#1
I just discovered an underground band from my area that recently released an EP on indie record label. On that EP, I found something peculiar about the songwriting credits.

All the music is credited to the entire band, while all the lyrics AND all the melodies are credited to the band’s lead singer.

I thought that the creation of melodies (as well as harmonies, rhythms, riffs, and chord progressions) are part of the entirety of musical composition. And I thought that a band lyricist just generated the words.

How can a band have its lyricist credit himself with all the melodies?

How can a band’s lead singer come up with BOTH the lyrics and the melodies at the same time?

Isn’t musical composition considered a complete package consisting of melodies, harmonies, rhythms, riffs, and chord progressions?

If an entire band is credited with the musical composition, shouldn’t the whole band come up with all the melodies as well during the songwriting process?

Any professional songwriters here care to give some input?
#2
Songwriting can be a multi-person process, where band members discuss what direction the song is going.

Guitarist: Hey man, check out this song I wrote. Only problem is I don't know what to sing over it
Bassist: Sounds good, how about this for a bassline to go with it?
Singer: What about something like this for the chorus, "ohohohohohoh"
Lead guitarist: How about you add this middle 8 to transition smoothly?
Drummer: ... cool song guys
#3
Lots of singers develop lyrics and melody, record a quick demo, and the rest of the band fleshes it out. If he got credit for the melody he probably came up with it. Songwriting happens a lot of different ways and there are no firm and fixed rules.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Jul 6, 2014,
#4
My opinion, as a singer you should be able to come up with both lyrics and melodies as they are reliant on each other. But tbh the more time passes the more I realize singers are the real non musicians of the band.
#5
Legally speaking a "song" is defined as words to a melody. The rest is "accompaniment." So if the singer wrote the lyrics and vocal melody, thats the song and thats likely what "melodies" refers to. I myself write the lyrics, vocal melodies, chord progressions, rhythm guitar work, some leads, sometimes bass, and arrange the music in my band. But anyone can do anything there are no rules.
#6
Hmmm. I tend to come up with the guitar arrangement and vocal melody and then have my mate write some lyrics to that vocal melody. Songs come in various ways though!