Sunday, September 12, 2010

Astridian Rules for Excellent Music

    1. Strong beat, ideally syncopated; and/or epic-sounding (e.g. film soundtracks, madrigals).

2. Relatively melodic singing.

3. Unique chords, and/or unique chord progression, and/or amusing lyrics, and/or unique instrumentation.

4. Minimal noise (cymbals, guitar wash), should have a clean sound.

5. No falsetto, unless you're black or Beck. Deeper = better, regardless of gender.

6. No yelling/screaming.

7. Not repetitive.

8. Bonus: slide guitar.


  1. I always appreciate the presence of a moog.

  2. I agree! That would be under "unique instrumentation".

  3. How about periodic inversion of a track's playback direction at regular intervals? Bass! How low can you go? An off da' hook background drum beat? A DJ by the name of Premier? Apologies, I couldn't resist...

  4. Wow, listening to Premier right now, thanks so much for the suggestion!

    Your points are all excellent, although I think the periodic inversion of playback might already be included under "unique instrumentation", and the off-the-hook drum beat definitely comes under "strong beat". Bass...I'm not so big on heavy bass, but it's not a deal-breaker, either. Thanks for giving me the perfect background music for the work I'm doing tonight!

    P.S. Are we white, bespectacled gals allowed to say "off da hook", or would it seem like I'm trying too hard to sound street?

  5. They're starting to get more popular, so you may know of them already, but have you heard Phantogram?

  6. Actually I think I'm the one who's trying to hard and I need to stop. I am soo not hood with my glasses and computer geekery. For me the bass is a definite pre-req. I dunno it must be genealogy or something. (Chappelle has theories on why that is.) Regarding white girls saying "off da' hook" I don't think there are any rules or regulations around it. Depending on the speaker and inflection, the phrase may be inaccurately taken to infer a context indicating whether something is not properly placed on its appropriate hanger. With practice one could achieve desirable results. YMMV.