In the music industry, a single is a type of release a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song, released separately from an album, although it also appears on an album; these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released. Despite being referred to as a single, singles can include up to as many as three tracks; the biggest digital music distributor, iTunes Store, accepts as many as three tracks less than ten minutes each as a single, as does popular music player Spotify. Any more than three tracks on a musical release or thirty minutes in total running time is either an extended play or, if over six tracks long, an album; when mainstream music was purchased via vinyl records, singles would be released double-sided.
That is to say, they were released with an A-side and B-side, on which two singles would be released, one on each side. Moreover, only the most popular songs from a released album would be released as a single. In more contemporary forms of music consumption, artists release most, if not all, of the tracks on an album as singles; the basic specifications of the music single were set in the late 19th century, when the gramophone record began to supersede phonograph cylinders in commercially produced musical recordings. Gramophone discs were manufactured in several sizes. By about 1910, the 10-inch, 78 rpm shellac disc had become the most used format; the inherent technical limitations of the gramophone disc defined the standard format for commercial recordings in the early 20th century. The crude disc-cutting techniques of the time and the thickness of the needles used on record players limited the number of grooves per inch that could be inscribed on the disc surface, a high rotation speed was necessary to achieve acceptable recording and playback fidelity.
78 rpm was chosen as the standard because of the introduction of the electrically powered, synchronous turntable motor in 1925, which ran at 3600 rpm with a 46:1 gear ratio, resulting in a rotation speed of 78.26 rpm. With these factors applied to the 10-inch format and performers tailored their output to fit the new medium; the 3-minute single remained the standard into the 1960s, when the availability of microgroove recording and improved mastering techniques enabled recording artists to increase the duration of their recorded songs. The breakthrough came with Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone". Although CBS tried to make the record more "radio friendly" by cutting the performance into halves, separating them between the two sides of the vinyl disc, both Dylan and his fans demanded that the full six-minute take be placed on one side, that radio stations play the song in its entirety; as digital downloading and audio streaming have become more prevalent, it has become possible for every track on an album to be available separately.
The concept of a single for an album has been retained as an identification of a more promoted or more popular song within an album collection. The demand for music downloads skyrocketed after the launch of Apple's iTunes Store in January 2001 and the creation of portable music and digital audio players such as the iPod. In September 1997, with the release of Duran Duran's "Electric Barbarella" for paid downloads, Capitol Records became the first major label to sell a digital single from a well-known artist. Geffen Records released Aerosmith's "Head First" digitally for free. In 2004, Recording Industry Association of America introduced digital single certification due to significant sales of digital formats, with Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" becoming RIAA's first platinum digital single. In 2013, RIAA incorporated on-demand streams into the digital single certification. Single sales in the United Kingdom reached an all-time low in January 2005, as the popularity of the compact disc was overtaken by the then-unofficial medium of the music download.
Recognizing this, On 17 April 2005, Official UK Singles Chart added the download format to the existing format of physical CD singles. Gnarls Barkley was the first act to reach No.1 on this chart through downloads alone in April 2006, for their debut single "Crazy", released physically the following week. On 1 January 2007 digital downloads became eligible from the point of release, without the need for an accompanying physical. Sales improved in the following years, reaching a record high in 2008 that still proceeded to be overtaken in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Singles have been issued in various formats, including 7-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch vinyl discs. Other, less common, formats include singles on Digital Compact Cassette, DVD, LD, as well as many non-standard sizes of vinyl disc; the most common form of the vinyl single is the 45 or 7-inch. The names are derived from its play speed, 45 rpm, the standard diameter, 7 inches; the 7-inch 45 rpm record was released 31 March 1949 by RCA Victor as a smaller, more durable and higher-fidelity replacement for the 78 rpm shellac discs.
The first 45
A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from musical form and musical style, although in practice these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Academics have argued that categorizing music by genre is inaccurate and outdated. Music can be divided into different genres in many different ways; the artistic nature of music means that these classifications are subjective and controversial, some genres may overlap. There are varying academic definitions of the term genre itself. In his book Form in Tonal Music, Douglass M. Green distinguishes between form, he lists madrigal, canzona and dance as examples of genres from the Renaissance period. To further clarify the meaning of genre, Green writes, "Beethoven's Op. 61 and Mendelssohn's Op. 64 are identical in genre – both are violin concertos – but different in form. However, Mozart's Rondo for Piano, K. 511, the Agnus Dei from his Mass, K. 317 are quite different in genre but happen to be similar in form."
