Artwork from the book - Popular Music Appreciation – A Checklist by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג -
I'm a writer, scientist, musician, inventor and lecturer. During the daytime I am advisor to the President of Shenkar College. In the evening I write children's books, satire, and "how to" manuals ("Mel's ten tips). I'm co-founder of Ourboox and married to Ourboox CEO Shuli Sapir-Nevo.
Oct 2013
Member Since
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Popular Music Appreciation – A Checklist

by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג

We can use the following questions to try to help us understand why we like a song or not:

Is there a universal story? A personal story? A good story? A moving story?

Similar to other songs we know and like and yet different’


Does the music fit the lyrics?

Is there a Hook


Fits the listening situation/mood

Makes us feel like everyone else -OR-

Makes us feel part of a special group of people


Simple and easy to sing along -OR-

Complicated (chords, etc.)

Quality of voice and type of singing – timbre, range, speechiness, etc.




Instruments and instrumentation – familiar, different

Pitch, Melody and Phrasing (see further)

Vocal harmony, instruments, arrangement


Just how intricate the arrangement can be! A great video for musicians especially.


Let’s now add to our repertoire of musical understanding of popular songs: pitch, melody and phrasing, as described in the book on the opposite page. Don’t forget to listen to the two mysterious melodies at the end of the book!



Let’s listen to this big hit by Gilbert O’Sullivan from the early seventies. Alone Again, Naturally. It’s a highly successful song, even though (perhaps because?) it is many chords!


Artwork from the book - Popular Music Appreciation – A Checklist by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג -




And Diana Krall cover:


Homework: Listen to at least three of the songs chosen by Paul or Diana and try to answer why they covered them, using the checklist above.


More in the next pages!

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