Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Eight New Rules

Yes yes, I know, Sunny Murray. I'll get to that eventually. But really, don't get your hopes up--it's just some dumb liner essay that didn't get used anyway.

Since the last post got such great traction on account of Kill Ugly Radio picking it up, (not that Kill Ugly Radio--that other Kill Ugly Radio) I thought I would follow up.

While thinking of "cover bands" and "official cover bands" and "unofficial cover bands" and "intellectual property" and "artists rights" and "artists integrity" and "artist's lawyers" and "artistic cease and desist letters" and all the rest, the voice in my head that keeps a moralistic running commentary on my every thought and deed appeared in my consciousness and told me the new rules. There are 8 that I can remember. There might be more.

Here are the new rules:

1. If your song has an A - B - A form (or a "bridge" of any kind), it is public domain.

2. If your song has a "head" of any kind, it is public domain.

3. If your song employs major or minor tonality, at any point, it is public domain.

4. If your song employs any scales (especially a blues scale), played as a scale, one note after another, it is public domain.

5. If anything in your song repeats (lyrics, triplets played on the guitar with two hands, chords) it is public domain.

6. If your song has words in a language spoken by more than one person, it is public domain.

7. If your song uses instruments made by someone other than you, or if somewhere in your song there is a guitar, it is public domain.

8. If your song can be played by someone other than you, it is public domain. (Everyone can play The Black Page. Who other than Bill Dixon, Tony Oxley, Klaus Koch and Matthias Bauer can play Open Quiet/The Orange Bell?)

Lastly, the voice in my head that keeps a constant running commentary on all my thoughts and actions wanted to make clear that There shall be no legal or court action taken related to anything musical, as music and law have nothing in common.

+ + +

Did I leave any rules out?

copyright © 2008 Stanley Jason Zappa