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15

These are songs, and we learn songs differently from spoken language. Have you ever found yourself singing along to a favorite song in a language you don't even speak, but you've listened to the recording enough to have memorized it? You were almost certainly helped by meter and perhaps rhyme, by the way. All of this can be true for your kids. No, they ...


11

This is how Tolkien solves a similar problem in The Lord of the Rings: ENT. When Spring unfolds the beechen leaf, and sap is in the bough; When light is on the wild-wood stream, and wind is on the brow; When stride is long, and breath is deep, and keen the mountain-air, Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is fair! ENTWIFE. ...


10

I can think of two large differences: prosody, and the more ephemeral nature of music that is listened to versus poetry that is read. Prosody Both poetry and lyrics can have meter or not, but with lyrics, the meter always matters. When setting words to music, it will make the words seem "off" or "amateurish" if the meter of the words is not somewhat (or ...


10

While I am not a lawyer, if you purchase a physical CD (bit of a rarity these days, I know) and look at the booklet which has the liner notes, you should see copyright notices for each song. If lyrics have been provided, the notice will be at the end of each set of lyrics. (KISS used to copyright theirs under an entity called "Opporknockity Tunes," which ...


9

Yes. The lyrics are covered by copyright and you need permission to reproduce them. I think at least some of the "lyrics search engines" on the web pay their dues to the copyright holders (Wikipedia says: Lyrics licenses could be obtained in North America through one of the two aggregators; Gracenote Inc. and LyricFind.) Translations are also covered by ...


8

It depends on the purpose of the song Songs in fiction can serve multiple purposes. They can provide lore and background details, they can be used as a metaphor, they can portray emotion or conflict, they can foreshadow, reflect or mirror events of the story, they can be used for character development and a whole host of other things. How you need to write ...


7

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. There is a concept in copyright law called "fair use". This means that you can use short quotes from someone else's copyrighted work without permission. See here from the US Copyright office http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html. Special deference is given to use for educational or literary purposes. Like one scholar can ...


6

I am a (part-time) composer, and I have written the music for songs using all kinds of lyrics, written any time from Chaucer to the present day. I would say that if you don't have any practical musical experience, don't worry about it. The opera composer Rossini once had a pupil learning composition who complained that he could never find the right lyrics ...


5

One of my favourite series of books, The Dark is Rising Sequence, has an example I feel might be helpful. In the last book of the series, three of the main characters are transported from modern day Wales to Wales of a hundred or more years before. At that point in time, obviously, everyone would be speaking Welsh, but to the main characters (and the reader)...


5

I would say that quite a few different methods are possible. I have read books where a few lines are given, followed by paragraphs or even pages of description of how the characters react, followed by a few more lines, and so on. I have read examples where the entire lyric is given in one place. And ones in which a character describes how he or she reacted ...


5

There are multiple ways to write a song. Sometimes a composer will pick up already written lyrics. Sometimes a lyricist will work off of an already written melody and arrangement (less common for an original song but happens all the time with parody or other alternative songs). Some pairings of composers and lyricists will work at the same time and hash ...


5

I agree with both of those facts; the issue is actually about syllable distribution in music. You'll need to let go of several assumptions: Lyrics are not speech, nor are they precisely written poetry; they flow at the pace of the music and do not have to conform to normal speech patterns (unless you want them to); therefore you can shorten or elongate the ...


5

I think you will find this a matter of formatting style that is unusual enough not to have a convention. Certain publishers of music might have guidelines for it (can't help you there), but in a book you can probably present it as you wish. A publisher may choose to format it differently, as with most formatting details, but if you start with something you ...


5

This answer is without specific knowledge of Indian cultures or languages, but I can offer some perspective on rap compared with other poetic/oral poetry traditions that might help you. In short, I think you can bring the essence of hip-hop/rap to India, but it will take on some characteristics of Indian tastes to become popular and to fulfill your criteria ...


4

According to Chicago, poetry or verse (which lyrics are), of more than two lines should be in block quotes. A blockquote is indented either left or right and can be further set off by being a smaller or different font. As to whether it should be italics, Chicago doesn't require it. That would seem to be a stylistic choice and, as long it is done consistently,...


4

Yes, they are copyrighted. BUT, if you aren't quoting them in their entirety you don't necessarily need to obtain copyright permissions if your use is a fair one according to the rules of Fair Use. This includes uses for profit. See my answer on this question for a breakdown of how to determine if your use is fair: Can you reprint screen shots of a game ...


4

Well, here's some information from the page "More Information on Fair Use" at copyright.gov. The law "calls for consideration of the following four factors in evaluating a question of fair use:" Purpose and character of the use, including whether the use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes: Courts look at how the party ...


4

My communication rule is: They say what they mean as they intended it – as if all communication came right out of their brain. No phonetic accents or broken English between narrator and reader. That should be clean communication always. I feel like we all have an accent to somebody but not to ourselves, so every character deserves that dignity to communicate ...


4

To the kids, everyone's speaking English (though they know this isn't the case). I'm going to propose a slightly different solution. What if instead of perceiving everything as English, they can hear the actual words and syllables and recognize that they are hearing a different language, but they can still intuitively understand what is being said. This can ...


4

Your example doesn't look ugly, it's just something that ought to be saved for dialogue. I wouldn't use it in non-fiction, for example. Another method is to italicize the word. This example is way oversimplified. Adding emphasis with italics can mean to say it slightly louder or clearer or even pause for the briefest of periods (too long for a comma or ...


3

99% of the time professional songwriters write the lyrics based upon the rhythm created by the melody. There's a famous example of McCartney's Yesterday (from wikipedia link to Yesterday by the Beatles): Upon being convinced that he had not robbed anyone of their melody, McCartney began writing lyrics to suit it. As Lennon and McCartney were known to do at ...


3

I can point you to a very good resource on hooks in songs, whether you are talking about lyric or musical hooks. The resource is the great (albeit older) book, The Craft of Lyric Writing, by Sheila Davis. The book is filled withe examples from real hits and other songs which have been produced by actual recording companies. The author touches upon the ...


3

Anything like this should be handled as simply and directly as possible --that way it draws the least possible unwanted attention to the mechanics. The young man began singing in a clear and beautiful voice: Hine mah tov uMah Na-im shevet achim gam yachad Behold how good and how pleasing if brothers could sit together in unity The ...


3

Lyrics are not lyrics until they are set to music. At which point, they are sung to the music. They appear on the sheet music. Like so: (source) Alternatively, the lyrics can be placed not over sheet music, but over guitar chords, like so: (source) Basically, you superimpose some form of music notation over the lyrics. If there's no music, they're not ...


3

I don't believe there is any punctuation to accomplish what you want. I have seen it done as you have done it, but IMO this is effective but something that should be used very rarely; it gets tiring for the reader quickly (e.g. if you try to make this part of a character's accent). And because in English we may pronounce doubled vowels differently than ...


3

You have answers about the differences between poems and lyrics. I will focus on the how. What techniques can you use to make this transition? I wrote a lot of song lyrics when I was in high school and the best advice I got was to write down lyrics of commercial songs I liked. I'm a lot older than you: there was no internet, there was no way to look up ...


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