Author Topic: 30 years of Max Martin top melody craft  (Read 1087 times)

Offline Dagge

  • Brand New
  • *
  • Posts: 125
  • Fave CHEIRON producer: Denniz Pop
  • Fave CHEIRON writer: Rami Yacoub
30 years of Max Martin top melody craft
« on: December 14, 2021, 05:13:54 PM »
Since soon there will be 30 years since Max started to compose top-charting melodies (including those with band It's Alive) it may be interesting to hear (again) what member fellows think are the main ingredients of this stellar and unheard in the history of music success.

We all know he is incredibly gifted for melody creating, but so were many others in music history, yet no single composer was able to churn top melodies for a so long period of time. They soon or later stopped having success due to the 'lack of inspiration' or exhausting their creative muse etc. That suggests that Max behind natural talent may be using some melody inspiration and creation techniques beyond blatant and overused 'melody math' term. I wonder what do you think he may use for seeking inspiration for melodies.

I among others am the one who can hardly believe that any person on this planet is capable of hearing constantly fresh hit melodies in his/her head during 30 years period.

Offline bugmenot

  • The Real Thing
  • ****
  • Posts: 590
    • piano sheet music
  • Fave CHEIRON producer: Max Martin
  • Fave CHEIRON song: (You Drive Me) Crazy
  • Fave CHEIRON writer: Alexander Kronlund
Re: 30 years of Max Martin top melody craft
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2021, 09:05:33 PM »
Networking.

Offline Dagge

  • Brand New
  • *
  • Posts: 125
  • Fave CHEIRON producer: Denniz Pop
  • Fave CHEIRON writer: Rami Yacoub
Re: 30 years of Max Martin top melody craft
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2021, 12:36:15 PM »
As an experiment, I have built a small program that randomizes entered tones. For example we type in tones of a chorus melody of a famous hit, add exact melody rhythm and the program generates the same rhythm and uses the same tones but randomizes their order. If a chorus melody uses 5 different tones and has 8 consequent notes, that would be 8^5 = 32,768 possible melody variations.

If one is patient enough program will sooner or later generate the same melody sequence as an original hit melody. An interesting fact is if the operator has patience and adequate taste, the program will eventually generate an even better melody than the original melody (if there subjectively exists one), given the same notes and tone rhythm entered. That new melody is completely free to use because there would be no copyright issue. Of course, this is a bit painstaking procedure and not a way to compose, but it may be interesting from the theoretical point - for every famous hit melody you may try to find out if it is the best possible tone sequence given the same tones and rhythm used, or it could be improved. Only for patient ones with plenty of spare time to spend :)

The majority of hit chorus melodies have between 4 and 8 consecutive notes, while pitch-wise they use 2 to 6 different tones. That makes 64 to 8000 possible melody combinations. If an operator uses 6 sec for listening to each variation 600 different melody combinations can be evaluated per hour. Since more tones or more tone pitches raises possible melody combinations exponentially, it may be good to experiment with smaller melody phrases and combine them by using melody math rules (phrase repetition etc). For example, 5 tone melody containing 4 different pitches requires 625 melody combinations that could be done in an hour, while 5 tone melody that uses 5 pitches would need 5 hours (3125 combinations). But it could be done because the majority of for example Cheiron hit melodies don't surpass 5 consequent melody notes and use no more than 5 different tone pitches. That makes 3125 melody combinations, which would take 5 hours to evaluate. Not too much if you could discover chorus melody equal in quality to those of Cheiron guys and you would be free to use it. To acomplish that good taste would be of great importance.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2021, 01:54:29 PM by Dagge »

Offline McCartneyMartin

  • Brand New
  • *
  • Posts: 94
  • "When Two Titans Finally Clash."
  • Fave CHEIRON producer: Denniz Pop
  • Fave CHEIRON song: It's My Life by Dr. Alban
  • Fave CHEIRON writer: Denniz Pop
Re: 30 years of Max Martin top melody craft
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2021, 09:26:47 PM »
Since soon there will be 30 years since Max started to compose top-charting melodies (including those with band It's Alive) it may be interesting to hear (again) what member fellows think are the main ingredients of this stellar and unheard in the history of music success.

We all know he is incredibly gifted for melody creating, but so were many others in music history, yet no single composer was able to churn top melodies for a so long period of time. They soon or later stopped having success due to the 'lack of inspiration' or exhausting their creative muse etc. That suggests that Max behind natural talent may be using some melody inspiration and creation techniques beyond blatant and overused 'melody math' term. I wonder what do you think he may use for seeking inspiration for melodies.

I among others am the one who can hardly believe that any person on this planet is capable of hearing constantly fresh hit melodies in his/her head during 30 years period.

What about Paul McCartney, Phil Spector, SAW even Pharrell? They have done more for music than he has in the 30 years he's been making them. Especially that most of his songs rehash older popular ones just with a more cheaper feel (ie BBS - I Want It That Way = Spandau Ballet - True) for example.

Offline Helluvafella

  • Bombastic
  • ***
  • Posts: 46
  • Fave CHEIRON producer: Max Martin
  • Fave CHEIRON song: Everybody
  • Fave CHEIRON writer: Max Martin
Re: 30 years of Max Martin top melody craft
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2021, 11:56:51 PM »
As an experiment, I have built a small program that randomizes entered tones. For example we type in tones of a chorus melody of a famous hit, add exact melody rhythm and the program generates the same rhythm and uses the same tones but randomizes their order. If a chorus melody uses 5 different tones and has 8 consequent notes, that would be 8^5 = 32,768 possible melody variations.

