The Biggest Missed Opportunity in Writing Songs for Impact

If you are writing songs with lyrics, and if your goal is to create an emotional impact, then this is perhaps one of the fundamental concepts that you’ll want to keep in mind.  This is such an often-missed opportunity (even among songs that are very impactful already), though it is …

Tuneful vs. Untuneful Melodies

There are two different kinds of melodies.  Tuneful ones and untuneful ones. Now what is a “tuneful” melody? Definition It’s one where if you play that melody instrumentally, it still holds listeners’ attention. That sounds obvious if you’re talking instrumental music, but in songs with words, that’s not always a …

Intervals: Basic Building Blocks of Music

An interval is a distance between two notes. A song is made up of many intervals. An interval has two directions: up or down.  Going up has an energizing effect.  Coming down is the opposite — calming, settling, depressing, and so on.  It basically takes away energy. The other element of an interval is …

Cause & Effect Music Theory

One way to approach music theory and songwriting is to think in terms of cause & effect. Understanding the musical devices (chords, riffs, melodies) and the impressions each gives will provide you a toolbox you can use to concoct songs that create a particular emotional impact.  I started writing songs in high school, but …

Ari’s Music Theory Primer

A detailed discussion of music theory is outside the scope of this blog, but here’s my take on some fundamental music theory concepts, so you know what I’m talking about. Harmonic Theory In Western music, an octave is divided into 12 equal steps.  Each step is called semitones or half-step. …