Completed Along Comes A Bard... I

Tazrae begins to learn about what goes in to actual songwriting.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Along Comes A Bard... I

Postby Tazrae on July 18th, 2020, 2:49 pm

Timestamp: 50th of Summer, 520 A.V.


She was barefoot again, perched upon the counter in the kitchen of The Protea Inn, a parchment and quill pen in her hand. A bottle of ink was nearby. The young woman had been baking and cooking all morning and was obviously ready for a break by the time the old bard had wandered in looking for a shady spot, fresh juice, and a space to work on the new wooden flute. Xander, one of her newest wizened guests (and by far the most interesting) was sanding a flute in the indoor gathering area and watching Tazrae with some amusement.

They’d been talking for a while now… back and forth banter that was half debate half conversation. To Xander, Tazrae was one of the more entertaining people he’d met in a while. She came alive talking about music… and seemed endlessly fascinated in his life as a bard.

He was partially amused because his hostess wasn’t a bit mad at him for working on a new instrument inside out of the sun, a work that required sanding and making a mess. But mostly he was amused because she was so precocial. He’d already heard her story about running off from Riverfall and starting a business on her own in Falyndar’s wilds. The old bard was finding the entire trip very amusing and had in the instant of meeting Tazrae, understood why his Master had sent him over to Syka. He didn’t have many good seasons left, not with his old bones giving him problems and his heart acting up… but there was something about the sun and the sand that was having a rather recuperative effect on him.

Or indeed it might just be his newest unexpected student. He’d found out, almost immediately, that Tazrae was not going to charge him a dime to live at the Inn as long as he taught her a thing or two and held mini-concerts in the Gathering Room and the Main Deck when he felt of a mind too. And Syka, surprisingly, had a host of things he actually needed like a decent healer, fresh food, and no devastating winter in sight. He also loved to fish and he’d found something of a companion in one of the founders – Mathias – who also enjoyed the occupation almost as much. So, for Xander, there was no real reason NOT to be in Syka…. at least not currently.

"I'm serious! You of all people should understand the power of the sung word. It’s the best way possible to start a rumor or secure a legend. Nothing is a legend until it has been rendered into song or tale." Tazrae insisted, tossing her wildly curly hair and grinning at Xander.


Xander, as patient as always, simply smiled at Tazrae. "Tazrae, be that as it may, true bards create a song. Those songs are immortalized just by the fact that they were created by this famous bard or that famous bard. It’s the great ballads that merit attention, not because of who sings them, but because of their content. True bards have gifts, and their ballads are beyond compare… whereas you argue any ditty has merit or even more merit than those carefully composed ballads just because they are in fact sung more often…" He insisted. It was starting to become an old argument between them.

Count: 557
Last edited by Tazrae on July 19th, 2020, 1:08 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
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Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
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Along Comes A Bard...

Postby Tazrae on July 18th, 2020, 2:51 pm

"That’s true, Xander. But listen, who sings those songs? No one. No one sings them out in the fields, or walking the roads, or washing the laundry. The tunes sung are those sung by the common folk, written by the common folk. Even the bawdiest tavern round gets more attention than your so-called great works. I say a work is great if its sung or played, not by who writes it. The perfect combination is really both!" She insisted softly.

"Listen. I need to write a song for a friend. I have dozens of them in my notebooks, but I need one that a full bard can sing, and yet easy enough... catchy enough that the commoner can sing as well. Will you help me?" She asked, hopping off the counter, setting down her quill and parchment. She marched over to his makeshift workbench – her former coffee table - and leaned a hip against it, careful where she walked in the wood shavings at his feet.

Those would have to be swept up, sooner than later… she’d wait though until he was done sanding.


Xander Kaltran considered it. "Will it get you to settle down for more than a few breaths and do something productive other than question me?" He asked, a smile playing across his lips. In truth, he enjoyed the young woman’s questions, and so far they filled the long days with music, debate, and even some of her more unusual plans. And so he had kept seeking her out, not quite certain what each day with her would bring.

