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MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help

Author Topic: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help  (Read 28671 times)

Offline Voodoo

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #45 on: September 06, 2015, 09:16:49 PM »
What good would e=mc2 have been to a 7 year old Einstein? What good would these formulas be to any of us without everything else that goes with it?

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Offline Voodoo

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #46 on: September 06, 2015, 09:21:24 PM »
I'm not saying this math stuff is bogus, because I believe in it and want to know more. I'm just saying that the part that impresses me most about Max is his work ethic, and I happen to think that that is the real formula.

This too. Spot on man. It's the key to everything.

Offline soundoffhear

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #47 on: September 07, 2015, 04:36:30 AM »
Thank you soundoffhear for this really interesting commentary. How does one use the information you are saying in practice? For example, in my writing I often come up with melodic fragments based on a chord progression which I will play in my head until I am graced with the next part. Oftentimes this does not happen so the piece is added to the pile of other fragments. Is there a more organized way to expand on these initial melodic parts?

Arnthor Birgisson, who worked with Max Martin:
"Recycle parts of the verse, or parts of the song in the chorus. So that when the chorus comes you already heard the chorus, but it is in the beginning of the verse. That is actually Dennis Pop's formula that Max Martin took, and we all went like "you need to minimize the information for the listener". But that's the mathematical way."

"We did that a lot in Sweden especially 10 years ago. We listened to a lot of old songs and then you go "oh, that's a great little hook" and then you tweak the melody. We definitely do that. Reference and change it enough. It's a way of getting inspired."


Take the fragments that you have written and splice them together. This is where you can use the tried and true intervals from your favorite parts of songs you like to help bridge those parts.

Manufacture a two or three interval run based off of a part of a song you like elsewhere. Put that two or three interval run between two melodic pieces that you have written. Then tweak the intervals until they sound like they unify the different melodic fragments that you are working with.

It is like a band-aid of sorts. Putting a puzzle together until the pieces fit. A good example of a song from McCartney is "Little Lamb Dragonfly". Those were two separate melodic ideas that he found a way to bridge together.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 05:21:51 AM by soundoffhear »

Offline soundoffhear

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #48 on: September 07, 2015, 05:16:26 AM »
I'm not saying this math stuff is bogus, because I believe in it and want to know more. I'm just saying that the part that impresses me most about Max is his work ethic, and I happen to think that that is the real formula.

Andres Carlsson speaking about Max's songwriting approach:

"There is a knack to writing a pop song, but it is mostly a state of mind. The only reason you see someone who had a lot of hits fall off the wagon is because they can't do it anymore. A hit song doesn't give you any sort of advance. You are always running there with the new kids that are hungry, that are eager to do this. That's why I really applaud Max, that has been hear for more than 20 years now writing stuff. Writing a hit song is about a formula, but it's about work skills; desire, passion and dedication most of all."
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 05:19:44 AM by soundoffhear »

Offline j.fco.morales

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #49 on: September 07, 2015, 06:16:55 AM »
Arnthor wrote with Max? I had no idea about that.

Thank you for sharing the info guys, this makes the forum worth it.

Offline NeutronSynergy

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #50 on: September 10, 2015, 11:39:09 PM »
Don’t want to rush here or anything (by all means let the wisdom grow)
but what ever people are precisely referring in - with the definition ‘melody math’ ,
it can be said from what an interview of Sandberg directly quotes he uses
analysis of music , that’s really all + perhaps an adaptation of functional harmony and some common tools used over hundred years, like serialism, atonalism,non-harmonic notes etc.

Sandberg might be an analyst of music in classical sense.
But before writing a sentence about melody math it might help to actually know what it is..

That there either isn’t any or that - such term is used by one to describe their working methods and combination of writing
tools and skills they use.

