The Making of a Pop Song


The purpose of songwriting is to make listeners get hooked to the song as much as possible in a span of 3 to 4 minutes. A pop song basically needs familiarity,variety, and of course, a hook.

The important elements to remember in writing a pop song are melody, chord progression, beat and rhythm, genre and style, concept, “hook”, lyrics, song sections, arrangement, and length. These are the common threads that make a song successful.

In the making of a song in this genre, a pop songwriter should be able to bring in variety to the song but being conscious not to put too much variety. If a song had a structure, A-B-C-D, with each letter representing an individual section in the song, the listener should get that familiarity as the song progresses. But the song must also get the listener’s attention and get him hooked.

The general structure for a pop song which is verse – chorus -verse – chorus – bridge – chorus or A – B – A – B – C – B. Even though the repeating sections A and B adds to the listener’s familiarity of the song, the addition of C section gives variety to the song. The structure is very effective because it has been test-proven by many great pop icons like Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Prince. The hook is carried because the lyrics stay the same each time a particular section is sung by the singer.Other types of pop song structures are:

A – A – B – A – B – C – B

A – B – C – A – B – C – D – C (verse – prechorus – chorus – verse – prechorus -chorus – bridge – chorus)

A – B – A – B – C – A – B

Using the skills and techniques in writing pop songs, one should remember that the structure alone does not make a song popular. The listener has to get hooked to the song through the chorus section.


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