June 25, 2009

A Deeper Look at Fader #4

In Songcrafters' Coloring Book, I present the Four-Faders of Songwriting Success. I also discuss the psychological principle known as the Von Restorff effect, which simply shows that when something among a group is different, it is more easily noticed and remembered (for better or for worse). The opposite effect is called the Asch Effect, which is a tendency to want to blend with the crowd and fit in.

These are two basic elements of human nature, and they are often in play when we look at creating songs, and how listeners receive them. Understanding these tendencies in yourself and in others can help a songwriter better align his/her creative output with the desired target audience, and to help set realistic expectations when balancing artistic and commercial goals. These effects are also directly relevant to how artists 'brand' themselves and their music, and how that brand is perceived and received by an audience. The above diagram helps illustrate the interrelation of these effects on songwriter/artist and audience.

In Malcolm Gladwell's book "The Tipping Point", he speaks of early adopters and mavens who are drawn to new and different things, and how they can be the impetus to make or break something new, whether it's a product or a song or an idea. Once a new product/song/idea is presented to the masses, it is Asch Effect which plays a major role in establishing mass appeal.

More info on the Asch and Von Restorff Effects can be found with a simple Google search of each.


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