How to Write a Hit Song

Understanding how to write a hit song means understanding that you have to follow some important details, identified with a study carried out by some statisticians. They are part of the “Battito della musica” group and analyzing the most successful songs of 2010-2019, they realized that there are some elements to respect, if you want to stay at the top of the music charts. There is even a specific formula to follow to achieve this goal.

How to write a hit song: the study of statisticians

Understanding how to write a hit song means hitting the mechanism that will keep the tune always at the top of the charts. To achieve this, the team of statisticians “Battito della Musica” has long analyzed various world music hits. Experts noted that most of the hits had common characteristics.

The result showed that a song must have a specific formula, to be appreciated by billions of people and to be not easily forgotten. This formula includes some parameters which may vary from country to country. The elements to consider to form it are:

  • The musical key
  • The time
  • The meter
  • The energy
  • The “danceable”
  • The catchiness 
  • The simplicity of the musical text

Details about the parameters and formula

The first parameter to consider is the musical key and the key of C is widely used. But there are also other types, such as that of F, that of G. The time instead of a song is measured in “beats” per minute and represents the speed of the piece of music. The meter on the other hand is much more specific because it indicates how many beats are in a musical bar. Much used is the 4/4 meter, used both in rock, blues, country, pop, funk songs. However, there are also other very important parameters, such as energy and “danceable”. The first indicates the quantity of positive emotions, therefore of determination, that the song makes the listener perceive. It is measured on a scale that varies from 1 to 100 and usually the pieces of music considered “more energetic” are the fastest, most rhythmic and also noisiest. A successful song, however, must also be “danceable”: it means songs must have a rhythm that pushes you to dance. All these parameters can constitute a “formula”. For example, studying the charts, you can see that in Argentina pop songs in the key of C, with 4/4 meter and time 111 beats per minute are enormously successful. However, the formula is different for other countries, because for example Portugal prefers slower hits, but with a good amount of dance. Another important element should not be forgotten: catchiness. A “catchy” song manages to have a huge success because it will stay in mind more easily and people will be able to hum it often. If the lyrics are easier to understand, their words will be remembered simply and the song will remain at the top of the charts for a long time.


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