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Songwriting: Resources


Resources for songwriting including reference books, literature on songwriting, clinics and interviews, and magazines and journals


Reference Books

Kohn on Music Licensing by Al and Bob Kohn
Reference KF3035 .K64 2010  Check Availability
Image:Kohn-On-Music-Licensing90.jpg From the publisher:
When seeking to clear music rights for products and performances, let the authors, who have over 50 years of hands-on experience, take you through the entire licensing process, step-by-step. In clear, coherent language, they provide detailed explanations of the many kinds of music licenses, identify the critical issues addressed in each, and offer valuable strategy and guidance to both rights owners and prospective licensees.
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The American Musical Film Song Encyclopedia by Thomas S.Hischak
Reference ML102.M68 H57 1999  Check Availability
Image:American-Musical-Film.jpg From the publisher:
Following the successful, The American Musical Theatre Song Encyclopedia (Greenwood, 1995), this new encyclopedia reviews in-depth individual songs written for the American musical film over the past seventy years. Over 1,800 songs from over 500 musical films are identified and described. In addition to detailing the songs' authors, original singers, and initial film appearances, the encyclopedia also explains how the songs were used in the film, lists subsequent film and stage appearances of the songs, and notes memorable recordings.
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The New Broadway Song Companion: An Annotated Guide to Musical Theatre Literature by Voice Type and Song Style by David P. DeVenney
Reference ML128.M78 D48 2009  Check Availability
Image:New-broadway-song-companion.jpg From the publisher:
This volume presents a comprehensive listing of the musical numbers from over 300 Broadway shows. Each song is annotated with the name of the character who sings it, the voice type, the exact vocal range, and a description of the song style. A set of six indexes allows access to this music by voice type (soprano, baritone, etc.), song style (uptempo, ballad, etc.), vocal arrangement (duets, trios, chorus, etc.), and composer and lyricist.
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Popular Song Index. Fourth Supplement, 1988-2002 by Patricia Pate Havlice
Reference ML128.S3 H4 Suppl. 4  Check Availability
Image:Popular-Song-Index.jpg From the publisher:
An established source for words and music to popular tunes, folk songs, hymns, spirituals, sea chanteys, and blues. This Fourth Supplement covers song books published from 1988 to 2002. The arrangement is identical to the preceding volume: a bibliography; index by title, first line of song, and first line of chorus; and a composer and lyricist index.
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Literature about songwriting and songwriters