Some, like Peter van der Merwe, treat the terms genre and style as the same, saying that genre should be defined as pieces of music that share a certain style or "basic musical language." Others, such as Allan F. Moore, state that genre and style are two separate terms, that secondary characteristics such as subject matter can differentiate between genres. A music genre or subgenre may be defined by the musical techniques, the style, the cultural context, the content and spirit of the themes. Geographical origin is sometimes used to identify a music genre, though a single geographical category will include a wide variety of subgenres. Timothy Laurie argues that since the early 1980s, "genre has graduated from being a subset of popular music studies to being an ubiquitous framework for constituting and evaluating musical research objects". Among the criteria used to classify musical genres are the trichotomy of art and traditional musics. Alternatively, music can be divided on three variables: arousal and depth.
Arousal reflects the energy level of the music. These three variables help explain why many people like similar songs from different traditionally segregated genres. Musicologists have sometimes classified music according to a trichotomic distinction such as Philip Tagg's "axiomatic triangle consisting of'folk','art' and'popular' musics", he explains that each of these three is distinguishable from the others according to certain criteria. The term art music refers to classical traditions, including both contemporary and historical classical music forms. Art music exists in many parts of the world, it emphasizes formal styles that invite technical and detailed deconstruction and criticism, demand focused attention from the listener. In Western practice, art music is considered a written musical tradition, preserved in some form of music notation rather than being transmitted orally, by rote, or in recordings, as popular and traditional music are. Most western art music has been written down using the standard forms of music notation that evolved in Europe, beginning well before the Renaissance and reaching its maturity in the Romantic period.
The identity of a "work" or "piece" of art music is defined by the notated version rather than by a particular performance, is associated with the composer rather than the performer. This is so in the case of western classical music. Art music may include certain forms of jazz, though some feel that jazz is a form of popular music. Sacred Christian music forms an important part of the classical music tradition and repertoire, but can be considered to have an identity of its own; the term popular music refers to any musical style accessible to the general public and disseminated by the mass media. Musicologist and popular music specialist Philip Tagg defined the notion in the light of sociocultural and economical aspects: Popular music, unlike art music, is conceived for mass distribution to large and socioculturally heterogeneous groups of listeners and distributed in non-written form, only possible in an industrial monetary economy where it becomes a commodity and in capitalist societies, subject to the laws of'free' enterprise... it should ideally sell as much as possible.
Popular music is found on most commercial and public service radio stations, in most commercial music retailers and department stores, in movie and television soundtracks. It is noted on the Billboard charts and, in addition to singer-songwriters and composers, it involves music producers more than other genres do; the distinction between classical and popular music has sometimes been blurred in marginal areas such as minimalist music and light classics. Background music for films/movies draws on both traditions. In this respect, music is like fiction, which draws a distinction between literary fiction and popular fiction, not always precise. Country music known as country and western, hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s; the polka is a Czech dance and genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and particular
Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
Down in the Park
"Down in the Park" is a 1979 song by the English band Tubeway Army, featuring lead vocals by Gary Numan. It was released as the first single from the band's second album Replicas; the song was written and produced by the band's frontman Gary Numan, despite its lack of commercial success, has been performed by Numan in his live shows throughout the years. Like the Replicas album as a whole, "Down in the Park" marked a major shift from Tubeway Army's previous output; the band's early releases, the 1978 singles "That's Too Bad" and "Bombers" plus the self-titled debut album, contained elements of punk, hard rock, heavy metal and new wave but were guitar driven with only occasional use of primitive synthesizer effects. "Down in the Park", on the other hand, was Numan's first composition on keyboards and his first release to feature the predominantly electronic sound that became his trademark. Musically, it pared down still further the guitar power chord and bass root note style arrangements he had used reducing the harmony to bare unisons of layered bass guitar, Fender Rhodes electric piano, Polymoog synthesizer.
The semitone key changes and chromatic melodic riffs between the song's verses are somewhat unusual in the context of traditional Western music theory, although they are less unusual in rock music. Lyrically the song crystallized the dystopian science fiction concept, the basis of the Replicas album. Influenced by such writers as J. G. Ballard and Philip K. Dick, it tells the story of a futuristic park in which Machmen and machines rape and kill human beings to entertain spectators who, along with their numerically-named robotic "friends", view the carnage from a nearby club; the piece was typical of Numan's themes at the time, both fearing technology. In contrast to much contemporary post-punk music, his own earlier releases, Numan's vocals were deliberately underplayed, leaving the slow and stately synthesizer work to evoke the song's melancholy atmosphere. In what would become Numan's normal practice, the B-side was a non-album track, in this case "Do You Need the Service?". The 12" single included the same tracks as the 7" along with "I Nearly Married A Human", a different mix from the version on Replicas this time featuring drum machine throughout and Numan's recitation of the song's title, the only words heard.
