in the hymnal (Clack 6:23).

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