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peter_traj
05-29-2002, 01:24 PM
here is another fellas. why does one peice of music sound great and sells millions of copies and another sounds average and sells little even though it is writen by the same person. is music writing just an experiment with a hit and miss chance of creating something that sounds exceptional or is thee a procedure and formula for writing songs/ music? would it be correct to say that writers/musicians know all the different scales, chords ,modes etc and they just jam and experiment until they come up with something or is it a more calculated thing?
thanks
peter

EricV
05-29-2002, 02:46 PM
Hi Peter...

interesting question... I donīt wanna get too much into this ( meaning I donīt wanna get too longwinded, as I always do ), but...

- If you transcribe aīlot of popular songs, you will notice that many of them are based on some very few, simple chord progressions. Often, it is just a great melody over those same chords that make people like a song. I mean, I canīt even start to count all the songs based on a I-V-VI-IV, as an example. ( I immediately start to think of classics such as "No Woman No Cry" / Bob Marley and "So Lonely" / The Police, which are based on this progression )
Now, if you go ahead and transcribe many of the songs in the charts these days, youīll notice that many of these are based on the same simple progressions...

Itīs hard to define what makes a song good... it also is a matter of taste. Some songs are written while jamming, others take years to complete ( which doesnīt mean they have to be complicated )
Itīs all about melody, hooklines, arrangement and lyrics.
And it doesnīt necessarily have to be complicated. ( Iīve met people who tried their best to play anything BUT simple chord progressions... )

One more thing about the charts... as I said, I donīt wanna get too much into this, but especially these days, itīs most often not the quality of the song that makes it successful... the recording industry, the whole network ( radio, TV channels, magazines, commercials etc ) controls much of that...

But anyway, a great question. I can imagine that this brings up some interesting discussions here...
Warm regards
Eric

TaikaJim
05-29-2002, 03:41 PM
One more thing about the charts... as I said, I donīt wanna get too much into this, but especially these days, itīs most often not the quality of the song that makes it successful... the recording industry, the whole network ( radio, TV channels, magazines, commercials etc ) controls much of that...

I completely agree. There hasnt been any good music in top 40 in many years. This is of course my personal opinion and like Eric said music is a matter of taste. Good sales dont equal good music. Sadly, its not about the music anymore...

szulc
05-31-2002, 03:04 AM
why does one piece of music sound great and sells millions of copies and another sounds average and sells little even though it is written by the same person?

Luck. This is also very subjective, the one you think is great might be average to someone else. Just because it sells millions of copies doesn't mean it is GOOD. What it really means is that it was marketed well to the target audience which is constantly exploited by the music industry, TEENAGE GIRLS.


is music writing just an experiment with a hit and miss chance of creating something that sounds exceptional or is there a procedure and formula for writing songs/ music?

This really depends on who the writer is. Here in Nashville there are many people who go to work each day and write songs just like a 9-5 job. They have very strict guidelines they follow to maximize the likely hood of selling their songs to the record company for the 'Flavor of the month' Artist.
Sometimes they hook up the latest heart throb with one of the pro-songsters and because they are present at the creation of a song, the song writer is forced to share credits with them due to their desire to continue working with the record company.

Alot of artists who write their own music just play and record a lot, when they find somthing they like they work on it.
The music created by this method is usually more interesting, to me.

would it be correct to say that writers/musicians know all the different scales, chords ,modes etc and they just jam and experiment until they come up with something or is it a more calculated thing?

NO.
Most professional musicians/performers who write music that actually gets heard by the masses, probably don't know much about music. The method you are describing first is more likely to be used by actual musician artists who do know somthing.

The calculated thing is more common in the example I mentioned above.

IMHO The music that is inspired is the best music.