Music: ‘The one common factor we all share’

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Opinion by Tanner Willis

Tanner Willis - Photo by Mike Haynes

Music. It makes the world go round. Hip-hop, punk, metal, rock, classical, jazz, blues, country – it doesn’t matter.

Music itself is the one common factor we all share.

It inspires and even affects our attitudes. Metal and rap get people pumped and angry, while R&B or classical can soothe.

Why does music make the world go round? It’s not that people like to dance or the whole world desires to be rock stars; our brains are naturally wired to pick out patterns in sound.

The patterns take the form of melodies, harmonies and rhythms, the three main components when it comes to forming a song.

So what is it that makes a good song, artist or musician? Many listen for how fast and complicated the actual music is.

The key is, is it catchy, and can it easily be sung? The song needs to be something that will stick in people’s heads.

Usually the simpler, the better, as a song gets more complicated with lots of fast notes, the melody gets harder to pick out from the background noise, and the melody is the most important part of a song.

While some say writing simple, catchy songs is selling out to the mainstream, it is simply understanding what sounds will invoke a positive response from the human mind.

And those sounds are simple melodies that also are catchy.

One band that is particularly good at it is Green Day. Every single one of the band’s studio albums had at least four radio singles on it, and the rest of the songs very well could have been singles as well.

Even non-Green Day fans can pick out the first five notes of “American Idiot.” That’s because it is short, simple and unbelievably catchy.

That album had a total of five radio singles and to this day is one of the most influential pop-punk records.

It’s because Green Day understands how to make a well-written, catchy song.


Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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