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Music

Best Writing Music of 2013

What’s your favorite writing music from 2013? I’ve rounded up my annual list of the best music that helped me write this year.

Follow the links below to listen to the instrumental songs we’ve picked so far this year. Share the instrumental songs or albums that inspired you in the comments section.

Follow this link to read our Best Writing Music of 2011 list and our 2012 list. If you want more inspiration, check out Largehearted Boy’s annual list of Year-End Music Lists and Open Culture’s timeless Best Music to Write By list.

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Can You Include Song Lyrics in Your Book?

recordplayerHave you ever quoted song lyrics in your book? Music can set the mood, evoke a certain setting or channel a particular emotion.

However, writers need to be aware of copyright issues surrounding music in books. We caught up with Copyright Clearance Center‘s author and creator relations director Christopher Kenneally, discovering the key questions authors should ask before including a song. Kenneally explained:

Consider not quoting the song. Lyrics, like all creative expression, are copyrighted. Copyright gives the author or creator the exclusive right to republication of the work. Any writer who wishes to quote lyrics, or for that matter, passages from another’s book, must obtain permission first. It’s probably worth asking how necessary or vital such quotation is to any particular creative work.

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Kanye West Samples 1930s Protest Poem

In Kayne West‘s challenging and explicit new album, he sampled Nina Simone singing “Strange Fruit”–a song that originated as a 1930s protest poem.

Below, we’ve created a free Spotify playlist linking to West’s song and a collection of covers of “Strange Fruit.” We wrote a little more about the history of the song:

New York City English teacher, poet and activist Abel Meeropol wrote the poem “Strange Fruit” during the Great Depression. The great Billie Holiday ended up recording the song, sharing the dark story about lynchings in America.

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How Authors Can Build an Online Radio Station

MySpace has redesigned its website, adding My Radio–a music streaming platform with more than 53 million songs.

Authors can use this new tool to build their own customized radio stations. AppNewser has all the details:

MySpace plans to differentiate itself with personalized radio stations. Instead of using an algorithm to create radio stations for an artist based on similar music like other sites, MySpace lets artists personally program radio stations with what they are listening to. It’s more like artist as a DJ, than a recommendation based on keywords. At launch, MySpace has 25 programmed radio stations from artists including Snoop DoggSteve Angello and Justin Timberlake. It’s not just for established artists. In the name of social media, anyone can make a station. Emerging indie bands, radio DJs, or just your everyday music fan.

 

How Prog Rock Influenced Writers

Do you listen to Pink Floyd or Yes or King Crimson for inspiration?

On today’s edition of the Morning Media Menu, we spoke with Rare Bird Lit publisher Tyson Cornell and author Marc Weingarten, the collaborators behind a new anthology about progressive rock. In Yes Is the Answer (And Other Prog Rock Tales), novelists and journalists share their personal experiences with this largely ignored genre of music.

Press play below to listen on SoundCloud. We’ve also included a free prog rock Spotify playlist curated by Weingarten and some excerpts from the interview…

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Doctor Zhivago Publisher Gets Biographical Album

Neon Neon has released Praxis Makes Perfect, an entire album dedicated to the life story of Italian publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli.

The Italian activist published Boris Pasternak‘s Doctor Zhivago and Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa‘s The Leopard, and both novels get their own songs on the album. Below, we’ve embedded a free Spotify playlist so you can listen to the whole album. Here’s more about the album:

Praxis Makes Perfect is inspired by the life and times of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli. Born in to one of Italy’s wealthiest families, Feltrinelli was a left-wing political activist and published some of the greatest literary works of the 20th century, including The Leopard and Doctor Zhivago. He died in highly suspicious circumstances in 1972. Praxis Makes Perfect features Sabrina Salerno, Asia Argento, Cate Le Bon & Josh Klinghoffer.

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Spotify & iTunes Playlists on Small Demons

Wish your book had a soundtrack? Small Demons has added some automatically generated Spotify and iTunes playlists to its collection of information about your favorite books.

On the Morning Media Menu last year, we interviewed Valla Vakili, CEO of Small Demons. His company is building an online literary database that collects and catalogs thousands of references to music, movies, people and objects mentioned inside of books.

Press play below to listen to the interview on SoundCloud. Vakili explained how writers and readers can build book collections using the new Storyboard feature, bringing together books on digital shelves.

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Dave Brubeck Music for Writers

The great jazz musician Dave Brubeck has died. He was 91 years old. “Take Five” was his most famous track, but his entire catalog overflowed with creativity and inspiration.

Remember his legendary work as you write today. We’ve created a free Spotify playlist to introduce his work, perfect writing music for a December afternoon.

Here’s more from NPR: “Born Dec. 6, 1920, Brubeck grew up on a 45,000-acre ranch in California and he came to music through a circuitous route. In a 1999 interview with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, he said his first love was rodeo roping. But his mother, who spotted a special talent when he sat at the piano, insisted he not rope anything larger than a yearling.” (Image via)

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Neil Gaiman Writing American Gods Pilot for HBO

On Twitter, Neil Gaiman shared the fact that he is currently writing an American Gods pilot for HBO. We’ve embedded the tweet above.

Click here to read the first five chapters of the award-winning novel, “a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth.” The news of the possible adaptation emerged last year.

If you want to listen to the American Gods playlist on Spotify, follow this link. We’ve embedded the songlist below, a great collection of writing music.

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Best Writing Music of 2012

What’s your favorite writing music from 2012? We’ve created our annual list of the new music that helped us write this year.

Share the songs or albums that inspired you in the comments section and we will add it to our growing Spotify playlist (also posted below)–it currently contains six hours of instrumental music.

Follow this link to read our Best Writing Music of 2011 list. If you want more inspiration, check out Largehearted Boy’s annual list of Year-End Music Lists and Open Culture’s timeless Best Music to Write By list.

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