34

In addition to the other answers provided here, many point to the development of the medium for popular songs. Early recordings were made primarily on 78s, with the two most common sizes being 10" and 12"; the former having a maximum lengh of ~3 minutes, while the latter having a length of ~4-5 minutes. (Source.) The 78s were popularly replaced by 45s (...


24

I think of it from a more technical approach. Let's take the most common structure of a modern song: Intro (4 or 8 bars) Verse (8 or 12 bars) Chorus (8 or 12 bars) Verse (8 or 12 bars) Chorus (8 or 12 bars) Solo / Bridge (8 or 12 bars) Verse or Chorus and Outro (ad libitum) This would make your average song about 70-80 bars long. Given that most modern ...


17

There's a few reasons for it, but one of the most notable is related to how most of us start listening to music which is the radio. Think about it from a radio station's perspective. They can only play so many songs in a given time and they want to make sure that they cover as many songs as possible. Assuming no ads (which is very rare) and that all songs ...


13

In answering your title question, I agree with the other answer here (from Tetsujin): genres exist because classification Is What We Do and our brains our wired for the use of heuristics (see, for instance, the writings of Herbert Simon). That is, labeling something by genre gives a sense of its innate structure and the "rules" by which it plays -- or, ...


11

Some of them (noted in your question) are nicknames that they had before they were famous. Other times, names are changed by record execs to sound catchy. John Mellencamp was renamed John Cougar because an exec thought it sounded edgier. Other times, it's just a matter of privacy. Musicians have been known to make up stage names so they could still ...


11

I'm not a music expert nor a psychologist but I think the thing that most gets stuck in our heads is the melody. From this interesting Wikipedia article I got to know that for a catchy tune simplicity and familiarity were vital In the same article there also is this sentence: While it is hard to scientifically explain what makes a song catchy, there ...


11

This is mainly due to the popularity of radio edits. Radio edits often shorten a long song in order to make it more commercially viable for radio stations. This gives radio stations greater flexibility in terms of playing advertisements and creating content "segments". Making your music "more accessible" for radio stations makes it more likely to be played.


10

I think this could be from a few possible reasons, possibly; Radio stations, perhaps people are more likely to tune in and stay listening when their favourite 3 minute song is being played, and aren't necessarily interested in starting to listen 10 minutes into an Emerson, Lake, & Palmer piano solo. There is probably something about how long our ...


9

Humans like pigeon-holes. They make people feel comfortable that they can categorise something, to put it in a slot they already understand. Humans are very uncomfortable with things that don't fit existing preconceptions. It probably stems from the time we lived in trees, ate fruit & small animals & ran like hell from lions & tigers. Survival ...


8

Part of the reason is that the hardware in the 1900s was limited to 3-4 minutes like Lin suggests. However, I think the more important reason is the culture at the time. Back in the classical period, in the more developed nations that our western history studies, the culture was one of grandeur. Having long and intricate pieces was yet another way to make ...


7

Most genres initially develop within a tight-knit, geographically delineated community of musicians and fans. They embody, in some sense, the culture and the preoccupations of that group. As they diffuse outward, they become a bridge between that subculture and the rest of the world. Although people can and do like music of all genres, being a fan ...


7

A recent scientific research project actually demonstrated that yes, statistically speaking, your personal tastes align less and less with what's currently popular with each passing year. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/21/taste-in-music-age_n_7344322.html According to the research it's both because we continue to like music that was popular in our ...


7

The songs that become most popular are the ones played on broadcast commercial radio. There is a new trend towards other delivery mediums such as sirius xm and YouTube but for decades broadcast radio was where "hits" were born. The reason for the existence of broadcast commercial radio (like television) is not to provide a public service or play music or ...


7

There is a list of reasons with great examples in this wikipedia article. Various reasons include avoiding being linked to an existing celebrity (whether it's an actual family relation or not), easier pronunciations, to avoid discrimination, building a brand, or just something catchier.


6

There are many different things that play a major role in how a piece of music will 'feel' to a listener. Take for example all of the different keys it can be written in, the many different types of Minor keys (harmonic, melodic, etc.), the instrumentation also has a huge impact on the final result. Different instruments are 'sad' (especially instruments ...


5

One reason is that in some genres it's the thing to do. In both black metal and hip hop, it is rare to find artists that do not use stage names. This is likely due to that the originators of the genres started using stage names for different reasons, one of them usually being that the stage name sounds cooler than the real names.


5

The "best"/"optimal" bitrate threshold depends on the audio coding format, since the bit rate is simply the number of bits that are conveyed or processed per unit of time (typically in second). E.g. if you take a FLAC file, and converted it into a 44.1 kHz 16-bit two-channel WAV file, the latter will have a higher bitrate but will sound the same. It also ...


4

Another take on this: some people feel that they're different on stage, and a stage name just encapsulates that feeling. For example, Hank Williams' "Luke the Drifter" alias for his religious-themed material. An example from another sphere, UK standup comedian Jenny Eclair ("Jenny" is real name, but "Eclair" is a stage name) often refers in interviews to ...


2

if this helps most catchy tunes are very scalic especially the chorus vocal hook in mastodon's "oblivion" but has interesting melodic shapes, it's subjective what melodic shapes are catchy or not, so catchy music is more about the level of predictability and the interest that the melodic curves bring and how familiar it is, most familiar sounds catchyiest.


2

Like @PiedPiper said, music is too subjective. I just wanted to add that it is possible to like a song of a certain genre without necessarily enjoying that genre. For example, Cupid Shuffle. I know lots of people that don't even listen to that kind of music, but LOVE that song.


2

A genre is defined by a set of stylistic similarities and it's logical that someone who likes one artist/band of a genre will be more likely to like another artist from the same genre. But although the correlation is probably high, there are plenty of reasons that a listener might not like a similar band. Maybe the band plays badly, or the singer has an ...


1

As per the Wiki page: Marshall began playing music in Atlanta with a collective of musicians made up of Glen Thrasher, Marc Moore, Damon Moore and Fletcher Liegerot, who would get together for jam sessions in a basement. The group were booked for a show and had to come up with a name quickly, when a man walked through the door of the pizzeria ...


1

There are some musicians who have gained inspiration and/or popularity from being associated with one drug culture or another --for instance, there's a long list of musicians who are particularly popular among pot aficionados. In my opinion, however, the main factor impacting celebrity drug abuse is money. When a person has a lot of money, they attract ...


1

According to the Wikipedia entry there are two types of synesthesia: projecting synesthesia and associative synesthesia. People who actually see the colors and shapes are those who project. Those who make involuntary connections are associators. Emphasis on involuntary. Looking for more credible research and citations I came across one of the interesting ...


1

Great answers here, I believe the short answer is: to describe, classify, categorize, and organize different patterns found in different music styles. Very useful for some music-related activities, but not necessarily useful for performing or enjoying music.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible