For Songwriters and
Drawing on years of experience as a successful songwriter and an inspirational teacher of others in perfecting this craft, Harriet Schock covers every aspect involved in making your talents shine. From finding the space to write, to sources of inspiration, and how to evaluate criticism, she knows first-hand the joys and frustrations of becoming remarkable.
"Harriet Schock is a rare talent. In today's music industry, Schock stands out because she gets back to the basics." Harriet Kaplan, Music Connection
"Harriet Schock performs the amazing feat of being a precise, meticulous song craftswoman without sacrificing even an iota of the rich emotionalism that makes love songs worth listening to." Steve Schalchlin, composer/lyricist, "The Last Session," past Managing Director, National Academy of Songwriters
"The engaging prose style in Becoming Remarkable by Harriet Schock is, in part, driven by the same deep conviction that resonates in the moving images of her lyrics: the primacy of experience as the place to go to write songs or to write about writing songs. As her lyrics draw powerfully on the details of experience, her prose summons that premise in explaining the spark and process of songwriting. Ms. Schock's writing is uncluttered, intelligent, and honest. Full of compassion and insight, her ideas are grounded in a compelling reality, what she calls 'the power and logic of reality to keep the song on course.' As her subjects range from issues of gender to notions of literacy, her writing remains tough-minded and graceful. If you ever thought of writing a song or a poem, write it with this book in hand." Steve Wyckoff, Director, English Composition, Department of English, Lehman College, New York
"Encouraging others to write with honesty and intelligence, Harriet shares her insights generously, revealing the strong and sensitive character that emerges in her own songwriting. I return to her articles frequently for sustenance and inspiration." Arthur Schlosser, songwriter
"Harriet Schock's writings on the craft of songwriting and her workshops have created a place for me where creativity and inspiration can find a safe haven to open up. The information is priceless and the process of the steps challenge the human spirit to deal directly with the truth." Carolyn Maier, professional vocalist/harpist/pianist
Table of Contents
About the Chapters...
1. Step One: Touch Somebody
2. If You're Doing It for the Money, You May Not Make Any
3. The Art and Craft of Songwriting
4. Songwriters ... A Community
5. Do We Know Where We're Coming From?
6. Stop and Look at Who's Listening
7. Straight Lines
8. Reality: The Training Wheels
9. Chimera Is Curable
10. Writing from the Inside
11. Songwriters Say It All
12. Art and Romance: An Analogy
13. Do You Read?
14. Cookies or Newspapers?
15. The New Literacy
16. Burning Desire to Communicate
17. Some Points to View on Viewpoints
18. Truth vs. Facts in Songwriting
19. When Little Things Mean a Lot
20. Listen and Learn
21. Character Studies
22. You Talkin' to Me?
23. Judging Your Own Material
24. Everyday Treasures
25. Finding the Pony
26. He Says, She Says
27. Listeners Vote for Communication
28. That's Entertainment
29. Smoke and Mirrors
30. Words or Music ... That Is the Question
31. Writing Words to Music
32. What, Me Study?
33. Melody -- The Unsung Hero
34. The Rhythm of the Melody
35. Reading Music
36. Playing It by Ear
37. Customs and Critics and Rules (Oh, My)
38. But What Do Strangers Think?
39. Is There Life Between Songs?
40. "That Sounds Like It Belongs in a Movie"
41. Subject Matters
42. Titles: The Heart of the Matter
43. You Oughta Be Write in Pictures
44. Writing in the Margins
45. Writing in Space
46. Playing the Symbols Well
47. Cleverness and Subtlety
48. Starting with the Song
Chapter Topic Guide
About the Author
Why can't we be like dolphins and just send the message without symbols? A dolphin wants to send "apple" to his friend and the next dolphin receives "apple," the concept, not the word for the concept. If people were like that, songwriters might be out of a job. As it stands, though, we're really needed to say all those things other people would like to say to each other and can't quite do it. Songwriting really is a language. And the better you are at it, the better the recipient gets what you're trying to say. So how do we ensure that the other person is going to get the actual message and not get tangled up in the symbols of the message? Well, first of all, learn to speak the language you're writing in. Learn to express yourself clearly when you're simply talking to someone. That's a start. Have you ever heard a jumbled up song and then heard the person explain what he was trying to say and it's just as confusing as the song? Some people don't really know how to say something clearly when they're just telling you a story, much less put it in a song clearly, translated into their second language (songwriting).
Blue Dolphin Publishing,1999