Here’s the second in a series of fortuitous songwriting tips and lessons courtesy of Gary Granada and that GMA Kapuso issue. In this episode, which was distributed in the form of an MP3 file attached to an email, Gary Granada speaks about the significance of a single word.
For some, a word is just a word. Yet when you set it to music, your choice of lyrics can affect the musicality of the piece.
Although there are synonyms that have the same number of syllables, different words will have different accents. The stress might be on the first syllable for some, for others it may come at the end or even in the middle.
If the stress or accent does not jibe with the flow of the melody, then your song will sound awkward. Even if you change the playing style, your ears will still sense that something is not quite right.
Here’s a slideshow to accompany the MP3 audio cast of Gary Granada. Please click on the right-pointing triangle (the PLAY button) to begin the show:
In this recording, Gary talks about the words edukasyon (e-du-kas-YON) and pag-aaral (pag-a-A-ral). They both mean “education”, yet the stress falls on different syllable positions of the word. Given the difference, we can naturally assume a different effect on the song.
In my opinion, however, “edukasyon” works if the particular melody Gary Granada talks about is played a la reggae or tango style. But I digress…
The point is very clear, though: a single word can make or break a song.
And if you do not recognize (or worse, trivialize) the contribution of an artist, you risk alienating yourself from an even larger group that extends beyond that artist’s sphere of influence.
Anyway, in spite of all these controversies, I’m still glad that this has given me the chance to learn something about songwriting, musicality, musical compositions, and the sharp wit and wry humor of Gary Granada.