She laughed and nodded. "Indeed it will. I promise... now how do we start?" She asked, glancing at the parchment and the ink and quill sitting on the counter abandoned.

Xander sighed and put down his flute. There was nothing to be helped for it. He'd get no more work done today with her going on and on about this. She'd been asking him for days for help for a 'formal' ballad... something suitable for writing down in an actual songbook to be preserved for history. He smiled slightly. He hadn't expected that she knew nothing of formal songwork, for all that she was always writing snippets of songs and poems down. This lesson, then, should prove interesting for them both.

"Alright Tazrae.. first things first. We need to talk about songs and what makes songs good. And you have to listen to me. So, what actually makes up a song?" He asked, looking to Tazrae for an answer. "Lyrics? A melody? That’s it right?" Xander shook his head. That was exactly why she hadn't perfected songwriting yet. She didn't know the steps, the actual process.

"Of course a Song is made up of music and lyrics that are made into a melody to fit the music. But, it can and often is, done the other way around. That is, creating a melody first and creating music to fit it. It sounds to me that’s what you need to do here... write the lyrics, then the music." Xander said, looking thoughtful. Tazrae nodded, listening attentively.

Word Count: 517
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Medals: 2
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Along Comes A Bard...

Postby Tazrae on July 18th, 2020, 2:53 pm

"Many people don't realize it but this process can be done without any musical knowledge, that is without even being able to play an instrument or write music. Many song writers don't even know how to read music or play an instrument. What they do know is how go through a step by step process... and then turn it over to a musician." Xander said. Tazrae smiled. This was what she wanted, Xander to teach her the PROCESS of writing a song. Songcrafting. It was a beautiful thing in her mind.

"Musicians that are also good song writers find that song writing is very different than playing an instrument and develop similar skills. Instead of just being a musician or a singer, a person who writes songs becomes a composer of sorts. When learning to write your own songs, the first thing you need to learn is how to examine all the parts that make up a song and perfect each part." He said, as Tazrae picked up her parchment and started taking notes frantically.

"They consist of the music, the rhythm, the timing and tempo, the singing and lyrics, the style, the musical spacing and pausing, the hooks, the structure, and the subject matter.... lets break it down." Tazrae nodded, still writing. He broke it down for her, and her sheet of notes looked something like this...


1. Subject Matter- What is your song about? Know your subject!

2. The Hooks- Are you putting the hooks, or best parts, of your song in the right places for maximum effect? Do you even have hooks?

3. The Styles- Are you applying the right style to the song? There are 12 arch types of songs.

4. Frequency: The Musical Spaces and Pauses- These are often overlooked, but can often be what's missing in a song!

5. Basic Notation- Do you know how to read and write music notes? Can you break down a song?

6. The Rhythm- Does the song develop a rhythmic pattern that draws the listener in?

7. The Timing And The Tempo- Is the timing right, is the song to rushed or drags. If the timing is off, no matter how well written a song is it will sound bad.

8. The Structure Or Arrangement- A bad arrangement can literally ruin a song, while a good arrangement can save a song you thought was a dog!

9. Basic Writing Tips- Borrowing from writing techniques, songwriters need all the same elements.

10. The Singing And The Lyrics- Is the singer or lyrics right for the song? Can you write lyrics? Did you know lyric writing is easily learned?

11. The Musical Balance- Is the music right for the lyrics and subject matter, or the singers voice? Add the music, add the polish, and finish the song.



"It sounds complicated, Tazrae doll, but its not. Its just breaking down something complex into something very simple. Songcrafting is very easy once you understand the parts. Now... lets talk about this song for Venn.." Tazrae smiled. Venn was becoming one of her favorite topics. So she sat back, and thought a moment before she started to speak...

Word Count: 554
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Medals: 2
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Along Comes A Bard...

