What Makes a Song Good?


Music is one of our most significant human expressions, conveying stories, emotions and experiences through sound in a universal language. It can bring people together in ceremonial and ritual, transmit culture and history, coordinate physical activities such as marching or dancing, and provide enjoyment, self-actualization, and therapy. From the lush melodies of Classical to the gritty beats of Trap, there is a genre of music for every taste and emotion. But what makes a song good? There are many different criteria for what defines a great song, but there are some proven features that show up in nearly all successful songs. Is the piece technically well executed? Whether improvised, derived from notation, or produced electroacoustically, a good piece of music should be free of extraneous notes, sounds, effects, and nuances that do not contribute to the communication of musical ideas.

Is the melody memorable and uplifting? Exceptional pieces of music are often characterized by a strong, distinctive, and memorable melody. Often, a memorable melody is simple but beautiful. For example, the harmonies in the Waltz in C# minor by Chopin or the melodicism of the song Wake Me Up by Avicii are unforgettable. Is the tempo and rhythm of the piece interesting and engaging? Whether the rhythm is regular, irregular, or syncopated, an effective piece of music has an appealing rhythm. Rhythm can also be enriched with techniques like legato, staccato, and dynamic expression.

Does the piece have a rich and satisfying texture? Does the piece use a variety of elements to enrich and embellish its sound, e.g., timbre, texture, and expressiveness? Timbre is the quality or character of a tone, and a piece can have a rich and varied timbre by using a wide range of instruments, playing techniques, and recording technology. Texture refers to the way musical lines or parts interact, and can include homophonic, polyphonic, or monophonic textures. Expressiveness refers to the articulation, phrasing, dynamics, and other techniques used to add emotion and meaning.

In the end, it comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer complex, intricate music, while others enjoy more accessible, catchy melodies. However, most people agree that a good song must be emotionally moving and have an earworm-worthy hook. In addition to that, a good song must be technically proficient and have great production values. That is why so much attention is paid to the production of pop music these days, with new bangers being released almost weekly. This is a testament to how popular and important music has become in our society.