Songwriters on Songwriting by Paul Zollo
Reserve ML3477 .Z64 2003  Check Availability
Image:Songwriters-on-songwriting.jpg From the publisher:
This expanded fourth edition of Songwriters on Songwriting includes ten new interviews--with Alanis Morissette, Lenny Kravitz, Lou Reed, and others. In these pages, sixty-two of the greatest songwriters of our time go straight to the source of the magic of songwriting by offering their thoughts, feelings, and opinions on their art. Representing almost every genre of popular music, from blues to pop to rock, here are the figures that have shaped American music as we know it.
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Inside the Hits by Wayne Wadhams
ML3534.W3 I5 2001  Check Availability
Image:Inside-the-hits.jpg From the publisher:
How does a song become more than words and music to represent or influence the voice of a generation? Inside the Hits dissects more than 60 of the most powerful and memorable hit songs since the birth of rock and roll to reveal the roots of their success. Author Wayne Wadhams examines the key ingredients that made the songs work then and now, including: melody, lyrics, performance, production, artist image, promotion, and market timing.
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The Paul Simon Companion: Four Decades of Commentary edited by Stacey Luftig
ML420.S55 P3 1997  Check Availability
Image:Paulsimoncompanion.jpg From the publisher:
Interviews, reviews, articles, and essays on the artist and his music from the 1960s through his recent Broadway show, The Capeman.
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The Songs of John Lennon: The Beatles Years by John Luke Stevens
ML420.L47 S74  Check Availability
Image:Songsofjohnlennon.jpg From the publisher:
An essential guide for all songwriters and Beatles fans, this book explores John Lennon's songwriting genius with a guided tour through 25 of his Beatles-era hits. Author John Stevens explains Lennon's intuitive talent from a technical point of view, through the lens of songwriting's three basic elements: melody, harmony and lyric. He shows how Lennon fashioned songs that were at once politically and socially relevant during the '60s, yet remain ageless and timeless today.
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The Pop, Rock, and Soul Reader: Histories and Debates compiled by David Brackett
ML3470 .P663 2005  Check Availability
Image:Soulreaderhistories.jpg From the publisher:
The Pop, Rock, and Soul Reader: Histories and Debates, Second Edition, traces the evolution of diverse streams of American popular music from the 1920s to the present. In this richly textured anthology, well-known scholar David Brackett brings together more than 100 readings from a wide range of sources and by writers who have played an integral part in the development of popular music criticism. Brackett includes articles from mainstream and specialized magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals, as well as interviews and autobiographies of musicians and other music industry insiders.
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Heartaches by the Number: Country Music's 500 Greatest Singles by Bill Friskics-Warren and David Cantwell
ML3524 .F75 2003  Check Availability
Image:Heartaches-by-the-number.jpg From the publisher:
This book constitutes a popular, and decidedly populist, history of country music. Its interwoven essays showcase the music's myriad roots and influences: stringband stomps and western swing, hillbilly boogie and honky-tonk, the Nashville Sound and the neo-traditionalist movement, plus everything from blues and bluegrass to rockabilly and country-rock, even soul.
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Let Freedom Swing: Collected Writings on Jazz, Blues, and Gospel by Howard Reich
ML3506 .R42 2010  Check Availability
Image:Let-Freedom-Swing2.jpg From the publisher:
Howard Reich's writings on jazz have captured the music's spirit of fearless spontaneity and soulful lyricism. Let Freedom Swing showcases the best of these writings from the last quarter century. Each section of Let Freedom Swing is a suite, focusing on people, a place, or a scene. Reich gives new life to the standards with his profiles and elegies for such giants as Gershwin, Ellington, and Sinatra, while also helping to introduce readers to the younger voices that continue to revitalize the jazz scene.
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The Hip Hop Reader edited by Timothy Francis Strode and Tim Wood
ML3531 .H58 2008  Check Availability
Image:The-Hip-Hop-Reader.jpg From the publisher:
Hip hop and composition may seem unrelated, but the connection isn’t hard to make: Hip hop and rap rely on a complex of narrative practices that have clear ties to some of the best American essay writing. The Hip Hop Reader brings together work by important writers about this cultural phenomenon and provides lively selections that represent a variety of styles and interests.
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Clinics and Interviews

Amanda Palmer Clinic 
Reserve DVD 4425  Check Availability
Image:No_cover_image_available-DVD.jpg From the publisher:
Recorded at Berklee Performance Center, Berklee College of Music, Boston, Mass. on Wed. Dec. 8, 2010 at 1:00p.m.
Claude Kelly Clinic 
Reserve DVD 4432  Check Availability
Image:No_cover_image_available-DVD.jpg From the publisher:
Recorded at Berklee Performance Center, Berklee College of Music, Boston, Mass. on Thurs. Oct. 14, 2010 at 1:00p.m.
Janis Ian Clinic 
Reserve DVD 3931  Check Availability
Image:No_cover_image_available-DVD.jpg From the publisher:
Recorded in Room 1W, Berklee College of Music, Boston, Mass. on Mon., Nov. 18, 1996 at 6:00 p.m.
NY Songwriters Panel 
Reserve DVD 4396  Check Availability
Image:No_cover_image_available-DVD.jpg From the publisher:
Recorded at Café 939, Berklee College of Music, Boston, Mass. on Wed. July 15, 2009 at 1:00p.m.

Magazines and Journals

American Songwriter 
Periodicals  Check Availability
Image:American_songwriter_magazine.jpg From the publisher:
American Songwriter magazine provides in-depth interviews with up-and-coming, established and legendary songwriters; recording technology alongside the latest gadgets and gear every songwriter should see; plus interviews with music professionals from publishers, producers, A&R executives to the latest music technology entrepreneurs who have something of interest to provide to our readers.
Performing Songwriter 
Periodical  Check Availability
Image:Performing-songwriter.jpg From the publisher:
Singer & Musician magazine provides singers, songwriters, musicians and bands with practical, down-to-earth information they can use in the real world of the music business.
The Score 
Periodical  Check Availability
Image:No cover image available-MAGAZINE.jpg From the publisher:
The Society of Composers & Lyricists is committed to advancing the interests of the film and television music community.