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Thread: What makes the song?

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    Default What makes the song?

    I was thinking about this on the way home from dinner tonight.

    Which do you think contributes more heavily to a song: the music or the lyrics?

    Personally, I think music is the greater contributor. I relate to artists/bands/songs better when there are no lyrics; I like to imagine or create my own story or atmosphere when listening to something, or trying to discern what feeling or message the artist intended when writing the piece.

    There are very few artists whose lyrics I appreciate (with the exception of hip/hop and rap, where, at least I hope, the songs and artists are listened to solely because of lyrical content). I think lyrics detract from the song more often than not, either because the artist uses 'artsy' lines over structure and meaning, or because the lyrics are so cliche and regurgitated that the song loses value.

    I think writing good lyrics is a challenge, just like writing a good song. However, I've heard more songs that would be better without its lyrics than I have songs that would be better without its particular melody.

    You can have a song without lyrics, but it's not a song without a melody.

    So, which do you think is the greater contributor, music or lyrics? Which artists do you value because of your choice? How do you relate to music, through its words or through its sound?

    Or, do you value the integration of both?

     
    Some of the songs I think are great do exactly that.


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    I think the music is more important. Lyrics are essentially just words, and words are used everywhere to express meanings and ideas... prose in a novel, or a stanza in poetry, or a political manifesto. The music is what affects the way the lyrics are interpreted and felt; the way the music surrounds the lyrics and the way they are "read" affects their meaning, to the extent that the lyrics don't need to mean anything, or even make sense on their own, to have meaning in the context of a song.

    I think this actually makes the lyrics more important in the context of a song, though. Not more important than the music, but more important. I do like a lot of songs for their lyrics (and hate a lot of songs for their lyrics as well), but at the same time it's because of their musical backing that they have their significance. It's similar to an actress in a movie; the way she delivers her lines gives them significance, at least partly.
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    As both parts of the song contribute to the overall audio experience, I can say that if I find either part annoying, I am likely to turn it off. Most of the time, lyrics are the reason for my disappointment with songs, causing me to turn them off or shake my head.

    Music is important, but is rarely offensive to my ears. Obnoxious at most due to certain sounds and/or patterns, but almost never incoherent and unintelligible like too many lyrics I've heard. I rather envy people who can tune out lyrics and not pay them any attention. If I could do that, I'm sure there would be a great deal more music that I enjoy.

    However, lyrics are very important to me as a whole, because while you could argue that you could write any kind of lyric to go with the music, and the music sets how the lyrics are understood and received, they lyrics themselves are what hold the message and idea, the thoughts and the words that describe the feelings and mood portayed in the music. Lyrics help us connect and enhance our emotions, or give us reassurance. They comfort, excite, rally, and mellow.

    You can sing a song without music, just so long as you know the lyrics.

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    both plain and simple. Because without each other chances of it being a good song is very low. to be honest i really dont like instrumental songs all that much
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeMoNoFtHeFaLl666 View Post
    both plain and simple. Because without each other chances of it being a good song is very low. to be honest i really dont like instrumental songs all that much
    I know a few people who don't like instrumental songs... And while I did speak in favor of lyrics, I have to admit that I always think that's crazy.

    There are a great many instrumental songs. Some of the most pleasing, inspiring, saddest, and some of the greatest songs I've ever heard have actually been instrumental. Honestly, I find it difficult to believe someone can fully appreciate music if they cannot appreciate any part of it on it's own. whether it be musical or lyrical.

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    I would have to say in my opinion that the music itself is the backbone to a song. some people could listen to just the instrumentals all day if it has like a soft feeling to it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kishiro View Post
    I know a few people who don't like instrumental songs... And while I did speak in favor of lyrics, I have to admit that I always think that's crazy.

    There are a great many instrumental songs. Some of the most pleasing, inspiring, saddest, and some of the greatest songs I've ever heard have actually been instrumental. Honestly, I find it difficult to believe someone can fully appreciate music if they cannot appreciate any part of it on it's own. whether it be musical or lyrical.
    the only good ones i know of come from the band Eluveitie and theres another one i actualy like by the band called Death
    "Groovy"

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    Do the lyrics contribute to a song more than music? It depends on the genre.

    For instance, in hip-hop you can express yourself through lyrics much better than through anything else, being able to say in less than one minute as many words as your average rock singer would need five for, while the emotion in your voice is very limited and there's nothing but a couple of notes looping in the background. That's why the lyrics are imperative for a good hip-hop song. Punk is also a genre more defined by a state of mind and lyrical themes than the actual music, although the lyrics are not that necessary to make a good song.
    On the other hand, there are many genres where the lyrics don't matter at all, but if there are lyrics, their quality (or lack thereof) does affect my overall opinion of a song. That's why the song I listened to the most this year (so far) was Grizzly Bear's "Ready, Able". Even though there were many songs that sounded better than that one, it's the lyrics that made me appreciate it even more and made it fade more slowly than "My Girls" or "Two Doves" (no, not the damn "Stillness Is the Move"). Also, unlike some, I never liked Porcupine Tree's "Lightbulb Sun" very much because it's one of their most poorly written albums.

