Dutch scientists says that cheerful lyrics, a quick tempo, and key with major thirds are the only three ingredients you need in order to create an instant pop hit.
Neuroscientists surveyed a number of people on their all-time favourite pop song and, by using the aforementioned ‘magic’ formula, they may have found the happiest and most high-spirited song that has ever been written.
The most feel-good pop song of all time turned out to be “Don’t Stop Me Now” by the British band Queen. The song was released in 1979 and it soon became an instant hit. As for chart positions, “Don’t Stop Me Now” landed on #9 in the United Kingdom, #10 in Ireland, #14 in the Netherlands, #35 in Germany, #37 in Sweden, and, surprisingly, only on position 86 in the United States.
According to experts, the song contains 155 beats per minute (very fats tempo), happy lyrics, and a major key. In other words, it has all of the necessary ingredients that are needed in order to write a feel-good pop song.
“A feel-good song is very personal. Music is intimately linked with memory and emotion. However, there are some key criteria for composers to consider when creating feel good songs. Songs written in a major key with fast tempo are best at inducing positive emotions,” Dr. Jacob Jolij, an assistant professor of neuroscience at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
In the study, Dr. Jacob Jolij surveyed about 2,000 British adults on their all-time favourite uplifting song. Jolij created an equation, using BMP for beats per minute, L for lyrics, and K for key, and analysed all of the 126 song collected from the survey. This is the list of the top 10 hits that were chosen by the participants:
- “Don’t Stop Me Now,”by Queen (1979)
- “Dancing Queen,”by Abba (1976)
- “Good Vibrations,”by The Beach Boys (1966)
- “Uptown Girl,”by Billy Joel (1983)
- “Eye of the Tiger,”by Survivor (1982)
- “I’m a Believer”, by The Monkeys (1966)
- “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,”by Cyndi Lauper (1983)
- “Livin’ on a Prayer,”by Bon Jovi (1986)
- “I Will Survive,”by Gloria Gaynor (1978)
- “Walking on Sunshine,”by Katrina & The Waves (1983)
It is possible that the results were influenced by the age and the location of survey-takers, given the fact that most of these songs are from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Dr. Jolji made another list of upbeat songs that includes: “Happy” by Pharell Williams, “Let Me Entertain You” by Robbie Williams.
A previous survey, showed that 54 percent of British people listen to music for self motivation, and 75 percent of them listen to music to brighten their mood.
Image Source: static.queenonline.com.s3.amazonaws