"Down in the Park" has been covered by a number of artists, notably Marilyn Manson on the "Lunchbox" and "Sweet Dreams" singles, Foo Fighters on The X-Files Songs in the Key of X soundtrack album, DJ Hell, Christian Death, Girls Under Glass, Jimi Tenor on the Numan tribute album Random. Terre Thaemlitz recorded two instrumental versions of "Down in the Park" on the tribute album Replicas Rubato, one on piano and the other on synthesizer. Other tribute acts to have recorded the song include Bytet and Reload, on the albums Ghost of a White Face Clown and Tubeway Navy respectively. Bytet covered Cars on "Ghost of a White Face Clown" not Down in the Park. On various dates of the 2009 Nine Inch Nails Wave Goodbye Tour, Trent Reznor and his band performed a version featuring Gary Numan on vocals and David Bowie collaborator, Mike Garson, on grand piano. "Down in the Park" has been a mainstay of Numan's concerts since his 1979 tour, appears on all of his live albums. An arrangement with solo piano introduction appeared on the Living Ornaments'80 LP, in the movie Urgh!
A Music War, in the Micromusic video concert from Wembley Arena. A version for piano alone was the flip side of Numan's single "I Die: You Die" in 1980; the original song was remixed twice for the 2003 collection Hybrid, a demo version of the song was included on the soundtrack of the movie Times Square. 7" version: "Down in the Park" - 4:22 "Do You Need the Service?" - 3:3912" version: "Down in the Park" - 4:22 "Do You Need the Service?" - 3:39 "I Nearly Married a Human" - 6:38 Gary Numan - Minimoog synthesizer, Polymoog synthesizer, Fender Rhodes electric piano, production Paul Gardiner - Bass guitar Jess Lidyard - Drums Paul Goodwin. Electric Pioneer: An Armchair Guide to Gary Numan. Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice and augments regular speech by the use of sustained tonality, a variety of vocal techniques. A person who sings is called a vocalist. Singers perform music that can be sung without accompaniment by musical instruments. Singing is done in an ensemble of musicians, such as a choir of singers or a band of instrumentalists. Singers may perform as soloists or accompanied by anything from a single instrument up to a symphony orchestra or big band. Different singing styles include art music such as opera and Chinese opera, Indian music and religious music styles such as gospel, traditional music styles, world music, blues and popular music styles such as pop, electronic dance music and filmi. Singing arranged or improvised, it may be done as a form of religious devotion, as a hobby, as a source of pleasure, comfort or ritual, as part of music education or as a profession. Excellence in singing requires time, dedication and regular practice.
If practice is done on a regular basis the sounds can become more clear and strong. Professional singers build their careers around one specific musical genre, such as classical or rock, although there are singers with crossover success, they take voice training provided by voice teachers or vocal coaches throughout their careers. In its physical aspect, singing has a well-defined technique that depends on the use of the lungs, which act as an air supply or bellows. Though these four mechanisms function independently, they are coordinated in the establishment of a vocal technique and are made to interact upon one another. During passive breathing, air is inhaled with the diaphragm while exhalation occurs without any effort. Exhalation may be aided by lower pelvis/pelvic muscles. Inhalation is aided by use of external intercostals and sternocleidomastoid muscles; the pitch is altered with the vocal cords. With the lips closed, this is called humming; the sound of each individual's singing voice is unique not only because of the actual shape and size of an individual's vocal cords but due to the size and shape of the rest of that person's body.
Humans have vocal folds which can loosen, tighten, or change their thickness, over which breath can be transferred at varying pressures. The shape of the chest and neck, the position of the tongue, the tightness of otherwise unrelated muscles can be altered. Any one of these actions results in a change in pitch, timbre, or tone of the sound produced. Sound resonates within different parts of the body and an individual's size and bone structure can affect the sound produced by an individual. Singers can learn to project sound in certain ways so that it resonates better within their vocal tract; this is known as vocal resonation. Another major influence on vocal sound and production is the function of the larynx which people can manipulate in different ways to produce different sounds; these different kinds of laryngeal function are described as different kinds of vocal registers. The primary method for singers to accomplish this is through the use of the Singer's Formant, it has been shown that a more powerful voice may be achieved with a fatter and fluid-like vocal fold mucosa.
