Multiple collabs on the same post: Yes or No?

[avatar]

Q from a (relative) newbie:
What is the expectation on 5090 regarding having multiple lyrics for the same music or multiple musicians for the same lyric? Is it part of the culture to encourage “the more the merrier,” or is it expected that there be only one collab per music post or lyric post?

As a lyricist, I think it would be great fun to hear how different musicians/vocalists would approach the same lyrics. I don’t know whether musicians generally share the same curiosity about how more than one set of lyrics might work with their music. Is there an expectation one way or the other?

This hasn't come up in a specific situation, but I'm wondering what the understanding is.

[avatar]

Completely up to the artists involved. But make sure you're clear with all collaborators. You don't want someone to musicify your lyric only to find out there's another version out there they didn't know about. OTH, multiple versions are very much fun. As with most things if you've communicated well then there will be less hard feelings.

For myself, I prefer to be asked if I've added music to a lyric and someone else wants to. But I've never said no. I just don't want to be blindsided.

[avatar]

Thank you. That makes sense.

[avatar]

My view is, if two (or more) people collaborate then they have co-written a song and any subsequent versions are covers, just like in the commercial songwriting world.

[avatar]
@nadine

Its up to the artists. I do not enjoy sharing the same lyrics on different songs and vice versa, because lyrics and music are a unit for me. I'm interested in uploading my songs outside FAWM, and the rights become very complicated. Most likely I won't join or start a collab under these conditions. But I like remixing aka. putting original recordings (usually vocals or solo instruments) into a different arrangement or context. But NOT without OK of everyone involved!

[avatar]

I think it depends on specific situations. There are some postings where it is clear that the poster is happy with multiple collaborations. If in doubt, checking is the way to go as communication is the key. I too think it's up to the artists so there is no one answer and even the same artist might be happy for some songs to have multiple collaborations and for others not. There is also the commitment to the collaborator so it's good to check with the collaborator in works if he/she is okay with someone else to have a go. Commercial releases indeed will be more complex when there is someone else having another version with the same lyric or music so all depends what songwriters are looking for,

[avatar]

I think it's perfectly fine to recombine one set of lyrics with multiple independent pieces of music, and vice versa.

For me, a cover version is a version that resembles an original version. It's created well after the initial version has been completed, in full knowledge that the original exists, often even as a tribute to the original, and reusing pieces of it.

This is something entirely different than giving one set of lyrics to multiple composers at the same time and seeing what they come up with, independently from each other.

There are cases where lyrics and music form one entity for me, especially when they're written by the same person at the same time. Or if one of the two was created specifically for the other. However, even in those cases I find it fair and interesting to split them and recombine them differently.

Hereabouts, we often find that one person writes lyrics, another person music, and upon posting, the two simply find together. If they were created apart, I'd not consider them an unsplittable unit. Both parts could well have ended up with different counterparts.

Also think of classical poems, for example: How many musicians created songs from Shakespeare poems, that had nothing to do with all the other Shakespeare-inspired songs before?

As for the contributions, I'd hope to be mentioned if somebody reuses or remixes parts I actively contributed to, but otherwise not. So if A writes lyrics and B and C write music indepdently from each other, I'd expect the combinations A+B and A+C in the notes. Would be different if B was also involved in the lyrics, or C reused B's composition.

[avatar]

I always think it's really interesting to hear totally different takes on the same lyrics (or even lyrics + chords, as in the Explore the Core challenge). I'd definitely say this is a totally different thing from a cover version, because there's the freedom to explore the source material in totally different ways without having to take into account an existing melody etc.

Agreed with the previous posts about it being good form to check with the first collaborator if a second collaborator is going to have a go at the same lyrics, unless it's made clear beforehand. Basically all falls under "be considerate to each other" I guess.

[avatar]

The practice of putting new lyrics to old melodies is quite common historically. For example "Love Me Tender"' is new lyrics to "Aura Lee". How many "Ave Maria"'s have been done. It's not that unusual.

[avatar]

Thank you. I mean, here, on FAWM, if music is posted, is it OK to have more than one lyricist working on it? And if a lyric is posted, can more than one musician run with it? I think what I'm hearing is that as long as everything is disclosed and agreed to, it's all right?

[avatar]

"as long as everything is disclosed and agreed to, it's all right"

sounds good to me! 👍

[avatar]
@nadine

I'd love to get this information on the profile and / or song info.

[avatar]
@fuzzy

I remember a few years ago a bunch of us took a stab at using the lyrics to "Dog Messin' With A Skunk Again" (I'm sorry, I don't remember who wrote those!).
We ended up with somewhere between five and ten versions, from a jug band song to a heavy metal track, all using the same words.
It was lots of fun!

[avatar]

I personally think it is so cool when 2 different people set the same lyrics to music, or create lyrics and a melody to an instrumental track. I always agree when someone else wants to take a go at lyrics I have grabbed. I have run across people who do not feel the same however and have lost some great lyrics and tracks that way. Doing collabs is one of the best things in this group and I really appreciate people who post their lyrics or instrumental tracks and let us take a go at them. It is also so much fun to listen to the collabs and see how it all came together.

[avatar]

I think it would be really cool to hear different treatments. I'm also on the Kompoz site where you have the option to say whether you're open to multiple interpretations of your lyrics or music. It probably doesn't happen very often but it's always cool to see the different directions that it can lead to

[avatar]

The most important point made here is to communicate your intent to everyone involved BEFORE any collaboration! Some people might be fine with multiple versions of a song as a just-for-fun sort of thing or even a competition where someone gets to pick their favorite to move forward with. Others, myself included, view a collaboration as a more serious/official sort of activity where the resulting song is an exclusive co-write that is co-owned by the original collaborators.

[avatar]

@fuzzy I don't remember his user name, but it was Duane Clancy who wrote the lyric to "Dog's Messin' With a Skunk Again" and if I remember correctly it was at least ten versions.

[avatar]

Okay, that wasn't too hard to remember. It was @duaneclancy

[avatar]
@fuzzy

Thank you for remembering his name, @tcelliott!
Yeah, that was fun!