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Can a band's lyricist come up with melodies as well?

 
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Jericho-79



Joined: 19 Jan 2011
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:21 am    Post subject: Can a band's lyricist come up with melodies as well? Reply with quote

Hey everyone. I own a lot of U2 and Green Day CD's. And I've read the sleeve notes for every one of those CD's.

In almost all the liner notes, the songwriting credits are denoted as "Lyrics by Bono, Music by U2" or "Lyrics by Billie Joe, Music by Green Day".

When it says "Music by U2"- Does it mean that the band collectively created all the melodies, riffs, hooks, harmonies, rhythms, and chord progressions while writing the music itself?

And when it says "Lyrics by Bono"- Does it mean that Bono came up with just the lyrics themselves? Or does it mean that Bono generated BOTH the lyrics and the lyrical melodies.

In other words-

Does the lyricist establish the lyrics AND the melodies? Or does musical composition encompass writing everything from melodies to riffs, hooks, harmonies, rhythms, and chord progressions?

Thanks guys!
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Bald Eagle
Platinum Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2009
Posts: 2276
Location: Long Island, NY

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Music and lyrics can be copyrighted separately. Either one can be done by an individual or collectively as a group. The listings you are referring to most likely are a reference to the copyright owners. In that context the lyrics are only the words without any associated melody. The music is the rest of it.

There are no fixed rules, it's just who ever works on the different parts of a song and what is agreed upon by each person. If I contribute one chord in the intro of a song it is not likely that the other band members will include me as one of the composers but they could if they wanted to.
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