So it must be let to be under subjective automation how much of this topic can be considered as a
joke , IF so then indeed it must be really the truly lucky one’s who have access to it.
(subjective automation is your brains. )

for those who are seriously proposing that -Cheiron song writers- have expanded western music theory? Some evidences might be interesting..
And you don’t have to donate body parts for hits.

there is one secret sausage what Cheiron song writers had - and its the way they composed breaking intuitively
different musical patters thru the studio equipment used,  for example the creative use of the Roland JV1080 is really one you cannot dismiss..

if there is expansion it is with the studio hardware and how they did affect to the experience of creation as well how music , melodies, different theory fundamentals could be threaten .  Beatles/Abba/Pink Floyd/ all have this landmark aspect to developed the possibilities of what you can do with sound in studio.. Notice how M A S S I V E the sounds are even on a demo’s , that’s probably one part why the name Max.

How ever .- Sandberg using similar elements and just copying same song over and over within the boundaries of functional harmony.
is a common practice - in sequencer it’s called “copy/paste”
making speculations around tonic-supertonic-mediant-Subdominant-dominant-submediant-Leading tone, with different intervals doesn’t really qualify and for what?  - everybody does it.

But what Sandberg and his advocates are actually doing - may be revealed a bit, so read on..

so to make the secret more interesting (because there isn’t any)  , and the possibility for all to gain access there - let’s create one!
Just because the fun and certain interest to information theory. I decided to try to simulate process where “melody math” would be really created on an
hypothetic manner !! and then imaginatively expand it , as a fruit of this we had to include the aspect of creative process too.

the starting point here is Sandberg’s song “pretend I’m a God” ,(Band: It’s Alive) we use the same approach to this writing as he proposed in one of his most controversial works..actually just to see : is it really the western tradition of music limiting or creative process itself, when it comes just making great new songs and striking melodies. this was a huge topic when atonalism was created, and we can definitely observe the stage of the current classic music which is rather surreal.

What I know before anything this happens,(an introduction to entropy) is that nothing will beat improvisation, it’s brains own way of “seeking the tonic” ,
that Pythagoreans describes as “the center of the universe”.
This essay inspired by this subject took me 30 min  writing in + 1 hour editing. remember that it’s a hypothetic proposal of simulated possibility , the name have abbreviations and contain bold
references as examples.

alis grave nil

Offline NeutronSynergy

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #51 on: September 10, 2015, 11:49:29 PM »
Melody math - the spectacular! spectacular! adaptive melody generator

I

The schenkerian    analysis reveals that:

“The intervals between the notes of the tonic triad form a tonal space that is filled with passing and neighbour notes, producing new triads and new tonal spaces, open for further elaborations until the surface of the work (the score) is reached.” 

secondly it’s touches the topics and methods of serial composition and set theory or musical
semiotics. to elaborate:

Quote
Transformational theory is a branch of music theory developed by David Lewin in the 1980s, and formally introduced in his 1987 work, Generalized Musical Intervals and Transformations. The The goal of transformational theory is to change the focus from musical objects—such as the "C major chord" or "G major chord"—to relations between objects. Thus, instead of saying that a C major chord is followed by G major, a transformational theorist might say that the first chord has been "transformed" into the second by the "Dominant operation.
   
Analysis of theory:   
Quote
“it’s an systematic method for finding objective correlates to elements of musical structure.”

Thirdly this can be extended to include the systematisation of the creative process itself.
today it’s the creative process that is also being explored  entropy is the common factor again, and this bridges 
into subject what is called ‘lateral thinking’ . out of the box thinking, breaking the pattern , creative paths , etc..

Quote
According to de Bono, lateral thinking deliberately distances itself from standard perceptions of creativity as either "vertical" logic (the classic method for problem solving: working out
the solution step-by-step from the given data) or "horizontal" imagination (having many ideas but being unconcerned with the detailed implementation of them).

a major source of information about based on lateral thinking is  Oblique strategies written by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt
 ,to help break creative blocks. gives yet another set of tools of creating music.

