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Old 02-14-2011, 06:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

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Old 02-14-2011, 07:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

Love their name, Axis of Awesome.

About the video, 38 is probably a low estimate or they had to cut tons of other potential songs for time.


I'm not musically inclined so this always confuses me, does it really matter how many chords are used? Granted I don't like most of those songs listed in the video but some of them seemingly don't need to be anymore complex, like Let It Be.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

It's way more than 38 songs, I assure you.
This argument has been going on since the dawn of Rock.

Musical connoisseurs seem to think that if a song doesn't have a certain degree of complexity to it it's not really music.
Personally I'm happy with varying degrees of complexity and even rock songs that rely heavily on only 3 chords sound good to me.
It all depends on your point of view.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

To me a song is good if it's good and if it's bad it's bad.
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

It's not about how many chords are used.
It's not about simplicity or complexity.
It's not about good or bad.
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

So what's it about?
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Old 02-15-2011, 03:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

It's about how the sane exact underlying melody is used to make up a large portion of top 40 music. It could be the same 27 chords and it wouldn't matter.

It's like the old joke;
How do you spell rock n' roll?
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ACEGBDFA
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

Quote:
sane exact underlying melody
You're crazy!

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Old 02-16-2011, 10:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

I think pop music sounds very boring and repetitive.

And I think once piracy puts the final nail in the record industry then music will have some inspiration and creativity in it again.
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

I am so sick of music these days, it seems that everything from the last 10 years or so has sucked. The popular scene is the worst it's ever been, and the indy scene is almost as bad, I can't get over how every band is trying to be cool instead of putting some heart into their music, and they almost seem to be merging into the same scene anyway. I have officially given up, for the last couple months I've been listening to the best of the 80's radio. This is why I like Fungusmans electronic music, it's actually original.
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

@Steven: There's some really great stuff coming out of the folk scene.


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Old 02-16-2011, 05:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

I've seen this video before. I like it and I think it's funny but I have a few issues.

Just because you can play these songs like this doesn't mean that's actually how they are played. There are different keys, some of these songs only use those chords for a couple lines, and lots of other things. And Under The Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers (for example) actually uses 5 chords in that little period rather than 4. Sure, you can play it with the 4, but it sounds better with the 5 how it's actually played.

And a lot of times music is less about the actual music and more about execution. Even though they use similar chords, I like about half of those songs and dislike about half of them.

As far as the current state of music debate, I think music and creativity in it is thriving almost as much as it ever was. It seems like every few days I see some new band playing at a bar for 15 people that is as good as any financially successful band. You just have to go see the music. Good music is around every corner.
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TMT Raps

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I have no idea what's going on but it's kind of weird.
Old 02-17-2011, 12:01 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

@Ten, Thanks for the suggestion, but neither of those songs do anything for me.

@TMT, There are countless talented bands out there for sure, but each genre just continues to draw off the same influences, nobody has the guts to completly tread new ground. No-one will dare to re-write what good music is. I wanna hear something 100% new. Here is an example of Fungusman's stuff. I know that most of you will not like it, and that is where the problem lies, ears have been conditioned by society that it's not good music, I happen to think that is absolutly refreshing in this day and age. Music needs to go places it's never been before:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3L3RhY2jC-w
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Old 02-17-2011, 01:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

There are a lot of places music has never gone before because it doesn't make for good music. This is not directed at fungo's jams. I've heard several of them before.

Link NSFW
..
( Click to show/hide )


I'm really into these kids lately, and they just made their TV debut on Fallon. I would say it's something pretty different where hip hop is concerned.

I like music that is different, but different and good are not necessarily synonymous. I know plenty of artists on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, who are too busy being "different" to make decent music.

Of course I'm a huge fan of rap music, where 90% of it is just about the words being said, and about 10% is the music. In most cases.
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

I've already seen this video. It's pretty sad how many songs sound exactly the same.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrakMastaTom View Post
As far as the current state of music debate, I think music and creativity in it is thriving almost as much as it ever was.
I'm talking about main stream music that is owned by the music industry.

I think what you are talking about is the edge of the future - not what the average listener is experiencing yet.

I think once the record labels admit defeat and die then mainstream music will become more about art and less about soul sucking. Right now though, creativity in music is only for people that are passionate enough about it to devote lots of energy and time into finding it, not for the casual user that just wants to turn on the radio and drive to Virgin and buy whatever is being pushed this month.
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:03 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kong View Post
I'm talking about main stream music that is owned by the music industry.

I think what you are talking about is the edge of the future - not what the average listener is experiencing yet.