Postby Tazrae on July 18th, 2020, 3:13 pm

Tazrae smiled. "It must be a song about adventure, taking charge, being brave, and doing things people have never done before. That’s what Syka is all about. And I think to have a song or two reflecting this in the community would be a good thing… And it’s got to be a good enough song that people will sing it, repeat it, demand to hear it. I don't know if I'm up for the task, but it’s important that I at least write something. It needs to be a song to remind the community of why they are here and how important it was to everyone." She said to her instructor, looking at him to see what Xander's opinion on her conclusion was.

Xander Kaltran simply nodded. "I think I see why your writing this song, Tazrae. Now, let’s review the list. We don't have to go in order, but we do have to address all the issues. Obviously, we have a great grasp on the subject matter. Do you have any sort of catchphrase you can think of that would be a good hook for the song... to let the listener know what exactly it’s all about?" He asked, looking at the girl curiously. Tazrae looked lost in thought a moment. She glanced down at her notes reviewing the section on the subject matter and then spilled her thoughts out loud. "Something like... new chances… unlimited opportunities. Syka’s waiting..." She mused, tapping her quill against the side of her face as she thought a moment.

"We want new people to come, to be free, to experience what we’ve experienced.” Tazrae said. And then she sang a line as it came to her, clearly though without reference to any sort of musical patterning.

“Unsatisfied, Unfulfilled, Unrecognized…
Lost in the grind of day to day,
There’s more out there, a world away…"


And then... more came to her, and she wrote as she hummed out the next phrase, putting them together. It took her a while to find the order in her mind, the whole time her hands busy on the parchment, doodling as she thought deeply. Music was so multi-layered, so complex. What would this song mean? What was important about it.... it was a call to adventure, a call to bring those unhappy with the grind here. She sang out.

"Come home to Syka,
Where you can be free,
Where who you are is your choice,
And endless changeable sights to see."



Tazrae was starting to get a clear picture of how this part of the process was to work. She looked up at Xander, wondering if it was hook enough. He repeated the phrase to himself, nodded, and picked up a guitar. He strummed a few chords and nodded. "That will work... now... who wants this adventure? It’s not enough of a chorus… not enough of a hook." Tazrae thought for a moment. "People who are tired of the same thing day in and day out. People who have no opportunities but want them…." Tazrae couldn't help it. Her gaze got a little glassy and it made Xander smile. "Go on..." Xander urged. When she thought of Syka, she thought of endless summer and all the things that the people here had taught her... even about their own pain. More lines came to her, and she looked up amazed at him as she sang them out.

"These jungle wilds have been tamed
With gentle hands and Syka named
By lapping surf and palm-filled sky
One asks oneself a hundred questions of why."



Word Count: 595
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Along Comes A Bard...

Postby Tazrae on July 18th, 2020, 3:18 pm

Xander smiled. "There you have it Tazrae girl. You have your core, otherwise known as the chorus. Its the hook, that defines for the listener what the song is all about. Now... put it together.. and it becomes lovely." The instrument maker said, trying his hand at singing it.


" Unsatisfied, Unfulfilled, Unrecognized…
Lost in the grind of day to day,
There’s more out there, a world away
Come home to Syka,
Where you can be free,
Where who you are is your choice,
And endless changeable sights to see.
These jungle wilds have been tamed
With gentle hands and Syka named
By lapping surf and palm-filled sky
One asks oneself a hundred questions of why."



Tazrae smiled. It was coming together. They had an entire chorus... no music, no real body to the song. But their hook and their subject matter was in place and those questions answered. It was a good start.

Xander took a break and went to pour the tea. "Most songs get written in a single sitting. All the good ones. It's as if they exist in the world in some negative space we can't tap into savings for every once in a while... and when we somehow connect, we need to pull the song out all at once in its entirety or it’s not ever going to hold the same magic. We might be able to adjust a song, but we need its soul before we can really make it a living thing." Tazrae nodded, listening closely. "And I imagine, we need to decide on a style before we can even begin to write the music and finish the lyrics correct?" She asked, eager as always to speak about music. This whole situation was a winning one for her, she thought... not only speaking about music but about her other favorite topic; Syka.



Word Count: 310
Thread Total: 2533
User avatar
Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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