2019, Sat, Nov 23

Tot Taylor: Songs and where they came from

Tot Taylor | Photo: Peter Ashworth

Tot Taylor | Photo: Peter Ashworth

Question: Why do all pop songs sound the same? Answer: Because they are all the same. Pop music has long been doing what the art of memes pushes to the extreme today. Beats, chords, melodies, lyrics – basically they’re all the same but in slightly different arrangements, claims Tot Taylor. For years, the author, composer, music producer and operator of the London Riflemaker Gallery has been working on the issue of re-use and further use in music. On the piano, Taylor traces characteristic song elements using well-known pop hits as an example, and points out where they recur again and again. From Irving Berlin to the Beatles, Carole King to Carly Simon, Chuck Berry and David Bowie to Aretha Franklin and Adele, Radiohead and Lana del Rey, Drake, Dr. Dre and Kanye West – Taylor invites you to listen carefully and work together to find out how – and why – it works. Is it a problem if criteria such as originality and authorship are not met? Are they really decisive for what makes good pop music? Creativity and how to make a living from it is also the subject of Taylor’s novel, recently published in German, about rise and fall of a songwriter, The Story of John Nightly.