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The Muse's News

Issue 3.3 - June 2000
ISSN 1480-6975

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I n   T h i s   I s s u e :

@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Q&A with Nancy A. Reece from Carpe Diem Copyright Management
@-- Music Reviews - by Ben Ohmart
@-- Songwriting Book Review - by Jodi Krangle
@-- Featured Article - 
    by David Nevue
@-- Musical Notes - Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
@-- Muse's Clues - by Irene Jackson
@-- Songwriter In Spotlight - Singer/Songwriter, Nancy Falkow
@-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your
    viewing pleasure.
@-- Classifieds & Useful Services
@-- Contact information
ISSN 1480-6975.  Copyright 1998 - Jodi Krangle.  For more contact
information, see end of issue.
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E d i t o r ' s   M u s i n g s :

Here we come to another month!  I hope it finds you all well and
your muse being good to you.  Speaking of the muse being good to
you, there's a new Songwriter Spotlight on The Muse's Muse.  Hunter
Payne has been added to the list.  You can read the review and
listen to song samples by dropping by . I confess, I was
greatly impressed and I encourage you to go over and have a listen.  

The winner of this month's book give-away, Peter Goodman of
Capitola, CA has won himself a copy of John Hedtke's book, MP3 AND
THE DIGITAL MUSIC REVOLUTION. Congratulations! Peter has been a
Muse's News subscriber almost from the very beginning so I really
wanted to thank him for sticking with it all these years.  For a
full review of this book, see . 

Other than that, new additions to the web site since last month
will be listed at as per

Big changes will be coming soon!  I'm excited to say that some
great new developments are in the works to make The Muse's Muse a
more useful tool for all of you in your quest to write better songs
and get them out there to the people who need and want to hear
them.  I'll pass on more information to you all as soon as things
are official.  Right now, I'll just tell you that the people I'm
working with in this regard are after the same thing I am -
helping YOU.  Their hearts are definitely in the right place and I
think together we can do some great things.  More later!