II

actually in the first place I would how ever add that this subject fuses with Entropy on an isolated system such as music theory
- the physics come first in mind - this is what Neutron - Synergy (loosely) would lead to,
into entropy as an grand definition about so called ‘melodic math’ - this could be how ever  - melody math

Quote


Quote:

“The entropy of a sequence is measured with respect to a “model” of possible continuations.
The mode predicts upcoming events by assigning probabilities to the set of all possible next events.”


it can be said that

Quote
"Teaching thermal physics
is as easy as a song:
You think you make it simpler
when you make it slightly wrong."-

Entropy is a measure of disorder or unpredictability.

This way of comprehending the abstract of it - can help  when defining things purely on the mixing and sound field of things..
which is the box of jewels on modern pop ,  a territory constantly expanding. (check out articles about “gain wars”) you eventually have to deal with the subject of mass and the dynamic head room.
and Sandberg’s ‘sound policy’ is massive. 

III

There are some producers/Engineers - that compose music with sound, if not precisely so , the sound how ever becomes first and the next step is to observe while anticipate the desired effect - ( which entropy makes / produces)

VCA - faders applies entropy and fuzziness.
to mention fuzziness . fuzzy logics beginning from the late 80’s have created new set of adaptive tools that may also be a starting point to comprehend
the creative  process, this is specially healthy when you want to find your own way of materialising ideas - again out of the box.
adaptive equalisers reveals the common logic with adaptive mixing.

Speaking about fuzzy logics, there can be seen distant similarity with classic ‘black and white’ science theories as with the fact
that repeating music and playing music are two worlds in western music..

and then comes the subject of creating it: dot’s in a paper and on an recorded medium under the rules of electricity , bits and zeros.
Entropy together with lateral thinking or fuzzy logics towards composition
- can bring you a new alteration of an aspect of the analysis specially when dealing with massive sounds on the studio with the tech and the tools available- not just the composition ,
though entropy is present anyway.

Even further on -  all of these methods on abstract level can be  applied into the actual production cycle - a format producing.
to summ it up: With these tools you are actually altering and manipulating : The pythagorean driven theory of music theory

IV
speculation and extension 

The more mathematical approach to music lacks a common axiomatic foundation. So that might be a bit of an obstacle,
but not if you create it on a computer with Floating point instructions.

lt’s thought the pythagoreans of ancient Greece know to have investigated musical scales in terms of numerical ratios.
Aristoxenus said that music was used to purify the soul just like medicine was used to purge the body

Now to comprehend these methods as tools of creation not a forest to get lost -  it’s important to add that the inside the box thinking is the opposite of the “melody math” approach, we just created
So there are number of paths of creating with analysis on mind

It’s anyway always interesting if you lack all the necessary skills to do great - interesting music 
without any theory perspective.

It can be said that music in general includes the tool of hypothetical speculation ,
there is a mathematical value for each and every note.
intuition can play a big role when finding new melodies over common ones.

Ultimately it’s all however ITB- thinking. if you want to fit it into an isolated system such as music theory.
that box can be really a cage - if you lack the capabilities of just “painting” music..and that is exactly
that modern music tools encourages.

to even expand this horizon further:
Thirdly fuzzy logics on the late 80’s have created new set of adaptive tools to comprehend the creative
process, this is specially healthy when you want to find your own way of materialising things.

there can be seen distant similarity with classic ‘black and white’ science theories as with the fact
that repeating music and playing music are two worlds in western music and
then comes the subject of creating it  - you have a dot’s in a paper and sound thru microphone
on an recorded medium under the rules of electricity and bits and zeros.

V

Sound is a however free as a bird on a wind , and what makes things interesting is personal perception.- since it’s the brain system that ultimately bears the keys to the music,
few billions brain cells on each and every person is the barrier breaker.

on ancient times the references were bounded by the tools and knowledge of superstition and religious views.
I prefer how-ever improvising, it’s brains own system to brake the barrier (so to speak) automatically.
I guess early delta-blues fellows had that in their veins with the progression of guitar into e-guitar. 

