I have a theory in life that there is a simple balance of factors that differentiate good music from great music.
Great music comes from a balance of three factors:
- An Intellectual Quotient: Something smart, or original, new or different. A use of the mind;
- An Emotional Quotient: The passion or feeling in a song. This can create power; and
- A Melodic Quotient: The tune, melody, general sound or invoked atmosphere.
These three factors do not have to be represented equally. Sometimes a deficiency in one can be compensated for by strengthening the others, but they must all be present. That’s what creates truly great music that will stand the test of time.
If a factor is lacking or even completely missing, you can still get okay music, or even pretty good, something is missing. It’s like snack foods. It was good, but not necessarily satisfying and not very memorable.
A lot of modern pop and techno music is like this. Catchy tune, but it lacks both the mental and emotional quotients. But everyone needs a guilty pleasure every now and then. Like a chocolate bar. Just makes sure to have something else with it. By itself it’s not very good for you. :)