Most important element of a song


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Whenever you choose a song to listen to, what is the first thing that will make you listen to it? Is it the lyrics, beat or the artist who sang it?

Ouled Nails

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It depends. I enjoy listening to Nathalie Cole sing "On route 66" because of the beat, the lyrics and her "velvet" voice. Listening to Janis Joplin sing "My Bobby McKee"(spelling?) however is pretty much all about her propensity to really get carried away, her very passionate "drive". But even a Barbara Hendricks singing Gershwin cannot draw my attention away from his very lyrical compositions, his music.


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My interest is swayed most often by the musical intro. Music in my era included ol' Blue Eyes (Frank Sinatra) and the like ... those big band intros were great.


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We can get very lucky if the music we love to listen to have all these elements in it. But I tend to get swayed by the lyrics and beat most often than by the artist who sang it.

Art Rock

Sr. Regulator
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Sr. Regulator
Melody, first and foremost. Then voice, then instrumentation, then lyrics.


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Oh, so you are a type of person that doesn’t care about the lyrics too much? Well, I think it is a common trend these days. Plus if you are lover of classical piano, it is more often that this type of songs does not have lyrics in it.

Sylvie Pacey

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Hi Cessy, For me it is melody first, then the harmony used to carry the melody along. Lyrics also matter a great deal to me. Some singers can carry a song straight to your heart but in this, sincerity plays a great part. sylvie pacey.


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On mine the executor have a greater role on listeners. Some executors can so well to sing an old and ugly song, that you any more do not pay attention to a song. We even forget as this song we did not like:)))
Personally for me it is pleasant Shakira because of the rhythm, accent and a voice, I listen to her with the great pleasure :)
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I certainly agree with that. "It ain't worth a thing, if it ain't got that swing", Anyone remember who did that one? I can't come up with it, but it was a great song.


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For me personally, its the lyrics followed by the music itself. To me lyrics are the most important layer to any genre of music, if i feel and can relate to your lyrics then your music is bound to be loved and adored by me. Although lyrics are alot to me great musicality can also draw me in to any song.


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For me it is generally the beat. Obviously I buy the song for the artist initially, but even the artist won't gaurantee that I am going to like it if the beat isn't to my liking.
I generally listen a lot whilst sitting at my desk working and it is important that the song gets me swaying or moving in my chair, even just rapping a pen. Working to a beat also seesm to make me much more effective in my workload. I couldn't say that about the lyrics!


It depends entirely on the piece or song. To me, there is not one element that is more important than any other over all. All the elements have the ability to draw me into a piece or song, if the element(s) is/are good.

That being said, I love a good melody, and am a sucker for lush chords, love a good groove, and lyrics, which I only listen to if I like some other element in the music, can enhance the music if they are good.
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Great question! I feel that what makes a song is not just lyrics or the music, but the combination of them together. I've heard some great musical songs with horrible lyrics, and great lyrical songs with terrible music. I think finding the balance of these things so that they compliment each other makes a song a song. I listen to many different types of music, and am open to new music, so the artist and genre don't particularly matter to me. As long as it sounds good and has intelligent lyrics, I'm happy.


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Not a definitive answer because it does depend on the music but generally speaking for me the lyrics have to be good. Then the voice. I prefer the singer to have an edge to their voice.


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i tend to chose based on composers and singers first ^^;;
then melody and beat, whether they both fit together or not, then the lyric ^^

that " it ain't worth a thing if it ain't got that swing" actually really a legend song of swing jazz!! XD love swing genre! i think swing's the best genre to accompany in good mood


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It depends!

It depends on the song:

If the song is highly lyrical then the lyrics matter most - Elvis Costello and Squeeze the lyrics tended to have it;

If the song is melodic then the melody;

If the song is rhythmic then the beat;

If there is a great bass-line, it's the bass;

It depends on the Singer;
It depends on the musicianship;
It depends on my mood;
It depends on what I'm doing;

It depends!


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The music will always catch my attention first, but for a song to become a true fave of mine it will always depend on the lyrics.


I prefer the melody. It's the most important part of a song, which contains much more information than lyrics. Lyrics is kind of a very lowly form of literature.


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If we are talking pop/rock music – the first thing I notice is – do they like what they play and sing? If I think so I began to listen, and for me the singer is quite important. Take Emmelou Harris, every song she sings, she makes her own song, so even this small country songs I can enjoy.
Ella Fitzgerald is a fantastic singer, I enjoy much of her interprets. But is she a singer? In a way she is the best saxophone singer/player I know, so she is more a member of the band. Ellington called her, when he need this sound in his orchestra, and he get what he wanted.
You remember the 3 tenors in Rome? Well great songs and music, but with no joy - at least for me. It was money in the pocket, no more than that.
Music matters and need love and affection, as the wonderful Joan Armatrading sing. So for me the statement “Love and Affection” is important in every music making.