This is the modern approach to it. musician like Tom Waits have given their own meaning and also extended the exploration of the creative process,
which is exciting because there are completely new variations and flavours to be found found when creating new stripes with a box of used matches - like  blues or folk could be described.

The mythic and and spiritual definition’s are as well are alive together with modern spectrum of these things.
Beatles was eventually all about spiritual and mythical exploration.

In a way the analysis of music tries to achieve the same thing and entropy is automatically present - whether you reckon or not
it’s good to be able to separate purely technical healthy musical aspect from something that is derived from the so called old ways and mythology/tradition

Which can have a tendency of being ultimately blocking than leading into open and creative territories, if you know what melody math is (The real
version and variations of it could be built around probability math) ..it might help. to actually see why it's been considered by to be the other way around.

The reason mentioned is that there are different path's that may lead into even completely fresh and new type of aspect to create material
and some succesfull musician's of the rock and pop-era might even have had very weak knowledge of what is melody m..err what is based of Pythagorean system of defining music  - but extremely strong music-bound ambition, so strong that it have resulted a creation of new and still "copyrighted" - ways to create their own music, the term  talent come's up. there are many paths to make music , Sting for example is known to
have a metaphor towards "journey of music" by comparing it to his garden Labyrinth. Many giant's of record sales like Abba or Pink floyd naturally had some influence on to  the way music is composed as well shaped the creation experience too strongly with the use of studio tools -  while utilising different way's of comprehending music . There is definitely two worlds between the music made by the person in it's subjectivism while there is
a world of make music strictly with guidelines without even actually knowing music.. which is very controversial.
Because many professionals tend to make music at first place not knowing the certain system of imprisoning ideas and different values.
Sandberg's music is full on intuitive elements..
..this all comes down to musician's abilities: Talent and professionally are at the same time the most under and over rated values in the world.
ie. If Mozart saw music as set of tools that could be used to push out his vision and melodies on his mind,he also had the possibility
to try to create music movements- thru the writing tools generating certain movements within the means of music theory.
not hearing or imagining a single sound..if he could now read Oblique strategies he could add a surprise - element . a hook so to speak
just by choosing a random method to proceed.
if this would be true -  in totally bizzare way - with bigfishaudio.com you too can compose like mozart!

The Yes - album “Going for the one” vs all the previous work of the band is a fine example , a dramatic shift on working with music. ie. making a total pop album.

So there are number of paths of creating with analysis on mind
It’s anyway always interesting if you lack all the necessary skills to do great - interesting music without any theory perspective.

There can be actually found similarities with the song “I pretend I’m a God” and the verse generated by this text “there is no melody math so I create one!”. you see you can create your own song by “using” ,  intervals of an popular song. you dig.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 03:42:00 PM by NeutronSynergy »
alis grave nil

Offline soundoffhear

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #52 on: September 12, 2015, 10:04:31 AM »
NeutronSynergy has some decent points. I'll summarize for the faint of attention:

1) Creative thinking around using studio equipment, mixed with improvisation will inevitably lead to interesting melodic ideas that will jump out to be developed (why Max always has a recorder running during writing sessions with Taylor Swift)
2) Lateral thinking strategies being applied to those melodic ideas will allow you to organize them in unique unconventional ways that will beat any straightjacket-type music theory approach
3)Following your instincts is what songwriting is about ultimately and most western pop/rock songwriters would do best to answer the question "How do you write your great songs?" with "I start playing around on an instrument and follow my instincts as I go and eventually a song comes to life"
4)Using melodic intervals that tickle your fancy from other pop songs will help you flesh out your rough ideas, or inspire you in new directions

Offline lukeskywalker

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #53 on: September 14, 2015, 01:01:52 PM »
I totally agree with this quote from SweetMelody:

"Because what he's doing now isn't magic, or luck. I'm just saying that the part that impresses me most about Max is his work ethic, and I happen to think that that is the real formula."

