Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A Formula For The Perfect Pop Tune

A psychologist has determined a recipe for the perfect pop tune. Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a psychology lecturer at Goldsmiths College, part of the University of London, came up with the feel-good formula:

P + Pos + T + BPM + I = S

P = Pitch
Pos = % of positive lyrics
T = Tonality
BPM = Beats per Minute
I = Images or Memories associated with the music
S = Serotonin level

"Film composers use music to intensify the mood of a scene to affect the viewer's emotions and there is a formula to this," Dr Chamorro-Premuzic said.

The article also lists ten songs which are supposed to exactly follow this formula:

1 Boo Radleys: Wake Up Boo!
2 Beach Boys: Good Vibrations
3 Jackson 5: I Want You Back
4 Beatles: Here Comes The Sun
5 Madonna: Holiday
6 Van Morrison: Brown Eyed Girl
7 The Foundations: Build Me Up Buttercup
8 Michael Jackson: Wanna Be Starting Something
9 John Paul Young: Love Is In The Air
10 The Darkness: I Believe In A Thing Called Love

Well, ahem... I'm afraid I can personally agree there only perhaps about 'Good Vibrations' by The Beach Boys; judging by these criteria maybe Abba's 'Dancing Queen' would fit in too, but then, one person's golden classic tunes are always the worst cheese for some other person... And knowing how much Finnish people always lean towards melancholia in their music, probably extremely positive lyrics wouldn't exactly make such a hit on these Northern latitudes and in "this land of thousands of grievous songs" (as the band Eppu Normaali once famously put it)...