The more pliable the mucosa, the more efficient the transfer of energy from the airflow to the vocal folds. Vocal registration refers to the system of vocal registers within the voice. A register in the voice is a particular series of tones, produced in the same vibratory pattern of the vocal folds, possessing the same quality. Registers originate in laryngeal function, they occur. Each of these vibratory patterns appears within a particular range of pitches and produces certain characteristic sounds; the occurrence of registers has been attributed to effects of the acoustic interaction between the vocal fold oscillation and the vocal tract. The term "register" can be somewhat confusing; the term register can be used to refer to any of the following: A particular part of the vocal range such as the upper, middle, or lower registers. A resonance area such as chest voice or head voice. A phonatory process A certain vocal timbre or vocal "color" A region of the voice, defined or delimited by vocal breaks.
In linguistics, a register language is a language which combines tone and vowel phonation into a single phonological system. Within speech pathology, the term vocal register has three constituent elements: a certain vibratory pattern of the vocal folds, a certain series of pitches, a certain type of sound. Speech pathologists identify four vocal registers based on the physiology of laryngeal function: the vocal fry register, the modal register, the falsetto register, the whistle register; this view is adopted by many vocal pedagogues. Vocal resonation is the process by which the basic product of phonation is en
UK Singles Chart
The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company, on behalf of the British record industry, listing the top-selling singles in the United Kingdom, based upon physical sales, paid-for downloads and streaming. The Official Chart, broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and MTV, is the UK music industry's recognised official measure of singles and albums popularity because it is the most comprehensive research panel of its kind, today surveying over 15,000 retailers and digital services daily, capturing 99.9% of all singles consumed in Britain across the week, over 98% of albums. To be eligible for the chart, a single is defined by the Official Charts Company as either a'single bundle' having no more than four tracks and not lasting longer than 25 minutes or one digital audio track not longer than 15 minutes with a minimum sale price of 40 pence; the rules have changed many times as technology has developed, the most notable being the inclusion of digital downloads in 2005 and streaming in July 2014.
The OCC website contains the Top 100 chart. Some media outlets only list the Top 75 of this list; the chart week runs from 00:01 Friday to midnight Thursday, with most UK physical and digital singles being released on Fridays. From 3 August 1969 until 5 July 2015, the chart week ran from 00:01 Sunday to midnight Saturday; the Top 40 chart is first issued on Friday afternoons by BBC Radio 1 as The Official Chart from 16:00 to 17:45, before the full Official Singles Chart Top 100 is posted on the Official Charts Company's website. A rival chart show, The Vodafone Big Top 40, is based on iTunes downloads and commercial radio airplay across the Global Radio network only, is broadcast on Sunday afternoons from 16:00 to 19:00 on 145 local commercial radio stations across the United Kingdom; the Big Top 40 is not regarded by the industry or wider media. There is a show called "Official KISS Top 40", counting down 40 most played songs on Kiss FM every Sunday 17:00 to 19:00; the UK Singles Chart began to be compiled in 1952.
According to the Official Charts Company's statistics, as of 1 July 2012, 1,200 singles have topped the UK Singles Chart. The precise number of chart-toppers is debatable due to the profusion of competing charts from the 1950s to the 1980s, but the usual list used is that endorsed by the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles and subsequently adopted by the Official Charts Company; the company regards a selected period of the New Musical Express chart and the Record Retailer chart from 1960 to 1969 as predecessors for the period prior to 11 February 1969, where multiples of competing charts coexisted side by side. For example, the BBC compiled its own chart based on an average of the music papers of the time; the first number one on the UK Singles Chart was "Here in My Heart" by Al Martino for the week ending date 14 November 1952. As of the week ending date 18 April 2019, the UK Singles Chart has had 1352 different number-one hits; the current number-one single is "Someone You Loved" by Lewis Capaldi.
Before the compilation of sales of records, the music market measured a song's popularity by sales of sheet music. The idea of compiling a chart based on sales originated in the United States, where the music-trade paper Billboard compiled the first chart incorporating sales figures on 20 July 1940. Record charts in the UK began in 1952, when Percy Dickins of the New Musical Express gathered a pool of 52 stores willing to report sales figures. For the first British chart Dickins telephoned 20 shops, asking for a list of the 10 best-selling songs; these results were aggregated into a Top 12 chart published in NME on 14 November 1952, with Al Martino's "Here in My Heart" awarded the number-one position. The chart became a successful feature of the periodical. Record Mirror compiled its own Top 10 chart for 22 January 1955; the NME chart was based on a telephone poll. Both charts expanded in size, with Mirror's becoming a Top 20 in October 1955 and NME's becoming a Top 30 in April 1956. Another rival publication, Melody Maker, began compiling its own chart.