My question to the community is about the Business side of Max's "Formula" and the countless other's hard work involved. Basically, how much the team he has amassed around himself contributes to his (their) songs becoming hits. So without infusing so much of my own prejudice, I'll leave it up to the community to discuss the influence of:

This list is not exhaustive so please add where people are missing!!

Business side...
Tom Talloma
Martin Dodd

Almost all lyrics since Cheiron days...
Savan
Bonnie

Cheiron Days Lyrics..
Andreas..

Co-Producers...
Rami
Luke
Shellback
Ali
Ilya

Recent mixing...
Serban

About the 10-20 other mostly young swedish producers he brought on to work with him in the old marilyn monroe house he bought recently in LA.. (on Doheny)..


Would Max be Max without these people? How much are they part of his formula?

PS.. Please no TROLLS or HATERS on this inquiry, let's just be cool and discuss like civilized MM fans, word?













« Last Edit: September 14, 2015, 01:03:24 PM by lukeskywalker »

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #54 on: September 14, 2015, 07:41:33 PM »
Welcome, Luke.

Don't forget to add Michael Ilbert to the list.

Also, Max has been working with Serban since the early 2000's. These two guys are as key to Max's success as anyone, at least from the technical side.

Offline keyman19

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #55 on: February 14, 2017, 05:28:32 PM »
All of you guys are so wrong about what melodic math is, at least the ones I've read. You make up your own stuff. That is typical of today's kids.

This is what melodic math is according to the author of The Song Machine:

Swedish writers are not partial to wit, metaphor, or double entendre, songwriting staples from Tin Pan Alley through the Brill Building era. They are more inclined to fit the syllables to the sounds—a working method that Martin calls [“melodic math”—and not worry too much about whether the resulting lines make sense. (The verses in “I Want It That Way,” for example, completely contradict the meaning of the chorus lines.)

The first time this became really apparent to me was the song "Heart Attack" by Demi Moore. So many non-sensical lines!

Offline j.fco.morales

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #56 on: April 12, 2017, 05:42:44 PM »

Offline bugmenot

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #57 on: April 12, 2017, 09:54:34 PM »
http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/7759634/lorde-green-light-max-martin-criticism

I blame  Antonoff. His "strange piece of music" is more cliched than the most bubblegum cliched song on radio disney.
And Lorde grows an ego of a "genius", while her previous album is 99% of Joel Little.

Funny comment:
Quote
Green Light starts out exactly like Adele's miserable song "Hello" and then winds through some single note keyboard hey-we-don't-really-have-a-melody segment and finally drops into a dance beat I've heard, conservatively, 16 trillion times. The thing is, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. In other words, when a song like "Hello" wins Song of the Year at the Grammy's, the bar is so low anything and everything becomes a song.

Offline j.fco.morales

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #58 on: April 13, 2017, 02:14:33 AM »
I don't like Jack Antonoff neither.

But I love the new Bleachers single produced by Greg Kurstin and help from Vince Clark.

Offline SongsByGROVER

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #59 on: April 14, 2017, 11:04:29 PM »
Getting back to the toplc of melodic math...

On the Ross Golan podcast, Bonnie McKee says the rules are more relaxed lately (and that podcast was clearly recorded about a year ago, since they refer to Prince still being able to release music).

The song that immediately came to mind for me as an example was Bryson Tiller - Exchange, which is VERY loosely written as hit songs go, not even sure it really has a chorus, but still I guess not that odd as far as the urban market.

But since then (last summer), I feel like pop has got even tighter with it's math forms. Anyone else have any thoughts on that?

IN terms of overall structure song-math, I feel like the bridge might be a dying thing? I'm sure I've heard more songs lately than usual where it's verse cho drop verse cho drop end (though off hand i cant think of any...)


As far as Lorde, she painted herself into a corner with album 1 IMO, whatever she does will always have to be more generic than that, unless she went the other way and became VERY experimental. At least it has a cool modulation in Green Light, a little more interesting than your typical 4 chords!