I went to my room and did my homework, and here's my report lol.
There appears to be more than one company using this science and helping both artists and labels to market music. See butterflyjes's links she posted in my "Question about Ric" topic in the main forum. It's based on entering certain information about songs into a database that also has info on over 250,000 songs back to the 50s. Some of it is: Melody, Harmony, Beat, Tempo, Rhythm, Octave, Pitch, Chord progression, Fullness of sound, Sonic brightness, Cadence, Texture and Timbre. Other analysis takes place on top of those. So Monique, you gave me a link that answered my question about what the data is based on. Thanks!
One of Monique's links includes an interview of Ric Wake by Dee Snider (former front man for Twister Sister). They talk about the catch phrase, or the hook that can make a song grab us. One of Ric's examples was a military country song hit, but Mr. Snider thought he was referring to Lee Greenwoods "Proud to Be an American" (which also has a great hook) but I think Ric was referring to "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)" by Toby Keith. Here's a quote from an article I read about Toby and his song, that exemplifies the passion that goes behind a "hook."
"But the song he is best known for is called “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),” and he told 60 Minutes II that he wrote it in just 20 minutes, a week after 9/11. He wrote it to play for troops on USO tours – something he often volunteers to do. He never intended to release the song on a CD, but then, he played it for Pentagon brass in Washington. “He [the Marine Corp commandant] said, 'You have to release it. You can serve your country in other ways besides suiting up in combat.' We will go kick their butts. But we survive on morale,” says Keith. “I mean, we live on the morale. That's what we travel on. And, he said I highly recommend you put that song out.” So he did, and Keith’s career was never the same. It’s been used as a battle cry by U.S. armed services in Iraq. Bombs were branded with it. One of the first tanks into Baghdad was, as well."
The passion he had so soon after 9/11, the support for our troops, his patriatism and the will to fight for freedom all spawned his hook. This is why "the hook" (this song's title and verse lyric) grabbed the listeners and Toby Keith never has to work again lol. But HSS is through a computer and it doesn't know about the war, and the fight for freedom, so the human factor is still a requirement for recognizing a hit.
"This technology is nothing more than a tool to help seasoned and experienced label executives do their jobs better. When we say that our technology is to music what x-rays are to medicine we mean it in more than just to emphasize that the technology is revolutionary for the industry. An x-ray, (or almost any medical lab test) needs a good doctor to interpret it, to know what it is saying and to make a correct diagnosis. It takes a trained ear and someone in touch with the market and society to make educated guesses about what can become a hit. HSS simply adds some scientific and objective data to the mix. The tool will never be used to make decisions on it's own and will never take the place of golden ears and a gut feeling."
Now about Yanni's music, I bet most of his songs, if not all, fall right into the clusters of hits in the little universe generated by all the data in HSS. I'd be curious to know whether Ric and Yanni ran his existing music through the program and what the results were.
This technology will also help Ric and Yanni make some determinations about his new music. The music he's already released probably places high for melody and harmony. Unless...!!...the computer gets confused because Yanni fooled it. Many of his songs have two or three melodies & harmonies going at the same time!! lol The data may be less similar in the category of "beat" because he uses a lot of unusual timing such as sevens, that might lower the HSS score. But they remind us that a low score for anything doesn't mean the song isn't a hit. I'm sure octave, pitch and chord progression are high scores as there is brilliant composing there. Fullness of sound probably scores higher for Yanni than any other music on the market lol.
Education is the key to not being afraid of something. I love to learn and when it's music, I'm a sponge. A hit song for me is a song that grabs me. It has a melody that I can't get out of my head and instantly memorize because of the sheer need to hear it again. Somewhere in the song, the notes and chords create some sort of unique sound that my ears lock into (well, one of them lol) and the passage speaks on my behalf. Some things that often make this possible for me are thirds, minor notes, brilliant use of the key of C (John Denver), double hormonies, odd keys, profound lyrics, unique bridges, explosive finales and pauses in just the right places. Every song on IICTY does this for me.
Other than how it makes you feel, what criteria classifies a song as a hit for you? Feel free to use one of Yanni's song to explain it.