It was the first chart to include Northern Ireland in its sample. Record Mirror began running a Top 5 album chart in July 1956. In March 1960, Record Retailer had a Top 50 singles chart. Although NME had the largest circulation of charts in the 1960s and was followed, in March 1962 Record Mirror stopped compiling its own chart and published Record Retailer's instead. Retailer began independent auditing in January 1963, has been used by the UK Singles Chart as the source for number-ones since the week ending 12 March 1960; the choice of Record Retailer as the source has been criticised. With available lists of which record shops were sampled to compile the charts some shops were subjected to "hyping" but, with Record Retailer being less followed than some charts, it was subject to less hyping. Additionally, Retailer was set up by independent record shops and had no funding or affiliation with record companies. However, it had a smaller sample size than some ri
Stephin Raymond Merritt is an American singer-lyricist, best known as the songwriter and principal singer of the bands The Magnetic Fields, The Gothic Archies, Future Bible Heroes. He is known for his untrained bass voice. Merritt created and plays principal roles in the bands The Magnetic Fields, The 6ths, The Gothic Archies and Future Bible Heroes, he used the name The Baudelaire Memorial Orchestra as an attribution for a song written for Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, entitled "Scream and Run Away". Further music was recorded for the audiobook versions of the series and is attributed to The Gothic Archies; the Tragic Treasury was released by Nonesuch Records in October 2006 along with the 13th and final book of the series. Under his own name, he recorded and released the soundtracks to the films Eban and Charley and Pieces of April; the soundtrack to the Nickelodeon show The Adventures of Pete featured many of his songs. He and director Chen Shi-Zheng have collaborated on three pieces of musical theatre.
Selected tracks from these works have been released on Nonesuch Records under the title Showtunes. Additionally, he is one-third of the infrequent, live-only ensemble the Three Terrors, whose other principal members include 69 Love Songs's Dudley Klute and LD Beghtol. Past themes of these performances have included French pop music, movie themes and New York City. Kenny Mellman, James Jacobs, Daniel Handler, Jon DeRosa and others have performed with The Three Terrors at these sporadic gala events. Merritt wrote and sang "I'm in a Lonely Way" in a television commercial for Volvo that aired in the summer and fall of 2007, he performed "The Wheels on the Car". Merritt penned the music and lyrics for a 2009 Off-Broadway stage musical adaptation of Coraline, a novel by Neil Gaiman. In the MCC Theater production, his music will be performed by a piano "orchestra" – complete with a traditional piano, a toy piano and a prepared piano, he produced a score for the silent film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, performed at the Castro Theatre, San Francisco on May 4, 2010 as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Growing up, Merritt used different spellings of his name for different purposes. "Stephin" was one such pseudonym that he used to sort his junk mail, that became the spelling he used as a musician. Prior to 2013, Merritt had never met his biological father, folk singer Scott Fagan, who had a brief affair with Merritt's mother, Alix Merritt; the three met at a screening of the film AKA Doc Pomus in 2013. Merritt's relationship with his father is described in the song "'99 Fathers in the Clouds", on the Magnetic Fields album 50 Song Memoir. Merritt attended Massachusetts high school The Cambridge School of Weston and attended NYU before moving back to Boston, he has worked as an editor for Time Out New York. Merritt is known for having a dry personality, embracing a persona and life, different from the traditional rock star image. In September 2005, an interviewer quoted an anonymous reviewer to Bob Mould that Mould was "the most depressed man in rock." Mould's response was "He's never met Stephin Merritt, obviously."Merritt suffers from a hearing condition known as hyperacusis, which he refers to in the songs "'79: Rock n' Roll Will Ruin Your Life" and "'92: Weird Diseases" on the Magnetic Fields album 50 Song Memoir.
Any sound heard louder than normal begins to "feedback" in his left ear at louder volumes. This has influenced the reserved live setup of The Magnetic Fields, which consists of acoustic instruments and little to no percussion. Merritt wears earplugs during performances, covers his left ear when the audience applauds. Merritt is the subject of a documentary, Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields, which premiered in March 2010. Merritt is an atheist, wears only brown clothing, is gay and a vegan, saying, "I ain't eat an animal since 1983." Eban and Charley Pieces of April Showtunes Obscurities The House of Tomorrow – The official site of Stephin Merritt, The Magnetic Fields, Future Bible Heroes, The 6ths, The Gothic Archies Stephin Merritt biography Aging Spinsters: A Stephin Merritt Fan-Blog The Distant Plastic Treehouse - "a hangout for Stephin Merritt fans" Stephin Songs – The music and lyrics of Stephin Merritt