I think once the record labels admit defeat and die then mainstream music will become more about art and less about soul sucking. Right now though, creativity in music is only for people that are passionate enough about it to devote lots of energy and time into finding it, not for the casual user that just wants to turn on the radio and drive to Virgin and buy whatever is being pushed this month.
Yeah really, that or pay middlemen companies for the privilege of downloading their music onto an iPod.
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:15 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kong View Post
I'm talking about main stream music that is owned by the music industry.

I think what you are talking about is the edge of the future - not what the average listener is experiencing yet.

I think once the record labels admit defeat and die then mainstream music will become more about art and less about soul sucking. Right now though, creativity in music is only for people that are passionate enough about it to devote lots of energy and time into finding it, not for the casual user that just wants to turn on the radio and drive to Virgin and buy whatever is being pushed this month.
Yeah, I agree. But I actually think the major labels are in way more trouble than they realize. Every day I meet people who never listen to the radio, and find their own music. And honestly it wouldn't surprise me if in the relatively near future there were no more artists that get nearly as rich and famous as artists do now, and the money that the music industry makes is much more divided. Radio stations won't all play the same things, and it will be a better world.
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:38 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

I think radio is doing fine, radio's biggest draw was commutes to and from work, and that still holds true, add in internet radio and it's probably got more listeners than ever.

I think it's more so suffering due to piracy. I haven't bought a new cd in several years, I haven't been pirating them either though. Let's just hope Kong's thoery is correct.

---------- Post added at 08:38 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:36 AM ----------

Side note, I'm not sure of the specific figures, but 90% or so of radio stations are owned by the same 3 or 4 people.
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:55 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

That would explain why radio is awful 90% of the time.
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:05 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

I love my local radio station.

100% commercial free. No funding from commercial interests.
100% free from government funding.

Every last cent comes from donations by it's listeners. Blues, Jazz, Folk, Rock, and Alternative Country. I discover almost all of my music from them.

Exit 97.7 Online - Serving Amsterdam, Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Saratoga - and more!
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:22 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

Actually we do have one good station around here now that plays pretty much anything from the last 30-40 years and it's just about commercial free. I have no idea about who owns or pays for it though.
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:41 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudebro View Post
Actually we do have one good station around here now that plays pretty much anything from the last 30-40 years and it's just about commercial free. I have no idea about who owns or pays for it though.
You guys have another decent one I listened to when I visited Boston, they played a wide range of alterntive rock, off the top of my head they played Sonic Youth, Foo Fighters, Bad Religion, Pixies of course... my list here doesnt represent it well, I remember being impressed anyway.
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:34 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: How at least 38 hit pop songs all share the same four chords

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Originally Posted by TrakMastaTom View Post
Every day I meet people who never listen to the radio, and find their own music.
IRL I know no one that is gets music from the normal sources - radio, mainstream record industry etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TrakMastaTom View Post
And honestly it wouldn't surprise me if in the relatively near future there were no more artists that get nearly as rich and famous as artists do now, and the money that the music industry makes is much more divided.
I agree. No more people that would be on MTV Cribs but many more people that are able to make a decent living. Just leveling out everybody and adding more choices and variety. No more of 90% of the money going to the label. No more of the label dictating what the artist can do. Just artists being able to feed themselves by being creative.

When Napster first came out I think the record industry had a choice, read the writing on the wall and change or slowly die trying to fight that change. They choose the latter.

Other industries, movies, books, software, games, news, will all have to face that choice too, but music is the first and the most susceptible. I think it is too late for them to recover but the others still have a chance.

My predictions. (all of these I think will be good for the consumer and will happen within the decade and will be the industry being replaced by independent art)
  1. Music industry will fight and die.
  2. Movie industry will fight and take many casualties but will be able to hold on for at least another decade.
  3. News industry will destroy itself and be replaced by something more like the blogosphere, wikileaks, wikipedia and google and even Jon Stewart.
  4. Software will be an interesting one. Free open source going against stable giants like Microsoft, Adobe and Apple. They will fight as hard as the music industry did and will pull out some interesting tricks as they spend their enormous cash holds on the fight. In the end though free and open source will win. It will probably take a over a decade to fully be resolved though. Microsoft and others as a last ditch effort might choose to become free and open source rather than dieing. Linux makes lots of money on being free and charging for support. Google makes lots of money on advertising. MS could choose to go that route when their current path is removed.
  5. Publishing industry will probably die without a much of a fight. They don't have much of a way to fight back against self publishing especially as ebook readers are on the rise.
  6. I think games will be an exception, I think they will actually update themselves to meet the changing markets and hold on, although that will mean great change and sacrifice for MS, N and Sony. And a couple of them might not willingly make the change. See my posts on Onlive and cloud gaming. Gaming makes more profit than any of these other industries and they have a viable option to hold the monopoly and keep independents at bay. None of the other industries have that.
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