It just seems that music is an artistic way of expressing yourself. It has many scientific secrets, especially when it comes to writing a catchy tune.
What Are the Scientific Secrets of Writing a Catchy Tune?
Do you ever listen to a song thinking “Wow, now it`s stuck within me till the rest of my days”?
It doesn`t necessarily mean that it`s a bad song. It just holds your mind hostage and won`t let it go. But not only a true songwriter`s talent creates this whole magical atmosphere of a certain tune. Psychological tricks that play with your physiology have a lot to do with it.
A good, catchy song paradigm usually looks like this: upbeat melody, simple lyrics, performer`s stage presence, and vocals (that aren`t of high importance because modern technologies are always ready to help out with all kinds of vocal cords problems).
There you have it! Most songs which fall under this description, represent a pop genre. And absolute masters of songwriting in this wide and incredibly influential niche are Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, and Ed Sheeran. These artists are known for writing lyrics and music themselves. Little do you know though that they have teams that consist of dozens of people who work on a future hit to make it more catchy and popular.
So, what’s the magic behind hundreds of pop songs millions of people listen to every day? How much depends on a natural song-writing and song-singing gifts? Or is it a kind of music math that can turn a fairly plain set of words and sounds into a high-ranking hit?
The team from Essayforme.org decided to find out.
A Formula of a Grammy-Winning Song
How do songs win Grammies? Is there any formula that you can apply to your song and get that shiny golden award for your creation? Guess what, such formula of a perfect pop song actually exists. Sort of.
If it does, then Max Martin is a person who isn`t just familiar with it. It`s most likely that he invented it. He`s is a powerhouse of a music industry who writes and produces songs for such performers as Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, and the Backstreet Boys. Almost all of Martin`s works were and still are timeless super popular hits. And you won`t notice any kind of a melody or lyrical cliché in them. All those songs will sound differently.
But Paul Amir is a software developer who decided to check out whether there is a secret pattern hidden in those songs. He created a special program, something like a custom pattern visualization software. This program analyzed beats and sections of music that are exactly lined up. So, apparently, there is a pattern, and you can work in accordance with it. Just find that research online, it has a free access.
The Hit Potential Equation
We`ve got another artificial intelligence study for you conducted by scientists from the University of Bristol. They checked all top 40 pop songs from the last 50 years with a specially developed software to see if they could find an equation. And they did.
It turns out music is practically like math. The researchers called the result “the hit potential equation”. They included various characteristics and criteria of a song into it, like duration, harmonic simplicity, tempo. This discovery makes it possible to predict what songs are going to be popular.
Another group of researchers decided to focus solely on the American music chart and got similar results. So, according to scientists, a perfect pop song is supposed to be a bit more than 3 minutes long, harmonically simple, danceable (but not in a crazy way like some of the 1980s` hits), and it has to be in a key of C major.
Music Messes with Your Brain
Those formulas and equations aren`t enough to predict an audience`s response to a track. And scientists from the Emory University in the US conducted another study to find out more about people`s neurological and psychological response to pop songs.
They found out that it`s all about nucleus accumbens. This is just a part of your brain that is hidden deep inside it. Listening to extremely popular songs makes our bodies release dopamine which is one of the happy hormones. However, these emotional reactions are highly connected to trends in the music industry. It means that the brain of a modern teenager will respond actively to Taylor Swift, and it will stay much calmer listening to Michael Jackson.