Donnie and Donna – a visit from the Songwriting Coursera MOOC

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Hey all

So I’m getting back into this digital learning thing after having a bunch of stuff on my analogue plate for a while.  I just jumped into my first time really participating in this big world of Coursera, and found inspiration in the first video lecture.  I have made this video and passed in on to you guys – #moreMOOClove.

The instructor, Pat Pattison, spoke about building boxes in our songwriting.  The boxes grow in size at each verse because it must carry the information and the sentiment of the box before it.  We want to build our songs in such a way that they become more complex with each verse, reaching a climax at the end, rather than the beginning.  In this song, I think I have lost the momentum by the last verse… really it’s just my standard verse about “I’m not done this song yet….”  Soooo…. if anyone has any ideas about how I can continue to grow the song – either by adding information in the last, or moving some of the information from the 1st and 2nd, jump on in!!!

One thought on “Donnie and Donna – a visit from the Songwriting Coursera MOOC

    bryanjack said:
    March 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Leslie! Awesome to have you along for the #IntroGuitar ride, and have you take us a little deeper into an emerging discusion on songwriting.

    I like the ‘boxes’ metaphor, and the idea of adding complexity and points of departure with each new verse (then resolving w/ bridge / last verse, hopefully), while still containing the plot/thread of the earlier verses.

    I sometimes think of songs as archaeology, where once I’ve fallen onto a phrase, a character, a riff, or chord progression that I want to work with, the whole song is laying there beneath a surface of soil that needs to be brushed away. The tricky part arrives after the initial momentum of the song has been established (which is what I think you’re talking about here), and the tension in the song needs to be established or resolved. It’s one of those difficult artistic moments that seems to require a more calculated artistic choice than running with our initial inspiration (conscious vs. unconscious), and something I think artists are always struggling with…

    Hopefully the SongMOOC keeps these ideas rolling, and that we see Donnie & Donna continue to evolve. Love it!

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