home Mind-Boggling Stories The Formula Behind Every Perfect Pop Song

The Formula Behind Every Perfect Pop Song

Now that the 2014 Grammy Awards are over, a lot of people are wondering if there’s a formula to writing a successful pop song. Producers like Max Martin, who has written sixteen #1 hits since 1999 for artists like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, have researchers wondering. Anthony takes a look at the past few decades of pop music trends in hopes to find a way to write the next big Billboard hit.

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Music On Our Minds

“Rob was no neuroscientist, but he knew there was a thin line between him and his music.”
Max Martin

“Karl Martin Sanberg (born 26 February 1971), known professionally as Max Martin is a Swedish music producer and songwriter.”

The Biggest Secret in the Music Industry

Grammys 2014: The Full List of Winners

“French electronic duo Daft Punk won the top Grammy Awards on Sunday night, picking up prizes for album of the year and record of the year for single Get Lucky and its EP, Random Access Memories.”

Visualizing the Structure of Pop Music

“The Infinite Jukebox generates plots of songs in which the most similar beats are connected by arcs.”

Secrets of Pop Success Revealed, Scientists Claim

“Budding pop stars may fare better if they swap a piano keyboard for a PC, according to university researchers.”

The Science Behind ScoreAHit

“We are interested in the Music Information Retrieval task that aims at predicting whether a given song will be a commercial success prior to its distribution, based on its audio.”

Pop Hit Prediction Algorithm

“Machine-learning engineers from the University of Bristol think they might have the master equation to predicting the popularity of a song.”

The Hit Equation

“So here it is! This page is a high-level description of our Hit Equation, and some of the fun we can have with it.”

Teen Brain Study Accurately Predicts Hit Pop Songs

“Scientists studying the brain activity of teenagers can now predict with pop songs will become hits, and which will flop.”

Brain Scans Predict Pop Hits



“Scientists monitor the brains of teens listening to songs and find the breakout hits tend to share certain neural signatures.”

A Neural Predictor of Cultural Popularity

“How can we predict popularity? Although superficially a trivial question, the desire for popularity consumes a great portion of the lives of many youths and adults.”

“Visualizing a Hit – InfoVis Final Project

“”Can visualizing 50-years worth of hit U.S. pop song characteristics help us discover trends worth of further investigation?”

Photo Credit: © Lisa O’Connor/ZUMA Press/Corbis

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