The Sound City Song Journey

News: 7th May 2010 by Louise Dodgson under Finance, Law & Music Business, Music Publishing, Music Training & Careers

On Wednesday 19th May The Musicians’ Union (MU) is hosting a songwriting masterclass at the Hard Day’s Night Hotel as part of this year’s Sound City. Renowned hit-makers Chris Difford (Squeeze / double Ivor Novello award winner), Mike Heaton (Embrace) and Mark Morriss (The Bluetones) will talk of their song-writing experiences, detailing the journey of the song - from conception to the charts.

Whilst many perfect pop-songs are said to have been written effortlessly in the space of a few minutes, there are also those creations that have been finely-crafted for years yet fail to generate sales, radio play or commercial demand. For some, there’s a formula that never fails, whilst for others, it’s a musical lottery with random success.

Kelly Wood, Regional Officer for the MU, says that it’s important to recognise the significance of a song beyond its artistic value: “Essentially most musicians enjoy the creativity of the song-writing process, and the satisfaction, adulation and respect that it can bring. However, a song can also provide financial rewards for its creator, and it’s not uncommon for musicians to exist from the royalty cheques of just one successful song.” With this in mind, the session will also lend advice in terms of how musicians should approach the business-side of their song-writing.

MU member and drummer with Embrace, Mike Heaton, acknowledges that bands should address the way in which they collectively write material in order that each member understands what is expected of them, and what their contribution will amount to in terms of co-writing credits and royalties: “The collective song-writing process is an immensely enjoyable part of being in a band, and ideas often really take shape when they’re bounced around a group of like-minded musicians. However, in order for the process to remain so enjoyable, it’s vital that bands agree on the way in which they’re going to approach it. That way, when the deal’s on the table, the only negotiating will be between the band and the other party, and inter-band politics won’t ruin any chances.”

With such an interesting panel of music-makers, the session is likely to offer a very open insight into the creation, role and requirement of the ‘song’ within today’s music industry.

The masterclass will take place at the Hard Day’s Night Hotel on at 13:30 on May 19th, and is free to MU members and Sound City delegates. For further information, contact [email protected]. For information on Sound City, or to buy delegate passes, go to

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