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It’s worth investing time developing a melody that allows your lyrical idea to fully register with the audience. So how do you write a tune that folks can remember irrespective of the lyrics? One that you can play as well as sing, one that is immediately recognizable covered by any one of a glockenspiel band, a choir, a bagpipe, or a thumb piano?

We all have friends who spend more time in their virtual worlds, and video games have some pretty interesting soundtracks to keep players coming back. Many songwriters have been quite successful in creating music for video games. Kotaku, the popular gaming site, profiles artists already composing for games, and ASCAP has created a FAQ about how music licensing works when it comes to video games.

“I Want It That Way” was the epitome of boy-band ballads, the high-water mark of a guilty-pleasure genre that everyone, eventually, grows out of. The amount of times I’ve seen gaggles of people singing this at karaoke is astounding. Every word’s been ingrained in my head. Today, our teenagers listen and do their best to sing along to a Korean pop boy-band, which kind of begs a lot of questions about whether we really need to grow out of anything? Let alone understand it…

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Make sure you at least understand and consider maintaining and registering publishing ownership when you let others use your beat. Otherwise, you run the risk of making the beat to a song but never getting properly paid for it. Consider further that it is very easy to distribute your music as a standalone product. People like instrumentals, too. Spotify recognizes when listeners like your music and will help you find your listener base, algorithmically if not personally.

Ethan Hein is a Doctoral Fellow in Music Education at New York University. He teaches music technology, production and education at NYU and Montclair State University. With the NYU Music Experience Design Lab, Ethan has taken a leadership role in the creation of new technologies for learning and expression, most notably the Groove Pizza. He is the instructor of the free Soundfly course series called Theory for Producers. He maintains a widely-followed and influential blog, and has written for various publications, including Slate, Quartz, and NewMusicBox.

Soundfly partners with leading edge music education sites and services to bring you unique tips, tools, and stories to empower and inspire our community to find their sound.

True. So I guess I’m not so much “understanding” the piece as I am creating a different piece of music using the same pitches and durations, but with a different rhythmic feel (one that I like better — sorry, Debussy).

It’s called Modern Pop Vocal Production, and it’s designed to help you home-recording vocalists and producers get a richer, more dynamic, and harder-hitting sound on your vocal mixes. In other words: Want to sound like the hits on the radio sound without buying a $10K vintage microphone? Then take this course.

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SESAC is a much different PRO than BMI and ASCAP in that it is a private, for-profit organization, that runs an invite-only membership system. As a private company, it does not disclose it’s annual distribution total.

And lastly, there’s more than probably a bit of synchronicity in the fact that as Brown’s album starts with “I’ll Go Crazy,” Prince’s live show inspired soundtrack album Purple Rain starts with a raucous, no holds barred version of his “Let’s Go Crazy.”

To help you navigate the vast world of music-related website resources out there, we picked out eight of our favorite web tools that are made specifically for musicians, so you know you’re in good hands with each of them.

Ordinary income is just that — money earned for the work you do. For songwriters, the money you earn from royalties is considered ordinary income. The tax rate you pay depends on how much you make, from as low as 10% of taxable earnings to as high as 39.6%.

That’s pleasurable to use because of something cognitive scientists call the “fluency heuristic,” a psychological shortcut our brains use that’s associated with pleasure. In other words, the human brain likes things it can process faster. And with good reason! With so much going on every second, your brain has to focus on the things it can process quickly just to keep up.