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Songwriting tips and tricks Volume 2 "the hook continued"

"Music hath charms to soothe s savage breast" “To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.”

William Congreve

Oddly enough music does have the ability to influence our physiology.

" The study of how music affects the mind has been a subject of interest for many. The interconnection between music and the physical and mental health of human beings has been researched on since long. Research has concluded that music does have positive effects on our mind. It has the power of healing certain ailments. Indian classical music has been found to have the strongest healing powers. Music has a calming effect on the mind. It is known to speed the recovery of health ailments. It helps fight anxiety and has a soothing effect on the brain. "

"Feeling depressed, gloomy or inadequate? Soothing music can help you. Depression reduces brain activity and hampers the mind's ability to plan and carry out tasks. Lack of the neurotransmitter Serotonin, results in a depressed state of mind. Soothing musical notes help increase the Serotonin levels of the brain, thus alleviating mental depression. Natural musical notes are known to make the mind alert. "

" Anxiety is a feeling of fear or uncertainty that clouds your mind and the feeling is mostly about an upcoming event having an unknown outcome. The result is what you are afraid of or worried about. Increased anxiety levels and stress lead to sleeplessness. Prolonged periods of anxiety may even lead to anxiety disorders. But music can come to rescue. It calms the body nerves and soothes the mind. Flat musical notes induce sleep. "

" Music affects the process of learning and thinking. Listening to quiet and soothing music while working helps you work faster and in a more efficient way. Music has the ability to make you positive and feel motivated. Research has shown that music brings about remarkable improvements in the academic skills of students, who are made to listen to certain kinds of music while studying or working in the lab. Listening to pleasant music, while doing a difficult task, can make it seem easier. "

It turns out that what we are doing when we play music is really influencing our physical and mental state.

So then what is the difference between a good hook and a great hook?

The way it affects the person on a physiological level.

My wife and I went to a wedding a year or so ago. During the reception the DJ set up his gear and began his playlist. During this time I noticed a very odd thing. All the popular music from the 70s and early 80s had the people rushing to the dance floor...we were laughing and singing and swaying to the music. This went on for about an hour and a half. Young and old alike were getting down and funky. For some the music was before their time and some it was way after but that didn't matter. Then the DJ started playing music after 1985 and the crowd thinned out. The response was remarkable to say the least...the 70s music COMPELLED the crowd on a fundamental level .

If you want to write a great hook it has to compel the listener to some sort of physical action.

Example: The first notes of 'Y.M.C.A', the first bar of 'Staying Alive', the first line from 'Star Wars', the first few notes of the ominous dirge from 'Jaws' or the first few notes of 'Indiana Jones' - what are the common reactions?

Your hook has to appeal to the lowest common denominator in the human psyche.

Think " the Addams Family" or "Green Acres"

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