I. What is a Thought?

Each piece on MeaningInMusic is called a 'Thought'. A Thought is an original non-lyrical musical composition, around 20 seconds long, which the composer believes represents or expresses some single definite thing or concept. For example, one might write music that sounds to them like 'forest', 'jealousy', or 'destruction'.

II. Acceptable submissions

1. Thoughts are Abstract

The point of MeaningInMusic is to try and represent concepts with pure music, without any explicit extramusical meaning. For this reason, sung or spoken lyrics in any language are not permitted. Humming, oohs and ahs, and singing scat or nonsense are acceptable. Please also refrain from obviously representing an object with the sound it makes. The sound of boiling water is not acceptable in a piece representing coffee; the sound of wind is not acceptable in a piece representing any weather phenomenon. In order to ensure that the relation between the Thought and the represented object is purely musical, it is best to refrain from using samples of easily identified non-instruments unless their inclusion is clearly warranted by the piece. Otherwise, any and all sounds, instruments, and styles of music are welcome.

2. Thoughts are Original

Thoughts should be originally composed by the submitter, who should own all rights to the piece in question. Recognizable samples or overt quotes of existing music are not permitted.

3. Thoughts are 20-second MP3s

Thoughts should be as close as possible to 20 seconds long, not missing this mark by more than a second or two. For the purposes of convenience and saving space and bandwidth, at this time we also request all files to be submitted in MP3 format. We do not specify a bitrate. We hope our users do not find this format too low in quality and invite users to offer links to higher-quality versions of their work in their profile pages. Finally, to prevent flooding attacks, we limit users to uploading 6 Thoughts each day.

III. Suggestions

1. Specifying a concept

Concepts should be nouns, or short phrases where no suitable single noun exists (e.g. 'meteor shower'). We suggest but do not insist that proper nouns be avoided. When selecting a concept for your Thought, see if there are already Thoughts on the site sharing that concept or a very similar concept. MeaningInMusic gladly welcomes multiple submissions per concept, and we ask that users try to ensure that identical or nearly identical concepts remain grouped together. Avoid spelling errors and do not use articles ('a', 'the'). In general, use the singular, not the plural. If warranted, we may change how you've written the concept to match existing pieces.

2. Choosing a category

There is no rigid distinction between the various categories we have offered to organize Thoughts, so choose whatever you believe most appropriate. We may recategorize your piece.

IV. Rights

Any music you submit remains your exclusive intellectual property. By uploading your music to MeaningInMusic, you give permission for all visitors to the site to listen to your music at any time; otherwise, MeaningInMusic holds no ownership of your music. MeaningInMusic is not responsible for copyright infringement or other misuse of your music committed by third parties making use of the site. We will oblige any request that your Thought be removed from the site at any time for any reason. MeaningInMusic reserves the right to delete any Thought from the site at any time, though we certainly hope we won't have to.