What Makes a Song Great?


Music is meant to move people.

So why is it that some songs change our lives when we hear them, and others just make us want to change the radio station?

The answer is simple: We love the songs that we relate to.

Songs are poetic stories told in specific rhythms and key signatures. These stories capture moments in time that honor the feelings of love, betrayal, confusion,  etc. Many even take it a step further with genre specific nuances that help the listener connect more with the plot. For example, country songs focus on farmers wanting to take back roads, while rap songs tend to have more of a club setting.

When a song is related to, people see it as a part of their own lives. They see themselves in the story, and can’t get enough. It’s a bit narcissistic, but true.

That’s why you don’t often see a cowboy singing Kanye, or a city girl belting out Rascal Flatts. People hold on to the music that reflects their own stories, and flock toward artists that they see sides of themselves in.

One could argue that all music is great. Surely each artist would vouch for their own songs. The truth of the matter is, all music has the potential to be great, once it reaches the right ears.

When a song is exposed to someone at the right time and place that can relate to the story on a basic human level, then that song can be considered great.

The value of songs does not come from Billboard stats or iTunes buys, but rather, musical value comes from the listeners’ relationship with the song. Songs are meant to be heard, and once the right person hears the right song, then and only then does greatness occur.


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