Did you know that our Data Team starts researching Christmas sheet music in July? Our Data team (pictured here with some geeky robots ordered from the fine folk over at Think Geek) researches a song’s origin, arrangement, history, lyrics, style and copyright holder well before the song can be turned into a sheet music download. As you can imagine, the older a song gets, the harder it is to research — especially if there are different versions of lyrics in other languages.
You might understand why they have to research all the information they can about the song, but do you know why they need to track down the copyright holder? Not only does their research into copyright protect the rights for the song, but it also helps support the songwriter so they can continue doing the work they love. Believe it or not, many songwriters write music full-time for their “day job,” creating wonderful songs performed by pop artists the world over. You may recognize singer-songwriters like Ingrid Michaelson or Ben Folds, but many pop artists don’t write their own music. That’s where the songwriter comes in.
We asked the Data Team if they have learned anything new since they first started with Musicnotes.com. Touching over thousands of songs per week, one of them mentioned how they never knew Diane Warren had written so many songs. On Musicnotes.com, there are over two-hundred and fifty songs written by this contemporary songwriter and performed by Aerosmith, Trisha Yearwood, Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion and dozens of other well-known bands and performers. Another team member said that once they knew songwriters were writing songs day in and day out, they had a better appreciation of what a songwriter does and why copyright is so important. The example that was given was this, “If you walked into a McDonald’s to take a hamburger, people would tell you that’s wrong. So why would you take a song?”
To show our appreciation to our Data Team for all the work that they do, we gave them these battle-ready pencil sharpener robots, some pencils, and a bit of “chocolate” energy to get them through the day. (Yes, the robots are that cute and they really do work!)
After a few battles with their new robots, the Data Team got serious and mentioned how songwriting has evolved when they said, “Songs have survived longer than their initial performance.” For example, you might have known that classical music may be hundreds of years old, but did you know that many songs considered to be “old standards” evolved from popular-yet-timeless Broadway tunes? Some songs have been around for over fifty or one hundred years, from as far back as the early days of Vaudeville!
Not only does our Data Team research songs all day, they also put themselves into your shoes by taking a step back to see how you would think of a song. From the correct song title to the latest version of a song sung by your favorite artists, our Data Team does it all to make sure that they have the correct information for the song, the songwriter and you.