The art and science of composing a pop song
by Max Robillard, guest writer; illustrations by Eleanor Anderson, art editor
There is a time and place for everything, except pop music. Pop music’s time and place is all the time and everywhere. The first step in writing a pop song is to recognize this. Pop music is generally understood to be something heard on Z 97, but the songs on that station are commercials, and most of the artists on them are products. Pop music is not a genre necessarily; it often has an upbeat, positive flavor, but it can be sad or frightening, too. Gary Numan and Kimya Dawson are pop, though they sound completely different. Pop music is really about structure and a few additional components that have existed for thousands, if not millions, of days.