Best of luck to you,

Back to Menu
================================================================= C o p y r i g h t & P u b l i s h i n g Q & A : with Nancy A. Reece of Carpe Diem Copyright Management ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: Hi Nancy, I am a songwriter who is very interested in taking my passion/hobby to the next level. My question is do I need to copyright my songs before pitching them to publishers? I always thought I did but heard recently that if a publisher is interested in material they receive, they usually can help out with the copyright. Are we as songwriters generally "overparanoid" when it comes to copywriting? --Steve ------------------ A: Good for you Steve! It is important to make that step to have your art viewed and heard. As soon as you place your song in a "fixed format" on tape or written down, it becomes a fully protected intellectual property under the U.S. Copyright Law. Registration of that copyright is done to prove that that fixed form exists on a certain day. You may choose to simply make your copyright notice on the material "(c) 2000" or (c) MM" before pitching. If you feel that after you have presented a work, someone infringes on your copyright, it is easier to make a legal case concerning that infringement if you have REGISTERED the copyright. Be sure to keep good records as to when and to whom you pitched the material so that your attorney can show "access" if necessary in the future. It is because of this threat of suit due to access that several publishers, record companies, management companies, music super visors etc. will take only solicited material. ------------------ Q: I have some mp3 files of my music, I'd like to know how I can make money and/or get record execs to notice me on the web. I'm already on the web at, but I'd like to do more than try to get noticed among 300,000+ artists, listed with me at this site. --sharisings ------------------ A: First, let me be clear that unless both the song and the sound recording are owned entirely by you, remove them form MP3 until you have permission from the copyright holders in writing. I will assume that you are the sole owner of both copyrights. Self promotion via the Internet requires the same grunt work as the days before cyberland. You simply have to get attention in many ways in order for someone to take the time to learn more and listen more. I'd like to open up this question to the Muse's Muse subscribers: Are you self promoting on the Internet? If so, tell us about the way you get visitors to your web site. Also, let me know in what ways you have paid attention to proper copyright notices and permissions concerning your web promotion work. ---------------------------------------------------------- New Questions & Answers for May 2000 can be found at: ---------------------------------------------------------- ***** Carpe Diem's owner and president, Nancy A. Reece has been involved in the music business since 1983. She was the president of an independent advertising agency for eight years as well as a successful personal artist manager for nine years. She represented the careers of several recording artists and songwriters including those with EMI, Zomba and Liberty Records as well as Benson, Starsong, WoodBridge, Temple Hall and N'Soul Records. She also represented, for a number of years, a Grammy and Dove nominated record producer. Reece has won awards of excellence in print magazine advertising and has been named as one of 2,000 Notable American Women (1995) as well as being listed in the International Who's Who of Professional and Business Women (1993). She was also named Cashbox Magazine's Promoter of the Year (1989). **If you would like to ask Nancy a copyright or publishing question for our continuing Q&A section, please send your e-mail to She can't guarantee she'll get to all of the questions, but she'll certainly try.** Back to Menu
================================================================= M u s i c R e v i e w s : by Ben Ohmart -----------------------------------------------------------------
Arnold Olenick - Songs from My Trunk If John Morris didn't have the current Gene Wilder mysteries sewn up, I'd suggest Arnold send this cd to Gene and have a few new standards put into the series. This is sweet vocal jazz that's half old movie songs, half pre-Phantom Broadway. What a nice trunk this guy must have. I hope some of these are getting into club acts and revues. 'No Way to be Blue Around You' and 'Who Can Tell?' would be a tragic waste to remain in the drawer. 16 songs, not quite 50 minutes, you'll get a kick out of these romantic, sometimes funny tuneful tunes because the singers are 1st class with clean, simple production. A delight. ------------------ Dave Tough - I'm Right Here 'soubrette, soubrette, my mind is aching / I don't wanna see you with another man / forget, forget this turn you've taken / and come and sing me a love song'. Constant beat, female backing vocals that remind me of Tin Man's song in The Wiz movie. Okay, only vaguely. Dave's voice has a tinge of country in it, but mostly this cd's loud acoustic pop for not quite a half hour. 'now you've come and gone / from my life / took your silly smile and that sense of style / from my life', that's the intro on 'Love Like Yours', a slowish waltz that laments on lost love. If not profound, certainly heartfelt and clean production mixed to the top level. --------------- OTHER NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE: AlphaVox - Eric Latturner - Marcia Guderian Trio - Jerry Mundo - Coy Kindred - Chet Delcampo - Rick Denzien - The Houndz - The Villas - Zakas - Brian Cline - Blackbird Alley - --------------- ****** Ben Ohmart has had 100s of stories and poems in zines and journals, and had 4 plays produced last year. His lyrics will be on 2 CDs this year, 1 a gothic album, the other a rock album. He's currently writing films, with hopes of having one done in Malaysia soon, and is also trying to break into the prison of television. He's white, 26, single and loves British comedy. He lives in Boalsburg, PA, and enjoys watching rabbits eat his garbage. Contact him at: . **Ben has kindly consented to do music reviews for this publication and also for The Muse's Muse itself. If you have an independently released CD or tape that you'd like to get reviewed, send it off to: Ben Ohmart, P O Box 750, Boalsburg, PA 16827 or drop by his Music Reviews web section at for more details.