    The song that just sounds bad, on the other hand, I probably won't ever play, unless it's the integral part of a very good concept album, so I'm forced to in order to understand it properly. Now, in the majority of genres, the actual music is much more important than the lyrics (I don't think they'd call it music otherwise) and I will sometimes listen to a song that sounds good, even though its lyrics are just horrible (as in Rob Dougan's non-instrumental tracks), but you will never see me listening to a song that sounds terrible, disregard the lyrics.

    So, in the lyrics vs music contest, music is the one that usually wins, even though I think the integration of both is actually the right answer.


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    in general the music is the most important part. but aren't vocals a part of that? i view them as another instrument i guess
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3pleT View Post
    Do the lyrics contribute to a song more than music? It depends on the genre.

    For instance, in hip-hop you can express yourself through lyrics much better than through anything else, being able to say in less than one minute as many words as your average rock singer would need five for, while the emotion in your voice is very limited and there's nothing but a couple of notes looping in the background. That's why the lyrics are imperative for a good hip-hop song. Punk is also a genre more defined by a state of mind and lyrical themes than the actual music, although the lyrics are not that necessary to make a good song.
    Sometimes I dislike creating threads because I feel that the question or point of the thread would be obscured by a long winded post - which I was tempted to make. But I'm really happy that there are, for the most part, good posts that generate discussion (or can, and hopefully will).

    I completely agree with the above assesment. I was beginning to allude to the fact that hip hop is reliant on its lyrical content - not only reliant, but successful because of it. Rap/hip-hop is the one instance where lyrics are crucial, where the standard of good and bad rests with what is said, how it's said, and how cleverly or creatively it's written.

    I don't know anyone who respects the genre - listens to it with an active ear - that respects their personal favorites because they can compose a fugue better than Beethoven, or rock harder than Hendrix. I think it's an incredibly personal thing. As far as I'm concerned, and as far as the rappers I listen to matter, the biggest pride there is in rapping is writing your own content, injecting it with your personality, and sending your own message. I've heard more creativity and more punch in a 4 minute song than I've read in a poem or most books in a very long time.

    I'm glad you brought up the point about punk, because it's something I wouldn't have considered.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3pleT View Post
    The song that just sounds bad, on the other hand, I probably won't ever play, unless it's the integral part of a very good concept album, so I'm forced to in order to understand it properly.
    I feel this way about some of the songs on "Scenes from a Memory".


    Also, I didn't quote it, but Ray's point about the voice being another instrument is something I also agree with. There are plenty, PLENTY of songs where I adore the vocalist but couldn't tell you half of the words of the song. I've gotten to the point where I can block out the meaning of the lyrics, even the actual words, and just concentrate on the quality of the singer's voice.


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    A song cannot be a song without Music and Lyrics. Yes some songs don't have any Lyrics in them but they are only useful to people who meditate and saying this songs which are only used for something such as meditation isn't really classified as a song, I mean do you go saying to people "hey, did you listen to the silent hum meditation song yet? its got really cool sounds."?

    If you do go saying this then no-offence but you have problems and you are a freak.

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    I believe the lyrics are a great contributer to a song, thourgh the voice of the singer, I can understand what they are feeling, what emotions are in song, the music has no meaning to me (pop, rock, heavy metal etc.). If its classical music I prefere it without voices, the instruments do all the talking then. So I guess it depends on what type of music it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandomRawr View Post
    A song cannot be a song without Music and Lyrics. Yes some songs don't have any Lyrics in them but they are only useful to people who meditate and saying this songs which are only used for something such as meditation isn't really classified as a song, I mean do you go saying to people "hey, did you listen to the silent hum meditation song yet? its got really cool sounds."?

    If you do go saying this then no-offence but you have problems and you are a freak.
    Do you listen heavy metal at all? plenty of bands do songs that are 100% instrumental. Hell my favorite band is Mastodon and they do tons of instrumental songs that are anything BUT "meditation music". We're talking instrumentals that are so heavy they will rip your lungs out and eat them in front of you heavy.

    i dont see how lack of lyrics makes a song anything less. If the instruments convey EXACTLY what you want and you feel there's nothing more that vocals can add, then dont add them.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandomRawr View Post
    A song cannot be a song without Music and Lyrics. Yes some songs don't have any Lyrics in them but they are only useful to people who meditate and saying this songs which are only used for something such as meditation isn't really classified as a song, I mean do you go saying to people "hey, did you listen to the silent hum meditation song yet? its got really cool sounds."?

