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Topic: Names for Musical Works

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  1. #1
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Names for Musical Works

    A short time ago, I invented a name for a piece. I wanted it to sound vaguely African or at least foreign to English speakers ears. I was too successful. I just discovered that Wasada is the name of a place in Nigeria. It is also the name of a prestigious university in Japan.

    For another piece, I invented the term Quirkle, which, as I discovered tonight, is the name of an expensive toy.

    The point? Maybe none. But it sure is difficult to be original!

    Richard

  2. #2

    Re: Names for Musical Works

    I've come up with a very useful method for naming my pieces. I'm currently working on Symphony no. 1 in C major on the 4th movement--Molto Allegro. I'm also working on II in my group of organ pieces entitled "Offertories for Organ." Just last night I wrote a piano piece called, well, that particular piece needs a good name. I'm considering, "Cries of the Broken Heart" or something like that. It's a really sad piece, very tragic.

    -Chris

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tom Crowning's Avatar
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    Re: Names for Musical Works

    Quote Originally Posted by rwayland
    A short time ago, I invented a name for a piece. I wanted it to sound vaguely African or at least foreign to English speakers ears. I was too successful. I just discovered that Wasada is the name of a place in Nigeria. It is also the name of a prestigious university in Japan.

    For another piece, I invented the term Quirkle, which, as I discovered tonight, is the name of an expensive toy.

    The point? Maybe none. But it sure is difficult to be original!

    Richard
    I wrote a couple of songs for a friend who is in the 'New Wave' genre
    and thought it'd be funny to call a New Wave band 'Waveless'.

    A quick google for 'Waveless' returned about one zillion hits for
    waveless waterbeds

  4. #4
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: Names for Musical Works

    Years ago, the Chevrolet company had a car called the Nova. All well and good until they marketed it in Latin America, where "No va" means "doesn't go" - or more to the point, "doesn't work". This was, to say the least, a disaster (although it may have been accurate...). So, shortly therafter, when Esso and another oil company whose name I can't remember mergered, they wanted a name that had NO meaning in any language. They used a computer generated list of two syllable "words" and chose the one they liked the best. And that, my friends, is how Exxon was born. I guess if one is going to be multi-national (and aren't we all, even on this forum board?), one has to watch not to inadvertantly offend.

    Maybe we should all just stick to opus xx?

    R. Pearl

  5. #5

    Re: Names for Musical Works

    For years I've wanted to call a piece Liquid Geometry. It's a cool title, but I have no ideas for the actual piece.
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Names for Musical Works

    Maybe your focus is too much on positives?
    Styxx

  7. #7
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    Re: Names for Musical Works

    Sometimes you know things you didn’t know you knew, no? I once made up a word to title a piece only to find out later that it was a real word and that I used it pretty much correctly. I didn’t think I knew the word but I obviously did. The word was, by the way, “Blather”, which is exactly what I thought of the piece – it chattered away pleasantly but totally meaninglessly. Since then, if I make up a word I try to look it up – it would be very embarrassing to misuse a word, for instance if I thought my piece “Blather” was the most meaningful piece of music ever written . I guess I could then say I was using irony, but I think most would take the title literally.
    Trent P. McDonald

  8. #8

    Re: Names for Musical Works

    Here... I'll try making up a name right now... Rufflebatingrah... ooh, it's not taken! No hits on Google!

    Actually, while trying to think of a name for a domain name, all the cool things I could think of were taken, even DragonSpit.com ... so my mother finally came up with WizardWalk.com which works ... but ... what is a Wizard Walk?
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  9. #9

    Re: Names for Musical Works

    Yes, I too find it hard in giving pieces original titles. I think in certain languages it is harder than others. For example, I find that in my native Dutch, anything sounds rather silly even the most profound words, especially for non-speakers. I have since started to give my pieces titles in French which is my second language. They sound good in French and sound pretty cool to most non-speakers too. I do still find it hard to find good and original English titles, simply because English is still the most difficult and confusing language of all!
    Kind Regards

    Louis Dekker
    My Music Site

    Pour être grand, il faut avoir été petit.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Names for Musical Works

    Instead of trying to make up words why not use words that are hardly used or just down out right weird like, Canker. I mean, a Canker sore? Who thought up this word Canker? Which by the way means evil , scourge, cancer, corruption, etc. And how about names like Barbara Billingsly? I mean, what's a Billingsly anyway and who the **** would keep a name like, Hugh Bowmount, or Jerry Mathers? And, and, and, that word, Masticate, which if you say to the wrong person, well.
    So, ya see (can you under that fedora ?) what’s in a name anyway? A Rose is a Rose even if their twins and neither one of them are redheads.
    Styxx

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