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Posted by Madhan karky

Not just because i hate to stand behind a long queue of 'lyric writers' in Tamil films, have I invented this term! This may be something totally new that I am doing. At least first time in Tamil :-)

Before discussing anything about the topic, some confessions.
I am not a very 'Tamil' person.
I am not a big reader.
Thanglish was my medium of Instruction throughout my school.
So my English is not that great too.
I am not a poet.

Whenever some one asks me for a poem for a magazine, i tell them this. 'I am not a poet'.
The instant question they ask is 'how do you write lyrics?'
I find it extremely difficult to explain it to them that you need not be a poet to write lyrics.

When i met Naa. Muthukumar, Lyricist, sometime back he congratulated me for writing lyrics and asked me how many poetry collections have I published?. I said none. At that time, I did not know that publishing poems was the key criteria for the post of a lyric writer. After this serious disqualification, I found sometime in a cafe alone to sit and think what makes me different from these lyric writers? The answers i found are very much what follows:

I have developed a system. A system comprising of me and a few software. A system that can engineer lyrics.
I call this system 'karky'.

A tune, a situation and optional visuals are usually inputs to this system.
Every input is thus a problem/puzzle that this system attempts to solve.
the output of the system is a set of lyrics that match the tune, suit the situation and visuals.

This is very much an optimization problem.
Problem Definition:
For a given Tune, find suitable words that exactly match the template provided by the tune, such that the following conditions are satisfied :
1. The words form meaningful sentences that suits the situation provided.
2. The phonemes in the words to suit the mood of the tune and situation.
3. Maximize edhugai monai and iyaibu properties of lyrics without compromising conditions 1 & 2.
4. Find words and phrases that are simple, not been used before and semantically related to each other."

It may sound weird to 'mathematically model' a process such as lyric writing. I see this as a structured process.

Apart from me, I also mentioned about a few software in the 'karky' system.
I have developed these small software(in Java) for supporting various activities in this lyric writing process.
Software that cluster meter matched words (மாத்திரை அளவுகள்)
Software that clusters words based on multiple rhyme parameters (எதுகை மோனை இயைபு).
Software that breaks down a tune to appropriate templates (தனனன தனனன தனனன தானா).
and a few more...

This is a very small start.To develop a WordNet exclusively for lyric engineering will be a great addition to this system.Meaning analysis of lyrics will be extremely challenging to be automated.Dreaming to build a Fully Automated Lyric Generating System by slowly removing myself from it.

Until then, I like to be called a 'Lyric Engineer' and my process 'Lyric Engineering'.

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