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What Characteristics Cause a Song to Reach the Top 40?

Looking at the current USA Singles Top 40, what causes a song to be a huge hit? Are there similar musical characteristics? Does it have to do with marketing? Are certain themes prevalent? Based on these popular songs, what would you say the "formula" to having a hit is? If the songs share many characteristics, would you say that this is positive or negative?

  • If anything, I think there has to be something in the beat, the tune, and the tempo. Because often times the lyrics are pretty "by-the-numbers," and have been used countless times for decades, always saying the same things. Some songs change it up with modern concepts and modern slang, and even build the whole song's hook on it: which can make a song fun strictly because of it's hook. But most times, I think it's just the tune and how it grabs you. That's the main reason why I love J-pop. I can't understand a word that's being said, nor do I usually need to know: I just love the beat and the tune. I'll even sing along as best as I can because of how energetic the songs often are. – Jonathan Leiter 6 years ago
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  • The writer of this article should check out scoreahit.com. The site explains the "Hit Equation" and has scientific formula on how to create a hit song. – Lexzie 6 years ago
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