    If you do go saying this then no-offence but you have problems and you are a freak.
    I listen to instrumental music without meditating, and I know plenty of other people that do as well, and also know that many more people that I do not know also. Your point and argument are therefore invalid.

    Also, can we do without the name calling over difference of opinion?

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    I would have to say the vocals and drums. I play guitar but the guitar really only helps out. Now, some songs are all guitar which, in that case, its about the guitars. I guess it can also depend on the band/artist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandomRawr View Post
    A song cannot be a song without Music and Lyrics. Yes some songs don't have any Lyrics in them but they are only useful to people who meditate and saying this songs which are only used for something such as meditation isn't really classified as a song, I mean do you go saying to people "hey, did you listen to the silent hum meditation song yet? its got really cool sounds."?

    If you do go saying this then no-offence but you have problems and you are a freak.
    i sort of lol'd


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    Quote Originally Posted by RandomRawr View Post
    A song cannot be a song without Music and Lyrics. Yes some songs don't have any Lyrics in them but they are only useful to people who meditate and saying this songs which are only used for something such as meditation isn't really classified as a song, I mean do you go saying to people "hey, did you listen to the silent hum meditation song yet? its got really cool sounds."?

    If you do go saying this then no-offence but you have problems and you are a freak.
    You know, you might just offend thousands of years worth of compositions, composers, and appreciators. Ever heard of classical music? In fact, they still make that stuff. Not exactly meditative.

    Further more, ever heard of jazz?


    Some day, you'll dine on a solid snake.


  18. #18
    boopaloop! 3pleT has a reputation beyond repute 3pleT has a reputation beyond repute 3pleT has a reputation beyond repute 3pleT has a reputation beyond repute 3pleT has a reputation beyond repute 3pleT has a reputation beyond repute 3pleT has a reputation beyond repute 3pleT has a reputation beyond repute 3pleT has a reputation beyond repute 3pleT has a reputation beyond repute 3pleT has a reputation beyond repute 3pleT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiery View Post
    You know, you might just offend thousands of years worth of compositions, composers, and appreciators. Ever heard of classical music? In fact, they still make that stuff. Not exactly meditative.

    Further more, ever heard of jazz?
    No need to argue. There's 99.6% chance that the person you just wasted your time arguing with is a troll and 91.3% chance that the person in question is, in fact, a sockpuppet of another member of this forum. There's also that 90.1% chance that the person in question didn't have a happy childhood, meaning they either had a bad one or it has yet to end and receive an adjective.

    Numbers never lie.


  19. #19
    Thunderbringer! RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3pleT View Post
    No need to argue. There's 99.6% chance that the person you just wasted your time arguing with is a troll and 91.3% chance that the person in question is, in fact, a sockpuppet of another member of this forum. There's also that 90.1% chance that the person in question didn't have a happy childhood, meaning they either had a bad one or it has yet to end and receive an adjective.

    Numbers never lie.
    i think he's just really young, it would explain most of his posting behavior so far
    Thanks to Wolley for the sexay siggeh! Good work, Wollz!
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  20. #20
    Junior Member Sora Rosario has a brilliant future Sora Rosario has a brilliant future Sora Rosario has a brilliant future Sora Rosario has a brilliant future Sora Rosario has a brilliant future Sora Rosario has a brilliant future Sora Rosario has a brilliant future Sora Rosario has a brilliant future Sora Rosario has a brilliant future Sora Rosario has a brilliant future Sora Rosario has a brilliant future Sora Rosario's Avatar
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    Your emotions and life expreince.

    Signature done by me ^^

    A heart of two becomes a heart of one, when two people comes together and tell each other you love them...*Sora Rosario*

  21. #21
    Thunderbringer! RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sora Rosario View Post
    Your emotions and life expreince.
    reading OP FAIL!
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  22. #22
    /v|;/|/|) `|`}{;(-'/-'' daft has a reputation beyond repute daft has a reputation beyond repute daft has a reputation beyond repute daft has a reputation beyond repute daft has a reputation beyond repute daft has a reputation beyond repute daft has a reputation beyond repute daft has a reputation beyond repute daft has a reputation beyond repute daft has a reputation beyond repute daft has a reputation beyond repute daft's Avatar
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    It's the music, for me. The reason being is 'cause I think most of the time music can speak for itself. For example: When a singer says they're sad or feeling melancholic, I believe music can express that level of sadness even better or more accurately that it's almost tangible.

    And not that the lyrics aren't important.. many genres of music have greater emphasis on words rather than music, and the lyricists express they're emotions or current state of mind through an arsenal of descriptive vocabulary. In most cases the ending result is poetic genius.

    There are other genres who are the opposite, breathing life into a song with it's clashing walls of sounds, beats, rythms, and melodies. Some of these songs hardly/never even having a single word or lyric in them, yet somehow with the music alone, it'd feel like a thousand.

    And then there are the genres of music in which both music and lyrics can compliment and harmonize with each other in grand style.

    With all that being said and rephrased differently ('cause I felt like I pretty much repeated what everyone else already had mentioned or pointed out -.-')... interesting topic, Fiery. I usually don't like to get too technical when it comes to music, as if it were a science or something (though I probably contradict myself with everything that I typed above ^^''). To me it's really more of a biased and personal feeling between you and the music/lyrics expressed. The certain way a person feels towards an artist, band, or song is like a fingerprint... it's unique.

    ...and that's my slice of pie. =)
    SMILE!

  23. #23
    Thunderbringer! RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto has a reputation beyond repute RaShayRitto's Avatar
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    man, i feel like i'm almost spamming by plugging this this all over the forum. but you guys should post thoughts and criticisms to whats going on in the AF community music project, and cheer on your resident musicians! you can pretty much ignore EVERYTHING before page 5 of the thread as thats where the project hit a turning point

    anyway. i like discussing music in this manner. good to know there are people who can think about music analytically around here
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  24. #24
    I'm Infected. Genetic-Infection has a reputation beyond repute Genetic-Infection has a reputation beyond repute Genetic-Infection has a reputation beyond repute Genetic-Infection has a reputation beyond repute Genetic-Infection has a reputation beyond repute Genetic-Infection has a reputation beyond repute Genetic-Infection has a reputation beyond repute Genetic-Infection has a reputation beyond repute Genetic-Infection has a reputation beyond repute Genetic-Infection has a reputation beyond repute Genetic-Infection has a reputation beyond repute Genetic-Infection's Avatar
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    I like songs that I can relate too, and personally I think that lyrics are what make you relate to a song. But at the same time~ I think that a song should be based off the beat and thats what makes people relate to it as well. Because I also like music that I can dance too.
    I have really gotten into listening to the band Owl City, and Vanilla Twilight is one of my favorite songs by them...I'm using Owl City as an example because I relate to their songs by the lyrics. Vanilla Twilight is talking about a long distance relationship. Right now, I find myself in a long distance relationship, which sucks pretty badly at the moment. Actually, a lot of the time, to be precise. I relate to the words in this song: 'I'll stay up all night waist deep in thought, because when I think of you...I don't feel so alone.' <----I believe that is the verse. Don't mind my mistake if there is one. I do feel like that sometimes though. When I think of my boyfriend, I don't feel so alone in this huge crazy world. There is someone out there that I can share this craziness with. I can open up and be myself around this person.
    Another example of this; Being able to relate to a song solely on the lyrics is: White Horse by Taylor Swift. I am deathly in love with this song. And I felt the meaning of this at one time, too. "I'm not a princess, this ain't a fairytale, I'm not the one you sweep off her feet [lead her up the staircase] This ain't hollywood, this is a small town. I was a dreamer before you went and let me down. Now its too late for you and your white horse, to come around." Those are the lyrics. You could be so in love with someone, and if they dump you then thats the way it is. But the first step in realizing it isn't going to work is admitting to yourself that it wasn't meant to be.
    That being said; there is another side. The beat. I am a huge fan of an older band called Real McCoy. Its a techno-electronic type deal and the beats are amazing, I could care less about the words in the song. But the beat makes me wanna get up and dance.
    Another example, though people may think I'm a creepo for this is Thriller by Micheal Jackson. Actually any Micheal Jackson song makes me wanna get up and dance. Screw the lyrics, the beat is amazing.
    And a final example of the get up and dance beats, would be Through The Fire And Flames by Dragonforce. This song makes me wanna get up and dance around in my undies. No lies. I don't think I've actually ever listened to the lyrics to this song. I'm always mezmerized by the beauty in the beat and the guitars.
    Now, I'm rambling on. Sorry. I don't mean too. Haha.

    Sig made by me. <3

  25. #25
    Member RandomRawr is infamous around these parts RandomRawr is infamous around these parts RandomRawr is infamous around these parts RandomRawr is infamous around these parts RandomRawr is infamous around these parts RandomRawr is infamous around these parts RandomRawr is infamous around these parts RandomRawr is infamous around these parts RandomRawr is infamous around these parts RandomRawr is infamous around these parts RandomRawr is infamous around these parts RandomRawr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaShayRitto View Post
    Do you listen heavy metal at all?
    No I dont like to listen to something that might cause my ears to explode.

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