** Back to Menu ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ S p o n s o r M e s s a g e : (Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ VISION MUSIC GROUP (VMG), a music marketing company with several online music sites, recently launched an internet song pitching catalog , , which globally enables songwriters and other music industry professionals, a database driven location to organize, manage and "pitch" songs via the internet. Contact: Phone:770.754.4543 for discounts ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ================================================================= F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : NEWSCASTING AND MUSIC PROMOTION: QUICK HITS FOR QUICK RESULTS by David Nevue, Midnight Rain Productions - ----------------------------------------------------------------- Any musicians selling their music on the Internet know how hard it is to draw traffic to their web site. It's even harder to find the right kind of traffic... visitors with the potential to buy your product. The competition for visitors is fierce, and if you're just getting started on the net you can bet you have an uphill climb ahead of you. In our book, 'How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet' ( we suggest a number of proven strategies for drawing traffic to your site. These strategies, when used together, create a very powerful means of attracting targeted traffic to your web site. One of these is a relatively simple strategy we call Newscasting. It's perfect for bringing traffic to your site quickly if your timing is right. With Newscasting, timing is everything! If you've done your research you should already know who your targeted audience is. You probably also know what kinds of things they are interested in. These potential customers most often surf the net looking for information. Some of this information is news-based. With Newscasting, your goal is to satisfy this need, and while the implementation of this strategy is fairly simple, it may take some initial research to determine how best to employ this on your own web site. The concept is simple: create a "news" page and keep a close eye on breaking news that would be of interest to your visitors. (Note, this shouldn't just be any old news, but news that would bring in people who would also tend to gravitate toward your style of music). The news might involve popular music groups, entertainers, or any other information of interest to your potential target audience (for more information on targeting your audience, see our article Selling Your Music on the Net: Key Strategies for Success at As soon as this big news breaks, update your news web page with links, pictures, or whatever else you can find relating to that story. Then, prepare your web page for search engine registration by fine-tuning your meta tags and publish that page immediately to the search engines. A recent example of this on our own web site involved the film Titanic. As soon as sheet music was available from the film, we put information on where to find that sheet music at our Pianist Resource Center. We then submitted that page to the search engines. The result was a flood of hits from pianists looking for the sheet music. That brought in a lot of traffic and introduced our site to a number of pianists who might not have found it otherwise. Not only did we provide them with useful information they were interested in, we also had the opportunity to put our solo piano CDs in front of them. This marketing technique does require excellent timing. Whenever big news breaks, sites using this technique to market themselves pop up everywhere. You have to jump on it first to get the first big wave of visitors. While not a permanent traffic builder, if you continue to update your news page with information that's current and just breaking, you'll find Newscasting a good tool for introducing new visitors to your web site. ****** David Nevue is the founder of and the The Music Promotion Academy ( He is also a professional pianist, recording artist, and author of the book, "How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet." Back to Menu ================================================================= M u s i c a l N o t e s : Songwriting Contests & Market Info. In the interest of conserving space, I will only be including changes to this listing in this newsletter. All other contests and market information that have already been listed here, are displayed at & . Please check there regularly for updates! ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE 13TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL FOLK ALLIANCE CONFERENCE If you want to perform at folk venues and events this is the showcase that can put you there. This is the only gathering where folk presenters, agents and record companies, from all over North America and beyond, come every year to scout new talent. Each year in February, the Folk Alliance hosts a major conference in locations rotating throughout North America. In addition to the showcases of extraordinary talent, conference participation will give you access to in-depth courses, panel discussions and workshops; an exhibit hall filled with artists, agents, record companies, presenters, and organizations designed to facilitate the exchange of information and business opportunities; and a vibrant atmosphere in which to network and exchange ideas. Showcase applications must be postmarked no later than June 30, 2000. Call the Folk Alliance office today to request an application form, or download it from our website at CONTACT INFO: Folk Alliance, 1001 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 501, Washington, DC 20036 (202) 835-3655, Fax (202) 835-3656, Email:, Web: ----------------------------------------------------------------- JOERECORDS.COM IS SEEKING MUSIC: is seeking compilations, unusual, weird, hard-to-find, ethnic and world music. If you are interested in submitting, send to: 4047 49th SW,Seattle, Washington 98116 or contact ----------------------------------------------------------------- SINGERS WITH ORIGINAL SONGS: Do you have trouble getting record companies to listen to your material? I will act as agent to people who have hit songs, and will guarantee they will get heard. Send material with stamped/self-addressed envelope to: Larry Braun, 21113 Seeley Place, Lakewood, CA 90715 ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE CANADIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY ONLINE DIRECTORY IS NOW COMPLETE! The directory is part of a much larger worldwide online project being built for aspiring and professional musicians, actors, models and related companies. Located at the website provides links that lead to helpful sources including services that allow musicians to upload song demos or actors and models to post bios and pictures. From their community page you can network in the chat room, forum or guestbook. Sign up for their upcoming Musicmoviemodelling Connections E-Newsletter and stay up to date on what's new on the