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The Art of constructing Hit songs

Author Topic: The Art of constructing Hit songs  (Read 45 times)

Offline Dagge

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The Art of constructing Hit songs
« on: June 26, 2020, 02:14:10 PM »
I have a few thoughts about this interesting yet somewhat mystic topic, which is by many considered as some sort of the 'black box'. My intention isn't to challenge or question the skills of highly successful and talented exCheironers, which I admire and respect even for things outside pure music creation (great self-discipline and work ethics for example).

Many experts agree that probably the most important part of a hit is a strong, high-class melody. Former ASCAP president said that styles change with time but the melody that resonates with masses is always the same. Strong melody works in all styles of music and in all arrangement dressings. While talent is definitely needed to construct one, there are other ingredients that could tremendously help in creating it.

Some smart guys noticed that there were certain short melody phrases that resonate with the public, thus they are proven on the market to be working. Some other smart guys said that it is better to have a strong 3-5 tone melody phrase and repeat it endlessly than to try to be smart and invent its own melody that is unproven on the market.

If we merge those two observations, we can conclude some interesting things. I took the time to listen to hundreds of hits, mostly Cheiron based, but others also. I listened for melodies in A, pre-chorus, and chorus, their relationship and tried to extract rules if they exist. Besides rules like melody math that are well known, I noticed that there are many short phrases of 3-5 tones that repeat among many hits, even in different time periods, 70's, 80's, 90's. For example, a short phrase in a heavy-metal band A chorus was almost the same as the second part of Katy Perry chorus, and so on.

Those are the phrases that have been proven to be 'working' with the public. If you nicely combine two such proved phrases, nobody can say that your melody isn't strong, it is a matter of taste and time to combine them. I took time to enter about 100 such market-proven phrases into Protools free sequencer. By using well-known rules I tried to combine them, I used them as a starting inspiration, as a glue for my own short phrase etc. I changed a melody phrase rhythm by copying some other hit melody rhythm that is proven on the market. Results gave me the conclusion that a hit is something that can be done if one has some talent, enough time, and determination (which most musicians don't have). After all, Mr. Ulvaeus of ABBA said that they worked all day long, only to build one acceptable song in a month.

But it can be done, I am quite sure.