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Bit of a weird one. I'm trying to write a song at the moment and I have the subject sorted but now I want to find out if there is a word for it.

I find myself tending to like melodies and lyrics that I come up with by accident or through coincidence than through actual structured song writing and was wondering if there was a word for this. If so I have a song title and also a bit more background to work with for the lyrics.

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Wow. A huge amount of thanks to everyone here for their suggestions! You've all given me an incredible amount to go with from here on in. I will probably start spending a lot of time on this site from now on. Really appreciate the help! :) – user6896 Apr 5 '11 at 9:58

Are you thinking of serendipitous?

serendipity |ˌserənˈdipitē| noun the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way : a fortunate stroke of serendipity | a series of small

Otherwise, maybe you are thinking of aleatoric composition?

aleatory |ˈālēəˌtôrē; ˈal-| adjective depending on the throw of a die or on chance; random. • relating to or denoting music or other forms of art involving elements of random choice (sometimes using statistical or computer techniques) during their composition, production, or performance.

I suspect you mean the former, but it's not entirely clear to me from your question.

[Source: New Oxford American Dictionary]

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I had thought of serendipitous but it doesn't quite cover what I mean. Aleatory may be closer...I'm looking for something that describes someone who likes art and music more because their creation came about through serendipity/aleatoric nature. Does that make more sense?? – user6896 Apr 4 '11 at 11:18
+1 for serendipitous. I think a "serendipitous artist" would fit the description and clarification. – MrHen Apr 4 '11 at 15:31
I’m sure those citations came from somewhere, but I don’t know where. :( – tchrist Jul 8 '14 at 1:38
@tchrist: Fixed. 'Twas a simpler time when I just quoted without linking sometimes because I couldn't link to the NOAD on my Mac. – Robusto Jul 8 '14 at 2:02

Frankly, for a song title, I think you will be better off looking for an allegory rather than a word that means literally what you describe.

Now I suppose if a person enjoys the ups and downs of being blown by the wind then tumbleweed might fit the bill.

If the person sails the ocean in hope of floating delights then treasure hunter or pirate might work.

If one indiscriminately filters everything through their body looking for edible protein then they might be a whale.

But now this is getting ridiculous, and I hardly think I've helped you.

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Something in your question brought to mind the concept of The Muse. This led me to the concept of the Muse-poet. It may be not quite right, but perhaps you could use something muse-like:

muse: a woman, or a force personified as a woman, who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.


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+1; Muse is a great word for this; you could say, "My art follows the muse." I don't know how to transform muse into an adjective, however. – MrHen Apr 4 '11 at 15:30
Chris didn't ask for an adjective. Or rather, he didn't specify an adjective. A noun works too as long as either way they describe a person. The real problem is that he asked for a word for the artist, not the artist's inspiration. – jhocking Apr 22 '11 at 11:34

"Happy-go-lucky" or "Devil-may-care"

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I would start with this list:

  • chancy
  • organic
  • chaotic
  • random
  • unstructured
  • unrestrained
  • loose
  • untethered

Of these, I think organic is the best.

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Depending on which dictionary you use, 'Dilettante' might fit the bill. Merriam-Webster says:

1: an admirer or lover of the arts
2: a person having a superficial interest in an art or a branch of knowledge : dabbler

Wiktionary is a bit less flattering:

  1. An amateur, someone who dabbles in a field out of casual interest rather than as a profession or serious interest.
  2. A person with a general but superficial interest in any art or a branch of knowledge. (Sometimes derogatory.)

Two options for your question:

a. Serendipitous dilettante

b. A dilettante of serendipity.

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