web for aspiring talent and related companies! "Connections R What U need 2 Succeed" (tm) ----------------------------------------------------------------- Back to Menu ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ M u s e ' s C l u e s : by Irene Jackson ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I saw an interview with Paul Simon a few years ago which gave great insight into his creative process. One of the things he mentioned that fascinated me was how he likes to program a drum machine with a neat kind of groove which he then writes to! I don't think I'd ever heard of a songwriter using drums as a means of coming up with a song before. But when you consider some of the writing he has done..."Graceland" comes to can hear how rhythm is a very important part of his work. Lately I've been working on an album of my own, and in trying to come up with some rhythmic ideas for my drummer, I've been browsing the Internet! I've come across some great sites with sample drum loops on them that you can download for free and play with. If you're feeling a little stagnant in the creative juices department, why not try something radically new? Most of the drum loops tend to favour the hip-hop genre, but there are other kinds of grooves as well. You can do a search in your favourite search engine for "drum loops", but to save you a little time, here's one I've found that has some good quality samples: This page was created by Mambo del Gardo, and has a lot of different types of samples. If you haven't downloaded drum samples before, I'll give you an idea how it works. First of all, most samples are about 1 bar each in length. The idea is that you download the sample, and then use whatever software you have for listening to .wav files and "loop" it. This means making it repeat over and over. I have mentioned Cool Edit '96 before as an excellent software for listening to and editing .wav files, but you may also have a .wav player already in your computer in order to do this. This particular website gives you the option of previewing the sample first using Real Audio. So instead of downloading the whole wav file, you can get a sense of what it sounds like before you commit to it. When you have downloaded the sample, load up your .wav player and play it back, then pull out your instrument, and see what you come up with! This may inspire you to write with a completely different feel, and might just jump start you into some new songs. Good luck! ****** Irene Jackson is a performing songwriter from Victoria, BC in Canada. Aside from writing, recording and performing, she also maintains a website for songwriters that includes tips, articles and more links of interest. Her latest CD "Motor Scooter" has had attention everywhere from Japan to South America, and a new release is due out sometime in 1999. Songwriting Tips: Homepage: Songs on MP3: Back to Menu ================================================================= S O N G W R I T E R I N S P O T L I G H T : Nancy Falkow ----------------------------------------------------------------- Nancy Falkow is a singer-songwriter who can sing her ass off. I mean the girl can sing. Her strong voice sweeps and soars through catchy and melodic pop-folk songs with dynamics and soul. Nancy's do it yourself attitude has helped her receive more press and attention than your average unsigned artist. Her motivation and energy single-handedly won her the praise of Philadelphia music critics, the New York Anti-Folk scene, the Lilith Fair (Philly area Lilith Fair Talent Search Winner, 1998.) and more! Nancy was a 1999 Nominee for Best Folk Artist (Singer Songwriter) for the Philadelphia City Paper Music Awards. She has shared stages with the likes of Sarah McLachlan, Patty Griffin, Indigo Girls, Dan Bern, Ron Sexsmith as well as many others. She is currently recording her first full length release at Indre Studios in Philadelphia. Here's what she had to say about her songwriting and the process of getting to where she is today. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: When did you first know you wanted to write songs and be a performer? Was there a particular incident? Did someone in particular inspire you? ----------------------------------------------------------------- A: I went to college then grad school and played keyboards in a classic rock cover band for fun. I started writing songs at 16, but never took it seriously. Then when my best friend joined a band called Wanderlust(RCA) the lead singer/songwriter, Scot Sax, heard me sing, heard a few of my originals, wasn't horribly impressed but saw potential in me, I started to think about doing music professionally. So I would present songs to him and he would change a chord or a lyric and sort of "fix" them and make them a lot better. I continued to do this for a few years and listened to all of his suggestions, used which ones I liked, which were most of them, and sort of learned how to do it myself. He eventually got too busy to help me as he had been, but it was time to set me free anyway. Scot is still my harshest critic and I pick and choose what songs I will play for him over the phone or send to him. My soundboard is still my best friend and one of my collaborators over the years, Mark Getten. He on the other hand, gets to hear everything! My boyfriend also has become a very good sound board. He used to LOVE everything I wrote but he has become more critical, which is what I really need. I take first impressions very seriously, but in my heart I know which ones are the ones to work on and which songs are the ones to set aside. Mark and Scot are in a new band now called Bachelor Number One ( and they recently had a song on the American Pie Soundtrack and continue to do well. Keep your eye out for them! ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: What was your most common problem when you were writing those early songs and Scot was making them better? Do you think it's a problem a lot of songwriters have when they start out? And how have you managed to overcome it? Does getting over that problem lead to others? (This creativity called "writing songs" is an ongoing process, after all. You can never learn too much, right?) ----------------------------------------------------------------- A: There weren't any real problems. I think experience, time, practice, broadening my taste of music, all affects the way I write songs. He opened a lot of that up for me, as well as taught me new chords, progressions and voicings. My early stuff all had potential, but none of it was worthy of making a set I'd okay now! As far as advice...get a good honest soundboard for yourself, someone who is more advanced (in songwriting) than you who is not afraid to be honest with you. Don't be afraid of criticism, use it to help make you a better songwriter. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: What do you find most inspires you to write a song? Other music? Specific happenings in your own life? ----------------------------------------------------------------- A: Jeffrey Gaines once told me not to quit my dayjob or else I'd have nothing to write about (does he have a day job?). I don't really write about work, and I'm really not into writing about sad things unless it's just for me. I'm pretty inspired by movies, tv, books, magazines, interviews I read, hearing other artists, seeing other artists who are better than I am, performing with them on the same stage etc.... I do have a muse for all of those live songs, in my wonderful boyfriend. I wouldn't have written 2/3rds of my last album without him...although I do try to keep love songs universal (so anyone could be me in the song) otherwise, it would be of no interest to anyone. Why would someone want to listen to me rant and rave about my sweety? But if they can put themselves into my words and say, "yeah, that's me too", then it worked! ------------------------------------------------------------------ Q: So when you're composing these songs, do you come up with the lyrics or the music first? And why do you think that is for you? ------------------------------------------------------------------ For the answer to this and many other questions, please go to ----------------------------------------------------------------- Back to Menu ================================================================= " O N S I T E " F E A T U R E D A R T I C L E : Right Brain > Left Brain Writing, Recording & Marketing ------------------------------ Pop Songwriting 101: Memorable Melodies (For those allergic to theory) Part 2 by Tyler Tullock If you liked the first installment of this series, you'll love this next one. It even includes a midi file and diagram explaining just how to accomplish the advice Tyler gives! Keep up with his regular monthly column, located at for some great tips & ideas on the creativity behind songwriting and how to get your music out there. Back to Menu
================================================================= C l a s s i f i e d s & U s e f u l S e r v i c e s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- USA INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION Gain music industry exposure! Win a grand prize of US$50,000 in cash and merchandise! This marks the largest prize ever to be awarded to a winner in any songwriting competition. Judges include representatives from Warner/Reprise Records and SONY Music. Visit: ----------------------------------------------------------------- MUSIC BUSINESS SOFTWARE FOR THE MUSIC PROFESSIONAL Music Business Contracts (100 music industry contracts), Record Company in a Box (complete record company management software), Tour Manager (manage gigs, and complete tours, financial reports, itineraries, etc.), and more! All software Mac & Windows compatible. 2-3 day priority mail shipping! ----------------------------------------------------------------- BIG METEOR PUBLISHING > ~ offers FREE exposure for your music related site or service... Indie Link Exchange: an easy way to increase traffic - it's FREE! INDIE RESOURCELAND: Submit your site today! - it's FREE! Post a beautiful display - it's FREE! Indie Contact Bible: Do you qualify for a listing - They're FREE! HUNDREDS of books to advance your career! ----------------------------------------------------------------- INDIE-MUSIC.COM ~ SAVE TIME & PROMOTE YOUR MUSIC FREE! 1000's of contacts for musicians, no cost, no hassles. Download a free College Radio E-Guide or subscribe to our free Indie News newsletter to receive free tips to advance your music career. - The Best Place For Musicians Online ----------------------------------------------------------------- GO GLOBAL WITH CDSTREET.COM is your secure source for credit card music ordering in your own website. As a member of the CDstreet network, you will have access to the most cost-effective, secure transaction processing for global music merchandise distribution. Plus, no setup fee and no sales equals no cost! Check it out - ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE SONGWRITING EDUCATION RESOURCE Stop by the educational songwriting website run by professional songwriters Danny Arena & Sara Light. Features include, numerous songwriting articles, songwriting courses, discussion board, free classifieds, email and much more. Coming soon: our web classroom where you'll be able to take our songwriting courses over the Internet! - ----------------------------------------------------------------- DISCOVER SHAREWARE MUSIC MACHINE and explore the a world of software which will help make writing and recording your songs a breeze! Featuring over 2100 software titles to freely download as well as more than 2000 discussion forums, Shareware Music Machine has software for musicians of all kinds. For MIDI sequencers to guitar effects to hard disc recording to the latest sound players, head to ================================================================= CLASSIFIED RATES: US$25 Max. 7 lines, where a line = 65 characters including spaces and punctuation. All contracts must be prepaid. Write to: editor@musesmuse.comBack to Menu
================================================================= C o n t a c t I n f o & C r e d i t s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Jodi Krangle ............................................. EDITOR Kathryn Obenshain ...........................GRACIOUS PROOFREADER ----------------------------------------------------------------- The Muse's News is a free monthly newsletter for and about songwriters. Subscribers are welcome to recirculate or reprint The Muse's News for nonprofit use as long as the appropriate credit is given and the ENTIRE text of the newsletter is included (including credits and information at the end of each issue). Others should contact me at All articles copyrighted by their authors. Back issues and other information will be available at: The Muse's News is part of The Muse's Muse, a web resource for songwriters: For further information, send your e-mail to: ----------------------------------------------------------------- - How to place a classified ad, pass on market information or sponsor The Muse's News. - How to subscribe, unsubscribe, etc. - To submit articles,reviews,ideas,etc. SNAILMAIL: Please contact me first at
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Back issues of the newsletter can be read at the National
Library of Canada ecollection: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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