Mark Knight is the founder of Right Chord Music, a management and consultancy business. In this article Mark interviews David Penn, the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Hit Songs Deconstructed a website dedicated to analysing the structure and composition of hit songs. The insight from this analysis is used to help mentor new song-writing talent.
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Entries in songs (6)
We’ve all been there. Struggling to come up with a melody or working out that perfect ending for your song. This is one of the most frustrating aspects of composing music, especially when you are working towards a deadline. This article contains a few suggestions on how to compose more effectively.
If you’re heading into the studio to record an album, you should go in with plenty of songs to spare. Sometimes, things don’t work as well in recorded format, sometimes your tastes/ideas change. At any rate, going in with more ideas allows you to choose the very best songs for your album. Besides, it’s always better to have too many songs to choose from than not enough. But how do you decide which songs should stay and which should go?
This is what I recommend that you do: Treat it like a songwriting contest.
How do you tell a businessperson that success in the music business…has nothing to do with business?
On Music Think Tank, where I have posted over eighty articles, you’ll find an overwhelming amount of advice on social media practices, fan engagement and conversion strategies, business planning, artist management, music marketing, music technology and enough similar sounding posts to make your head spin. One might even be misled into believing that the equation: decent artist + solid business support = success. However this formula is about as a sound as building a one legged table.
If you are ever thinking about financially backing or supporting an artist, you should know that there are two other legs of the table that are of equal or greater importance. In fact, if these first two legs are solid, the third leg, the business leg, almost organically grows itself.
Up until now, music was in a unique competitive product category: there simply wasn’t much competition (for consumer attention) between well-made songs.
Songs are inexpensive, consumed in under four minutes, easily obtained, and songs are the only product in the world where billions of users…each own thousands of ‘competing’ alternatives. In reality, uniformly-priced competitors are often stacked up and then consumed in succession, and in the age of the iPod, the stacks (the playlists) are growing instead of shrinking.
However the modern world conspires to ultimately deliver, in every product category, the greatest value at the lowest price, and songs are about to loose their long held exception.
In response to the ASCAP/HITLAB announcement that basically endorses the use of algorithms to analyze the hit potential of songs, I thought I would weigh in on the subject.
Proceed with caution…
As someone that spent the better part of a year evaluating similar algorithms, technology, services, business models and patents connected to acoustic analysis and hit potential measurement, I can tell you that you should proceed with caution when making a purchase or career decision that involves the utilization of services that sell computer-based, hit-analysis technology.
It’s fascinating technology, however…
Generally speaking, the technology is reasonably accurate (my experience: 80% accurate, and often close enough to my expectations) when it comes to plotting a song relative to a cluster of preexisting hits and then rolling the plots into a meaningful score. However a high score doesn’t mean you have a hit on your hands, or that “hits” even matter anymore. Read on…
Here are some pros and cons to consider when evaluating services that use computers and algorithms to evaluate music:
Computer-based hit analyzing technology - the pros…
Targeting. If detailed reporting is offered, this technology should show you how close your song is to clusters of previously recorded hits. This information is useful for targeting listeners of similar sounding hit songs.
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(Updated Feb 25, 2014)