If one is patient enough program will sooner or later generate the same melody sequence as an original hit melody. An interesting fact is if the operator has patience and adequate taste, the program will eventually generate an even better melody than the original melody (if there subjectively exists one), given the same notes and tone rhythm entered. That new melody is completely free to use because there would be no copyright issue. Of course, this is a bit painstaking procedure and not a way to compose, but it may be interesting from the theoretical point - for every famous hit melody you may try to find out if it is the best possible tone sequence given the same tones and rhythm used, or it could be improved. Only for patient ones with plenty of spare time to spend :)

The majority of hit chorus melodies have between 4 and 8 consecutive notes, while pitch-wise they use 2 to 6 different tones. That makes 64 to 8000 possible melody combinations. If an operator uses 6 sec for listening to each variation 600 different melody combinations can be evaluated per hour. Since more tones or more tone pitches raises possible melody combinations exponentially, it may be good to experiment with smaller melody phrases and combine them by using melody math rules (phrase repetition etc). For example, 5 tone melody containing 4 different pitches requires 625 melody combinations that could be done in an hour, while 5 tone melody that uses 5 pitches would need 5 hours (3125 combinations). But it could be done because the majority of for example Cheiron hit melodies don't surpass 5 consequent melody notes and use no more than 5 different tone pitches. That makes 3125 melody combinations, which would take 5 hours to evaluate. Not too much if you could discover chorus melody equal in quality to those of Cheiron guys and you would be free to use it. To acomplish that good taste would be of great importance.

Very interesting. Have you had any success with the program? Any great melodies?

Offline Helluvafella

  • Bombastic
  • ***
  • Posts: 46
  • Fave CHEIRON producer: Max Martin
  • Fave CHEIRON song: Everybody
  • Fave CHEIRON writer: Max Martin
Re: 30 years of Max Martin top melody craft
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2021, 11:58:39 PM »
What about Paul McCartney, Phil Spector, SAW even Pharrell? They have done more for music than he has in the 30 years he's been making them. Especially that most of his songs rehash older popular ones just with a more cheaper feel (ie BBS - I Want It That Way = Spandau Ballet - True) for example.

Just listened to Spandau Ballet‘s „True“. Never realized that the piano melody is the same as in „I want it that way“ :) Could be a coincidence though?

Offline McCartneyMartin

  • Brand New
  • *
  • Posts: 94
  • "When Two Titans Finally Clash."
  • Fave CHEIRON producer: Denniz Pop
  • Fave CHEIRON song: It's My Life by Dr. Alban
  • Fave CHEIRON writer: Denniz Pop
Re: 30 years of Max Martin top melody craft
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2021, 06:22:58 AM »
Just listened to Spandau Ballet‘s „True“. Never realized that the piano melody is the same as in „I want it that way“ :) Could be a coincidence though?
well according to an interview even though he was primarily a metalhead Max Martin always listen to a lot of pop music in the '80s, it wouldn't be surprising that he would have borrowed the bridge from "True" and used it for the chorus of IWITW.

Offline Helluvafella

  • Bombastic
  • ***
  • Posts: 46
  • Fave CHEIRON producer: Max Martin
  • Fave CHEIRON song: Everybody
  • Fave CHEIRON writer: Max Martin
Re: 30 years of Max Martin top melody craft
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2021, 03:45:24 PM »
I mean, drawing inspiration from older songs is probably as old as songwriting itself. There are a couple of Max songs where I can guess the origin of a certain musical idea.

For instance the main riff in Ushers „DJ got us falling in love“ has the same rhythm as the main organ  riff in „what is love“ by Haddaway. The melody is different, but the rhythm is 100% the same. My thinking is that Max wanted to create a dance song with a 90‘s feel so he borrowed from a 90‘s dance song.

Funnily enough we can find the same rhythmic pattern in the pre-chorus of „Payphone“ by Maroon 5 written by shellback.

„I've wasted my nights
You turned out the lights
Now I'm paralyzed…“ and so on

Could be a coincidence, but I don’t think so :)

Edit:
Ok, just remembered another song with the same rhythmic pattern. #thatPower by Will.i.am and Bieber … I hated that one when it came out haha
« Last Edit: December 18, 2021, 03:57:03 PM by Helluvafella »

Offline Dagge

  • Brand New
  • *
  • Posts: 125
  • Fave CHEIRON producer: Denniz Pop
  • Fave CHEIRON writer: Rami Yacoub
Re: 30 years of Max Martin top melody craft
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2021, 03:10:22 PM »
Very interesting. Have you had any success with the program? Any great melodies?

You can find a good melody if you are patient enoguh to listen to majority of combinations but I somehow feel it is kinda cheating. Music is an art and should remain so. Of course composers help themselves with a lot of tricks but creativity should be involved, while this procedure is purely mechanical. It is just for fun

Offline Helluvafella

  • Bombastic
  • ***
  • Posts: 46
  • Fave CHEIRON producer: Max Martin
  • Fave CHEIRON song: Everybody
  • Fave CHEIRON writer: Max Martin
Re: 30 years of Max Martin top melody craft
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2021, 10:21:10 PM »
You’re definitely right. Songwriting should remain an artform.

There’s this plugin that does the same thing you describe. It’s called „captain melody“. I have it and I find working with it rather tedious. I’d rather sit a piano and churn out melodies on my own than using a software.