There is one thing that is vital to every musician and that is songwriting. Whether they right the songs or not they must have something original to sing and play before they can even try to be a success. Songwriting is a craft that almost anyone who really enjoys music has tried his or her hand at. Songs have the power to inspire, unite, and comfort a person unlike any other form of media. Record companies are always on the lookout for the next number one single and while some songs are completely unique and original most of the biggest singles in the past history have all had things in common that made them so popular. The really good memorable songs of the past have all generally had a least some of the following characteristics. One of the main ones is that it is immediately remembered or catchy. A hook generally achieves this, which is a memorable portion of the song that is repeated several times throughout the song. Another characteristic is that it quickly appeals to the listener and strikes a chord inside them. Whether it is a dance groove the listener likes or the emotional content of the lyrics they will remember the song if there is one thing that just hit them deep inside. One final point is that the song has to be really tightly worked. All the lyrics and music should be interwoven together as if they were always together waiting to be listened to.
These days some songs are expected to be hits before they are even recorded. This is largely because of the artist that records them. Most of the work by the Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Britney Spears, and etc. are ready-made hits. They have achieved enough success that whatever they sings is expected to do really well. It is the artist’s and son...
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... ways. Which is why we have such diversity in music today. Any song ranging from Christina Aguilera’s new song to Korn’s latest thrash fest has the potential to do well. The two songs will have characteristics in common though as hard as it may seem. As long as people want to dance, relax, or get lost in the emotional content of a song record companies will continue to look for those time-tested characteristics of being memorable, immediate appeal, and a well-written and together song.
Baskerville, David Music Business Handbook and Career Guide Seventh Edition. Sherwood Publishing Partners, New York: 2001.
Fink, Michael Inside the Music Industry Creativity, Process, and Business. Simin & Schuster Macmillan, New York: 1989.