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hit songs

Updated on July 15, 2011

So you've written a song and are wondering whether it could be a big hit in the music industry or not.

Who can tell you?

Is songwriting a hit & miss proposition or is it actually possible to predict whether the song you write is going to be a huge success?

In the past no-one would have suggested you could judge a song's potential except by gut instinct and even that was inaccurate.

There are many rejected songs that became No1 hits. More famous examples include:

"Since U Been Gone" passed in by both Pink and Hilary Duff was a hit for Kelly Clarkson, the first American Idol.

"Umbrella" , caste aside by Britney Spears' label exec's went to Number One around the world in the hands (or should that be heart, soul & voice) of Rhianna.

Kylie Minogue apparently declined "Toxic" which subsequently debuted in the UK at number One for Britney Spears.

The list goes on http://prince.org/msg/8/299053

Given the failure rate, it is little wonder there are now music intelligence companies - most notably Music Intelligence Solutions (http://uplaya.com/) - that have created databases of hits or rather their rhythm, melody, harmony and other patterns (including length & lyrics) which can be grouped together.

These computer designed models of a musical universe of hit patterns are intended to transform the subjective art of predicting hits into an objective science.

A "Harvard Business School found that the software was accurate 8 out of 10 times" according to Laura Sydell on http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113673324.

Grouping hits over the past 50 years by similarity is intended to make it easier to compare an "unkown" and a known hit and hip hop band The Block Scholars went back into the studio to remix after the machine only gave them a 7.1 rating for a song they'd written.

In some ways, songwriters are probably over-supplied with false praise and may need the cold hard rating only a computer (or Simon Cowell of American Idol!) can deliver.

It some how makes things more believable but whether software can ever predict a hit or reject a song..well...?

For more on this see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hit_Song_Science

Poll

If LOW Would You Believe a Computer Rating of Your Song?

See results

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    • psychicdog.net profile image
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      psychicdog.net 7 years ago

      let us know how you get on James! Might be a good hub in itself.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you for publishing this article about a fasciating subject. The science behind this has been around quite some time. I think I'll send a couple songs in and see what happens. :-)

    • psychicdog.net profile image
      Author

      psychicdog.net 7 years ago

      Money Glitch, you've got me thinking why is this and one explanation I came up with was that if another artist redoes a song, it means he or she FEELS pretty strongly about it, relates to it and puts his or her heart and soul into it; which a song needs to be a success. Thanks for your comment.

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      Interesting read. Isn't it funny how one artist can make a song and it not be popular, another artist can redo the song or put it to a different beat and it becomes number one.

    • psychicdog.net profile image
      Author

      psychicdog.net 7 years ago

      Kara DioGuardi is 4th judge and Ellen Degeneres is now also on the panel in my part of the world. I think though there is still room for the computer! @ Misthaven,good point and whydoesn't a hit stay one forever?

      @ladyE,Thanks for dropping in!

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      "good idea Nicomp but where would he/she sit on the panel?After Simon?"

      Have they replaced Paula yet?

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Interesting read. I heard Britney turned down "umbrella" which became a huge hit for Rihanna. :)

    • MistHaven profile image

      MistHaven 7 years ago from New Jersey

      Interesting topic. Personally, I wouldn't give much weight to what a computer decides is a hit song or not. In the end, the listeners are the ones who ultimately determine which songs are popular and which ones are not, are there are a lot of outside forces that can take away from a song's popularity. Just look at how bad Chris Brown is struggling nowadays.

    • psychicdog.net profile image
      Author

      psychicdog.net 7 years ago

      good idea Nicomp but where would he/she sit on the panel?After Simon?

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Let the computer have a vote on American Idol!