View Full Version : I never really thought about it.

11-03-2016, 06:25 AM
I guess that if you don't sing it, it isn't a song.


11-03-2016, 06:52 AM
I guess that if you don't singing it, it isn't a song.


Ok if you are not singing it, it is not a song...........but if you are listening to it is it still a song.

If a man says something in the forest and his wife is not there to hear him is he still wrong. These are all deep questions my dear Rllink :confused:

11-03-2016, 08:18 AM
Ok if you are not singing it, it is not a song...........but if you are listening to it is it still a song.

If a man says something in the forest and his wife is not there to hear him is he still wrong. These are all deep questions my dear Rllink :confused:Yes, this is something very much worth discussing in the greatest detail I think.;) I would suggest that if someone is singing it, it is a song. But what about all those "?????" that you hear on the radio that are just instrumentals? I guess they aren't songs. I don't know why I even started this thread. I do that sometimes, and then I can't go back and delete them like some of my more worthless posts. Well, at least it is something different to talk about.:)

As far as the wife thing, just assume that you are wrong.


Croaky Keith
11-03-2016, 08:58 AM
There are songs, & there are tunes, but some people call noises a song sometimes. :biglaugh:

11-03-2016, 09:38 AM
The Irish trad and old time players managed to convince me years ago that there's a difference between a "tune" and a "song." They seem to care, and I don't, so that's fine. I'll agree with them and we're all happy.

I wouldn't call Alexander Borodin's Polovtsian Dances songs, but i think Stranger in Paradise is a song. To get the spelling of all that correct, I had to find this video which makes me happy because hooray for music students and I always did enjoy Borodin's original better than the adaptations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjhBUZ3vsmE

11-03-2016, 10:14 AM
Sorry that I have nothing meaningful to add to this topic.

It must be a slow day for me, since it seems that for the first time in a long time, this semantic hysteresis has got my attention. I'll bring the popcorn....


11-03-2016, 11:09 AM
There is of course the case of a tune that is traditionally sung, and is hence a song, but that you make an instrumental version off... It is still a song, though in your rendition it is not.

11-03-2016, 12:03 PM
In folk music, traditional song tunes played as instrumentals are often call Airs or Slow Airs. The latter name tells you something about how they are played. :old:

I definitely make a distinction between a tune and a song. A song has words and a melody. You can play the melody on its own on an instrument, then it's a tune. Just to confuse matters, though the melody of a song is often referred to as its tune. :confused:

These days, a lot of people use the words song and tune interchangeably which is a pity, but language changes over time and it's not usually worth fighting it as you never win.

Just enjoy the :music:

11-03-2016, 01:29 PM
Maybe they are "instrumental songs." hehe


11-03-2016, 01:51 PM
Funny you should bring this up now, Rollie. On Monday I wanted to text my guitar teacher about my progress on " A Distant Twang", but I wasn't at home with my music and couldn't remember the exact title (yes, I know, it wasn't that complicated, but I was tired). Calling it a "song" didn't seem right, because there are no words. Calling it a "tune" seemed a bit jaunty, especially since I play it at dirge-like speed (at this point). I settled on "my newest piece". :)

11-03-2016, 02:06 PM
A voice singing is just another musical instrument.

11-03-2016, 02:13 PM
Yes, I had learned that an instrumental composition is referred to as a "piece." A song has lyrics.
SO - where it all goes awry is how about Pink Floyd's "The Great Gig in the Sky" - great vocals, beautifully sung, but no lyrics, no actual words, just vocalizations. And birds - they sing, right?


11-03-2016, 03:25 PM
Maybe they are "instrumental songs."

Exactly! Instrumentals are just songs sung by the ukulele. :)

11-03-2016, 08:23 PM
It seems logical enough to me that it is only a song if it has lyrics.
Nobody would refer to Beethovens 9th symphony as a nice song.

I think the confusion can only have arrived since popular music made it standard for 90% of all tunes played on the radio to have lyrics. Now the word "song" goes for most tunes, and hence it is easy to get confused when faced with a rare exception.

Edit: I stand corrected, it seems that part of beethovens 9th is in fact a song. I am not a connossiour of classical music, just picked that one because I believe to have listened to the non-lyrics part at one point. Anyway, pick whatever symphony, ouverture or whatever without lyrics, and few people would refer to it as a song.

11-03-2016, 10:02 PM
I had to chuckle as Beethoven's 9th is "Ode to Joy" which does have lyrics and is a nice song :)

11-04-2016, 06:50 AM
Mendelssohn composed lots of 'Songs without Words' for solo piano. :)

11-04-2016, 08:50 AM
Excellent example why Wikipedia has to beg for money... lol.