Marvin Gaye

“Blurred Lines” – The Appeals Court Decision

No doubt you’ve heard that the district court legal decision regarding the apparent fact that the writers of “Blurred Lines” (Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris Jr) plagiarized Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” has been upheld the U.S. Court of Appeals. I have to say, I’m still confused, particularly considering that the […]

Singer-Songwriter - Recording Studio

Songwriting, the Warts and All

It seems that the era of one song-one songwriter is quickly passing us by. There really aren’t many hit songs that are written by one songwriter anymore. Part of the reason for that is that how we assign credit has changed. In the 60s, for example, you might, as part of the band, suggest a different […]

Songwriter in a Hotel Room

Anyone Still Writing Songs the “Old Fashioned Way?”

I came across an article in my Twitter feed this morning, though it’s been out there for a couple of weeks, and you may have seen this already. “Songwriting: Why it takes more than two to make a hit nowadays” discusses why today’s hits seem to have such a long songwriter credit list, while a couple […]

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan’s Nobel Affirms it: People DO Pay Attention to Lyrics

In case you were wondering: yes, people do listen to lyrics. I’ve mentioned on this blog many times that if you take a look at “Worst-Songs-Ever” types of lists (all unscientific, of course, but still…), you’ll find that songs are considered bad, corny, or otherwise unsatisfactory based mostly on the quality of the lyric. There has […]

Tennessee Ernie Ford - Bruno Mars

Come to Think Of It…

Some of the best learning happens when we’re working on the job, as opposed to studying, and writing music is no different. With every new song you compose, you probably notice your skills improving, and your technique modifying. That’s certainly not to say that you can’t also approach songwriting as a scholarly pursuit – as a student of the […]

Computer - Music Studio

How Music Evolves, and How Computers Can Be Both a Help and a Hindrance

Music develops and changes over time as a kind of evolution: it takes what’s happened before, copying it to a large extent, but making small changes that move in a slightly new direction. It’s what biologists call “descent with modification from a common ancestor” in their field. We like to think that the music we’re writing is […]