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The Most Unwanted Song
The Most Unwanted Song
The Most Unwanted Song

The Most Unwanted Song - 12tone

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Just some friends making videos about music theory. What? Is that weird? Patreon: Mailing list: Facebook: Twitter: Email:

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There's lots of ways to work out what makes a song popular, and music theorists use many different techniques to analyze and understand compositions, but how about just asking people what they like? Well, that's exactly what a couple artists in the 90s decided to do, conducting a rigorous, scientific poll in order to identify what people actually wanted in their music and produce what would be, in theory, the most popular possible song. And, in the interest of science (and fun), they also turned their results upside-down, making what should be the most unwanted song ever recorded. So how'd they do?

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Huge thanks to our gold-level Patreon supporters:

Susan Jones
Jill Jones
Ron Jones
Howard Levine
Elaine Pratt
Ken Arnold
Gabi Ghita
Kaylor Hodges
Mark Yachnin
Brian Etheredge
Joe Mensor
William (Bill) Boston
Irvine Garrett
Nicolas Mendoza
Justin Donnell:
Khristofor Saraga
Jeff Hook
Josh King
Gene Lushtak
Anton Smyk
Michael Hutcheson

And thanks as well to Henry Reich, Logan Jones, Eugene Bulkin,  Dialup Salesman, Abram Thiessen, Anna Work, Oliver, Jc Bq, Adam Neely, Jon I, nico, David Zahara, Michael Fieseler, Rick Lees, Ben LaRose, rhandhom1, Marc Himmelberger, Chris Borland, jason black, Dutreuilh Olivier, Olivia Andersson, Nick Olman, Joey Strandquist, Daniel Gilchrist, billy roberts, Elliot Burke, Alex Atanasyan, Davis Sprague, Amlor, Dakota Williams, Miles Strand, Greg Borenstein, Tim S., David Tocknell, Elias Simon, Jordan Nelson, StarsServant, Steven Kapor, Dave Mayer, Thomás, Jerry D. Brown, Luciano Baez, Christopher Wright, Sportlunch, David Conrad, MasterDslay, blalo'u, Adil Abdulla, Lauren Steely, Justin Bronstein, Justin Aungst, Michelle Young, Fabian, Josiah R. Hazel, Ohad Lutzky, Bate Goiko, Jon White, Eivind Vatshaug, and Nuno Tiago! Your support helps make 12tone even better!

Also, thanks to Jareth Arnold and Jade Tan-Holmes for proofreading the script to make sure this all makes sense hopefully!
Can Music Be Bad?

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Understanding Total Eclipse Of The Heart

Some songs are obviously interesting and deserving of study, but others... others surprise you. I'll be honest, when I got the request to look at Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart I wasn't expecting much, but I'm happy to admit that I was very wrong. Jim Steinman, the composer, baked in a lot of really cool ideas, turning what could've been a pretty straightforward pop ballad into a deep, intricate exercise in harmonic ingenuity. The tools he uses are all pretty simple, but the way he uses them is anything but. Patreon: Merchandise Store: Mailing List: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Email:...

Understanding Otherside

What makes a Red Hot Chili Peppers song tick? There's a lot of pieces to their signature sound, borrowing from pop, rock, and funk to create something unique and compelling. In Otherside, we can see a lot of those influences coming out in the harmony as well as in their approach to instrumental writing, with ideas reminiscent of, surprisingly enough, Baroque composition practices. It's a really interesting piece, and a testimony to the complexity that can be created out of relatively simple parts. Patreon: Mailing List: Facebook: Twitter: Email: Last: Otherside: Counterpoint and Rounds video: Functional Harmony in Minor video: Writing...

Understanding The Imperial March

There's a new Star Wars movie coming out soon, so we're looking at my favorite piece from the original trilogy: Darth Vader's theme, also known as the Imperial March. It's iconic, dramatic, and stunningly complex, blending urgent rhythms with powerful, stately melodies and some pretty fascinating chord choices to create a piece of music that tells you everything you need to know about who Darth Vader is without a single word. Music by John Williams Patreon: Merchandise Store: Mailing List: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Email: Last: The Imperial March: Chromatic Mediants video: Periods (And Melodies) video: Script: SOURCES: Huge thanks to our gold-level Patreon...

What Makes Scary Music Scary?

It's Halloween! And to celebrate, we're looking at horror movie music! How does it work? What makes it so frightening? As it turns out, it's not just one thing! Film composers use lots of tricks, from dissonance to range to something called a "non-linearity" all to make you jump out of your seat. These tricks can be used separately to put the audience on edge, or combined together into one giant ball of musical terror! Check it out! Patreon: Mailing List: Facebook: Twitter: Email: Next: Last: Study on Scary Music: Huge thanks to our gold-level Patreon supporters: Ron Jones Jill Jones Susan Jones Howard Levine Elaine...

The Strangest Normal Scale

Harmonic Major is really simple, except that it's not. It's just like the major scale except with a flat 6th degree, which seems straightforward enough, but the effect of lowering that one note changes pretty much everything, from creating all sorts of weird chords to adding bizarre intervals to its melodic structures. It's kind of in between major and minor, but there's plenty of other scales that are too, and most of them are a lot easier to use. So what's the point? Well... Patreon: Merchandise Store: Mailing List: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Email: Last: Harmonic Minor video: Modes video: Augmented Triads...


Thanks to Milo Ahenakew for playing guitar for us! Milo's also our audio engineer, it was fun getting him in on the video side of the project. Practice Exercises: Arpeggios Video: Basic Guitar Playing: Beginner Guitar Chords: Whole Lotta Love (Easy Guitar Riff): All of Me (Easy Song W/Chords): Facebook: Twitter: Email: Next: Last:

Sweet Child O' Mine And The Hunt For A Resolution

So what makes Sweet Child O' Mine tick? How did Guns N' Roses create a song that was simultaneously sweet, romantic, and heavy as heck? Well, they did it by accident, but setting that aside, there's a lot of interesting compositional techniques that went into this hard rock masterpiece. For instance, did you know that there are literally zero actual resolutions in it? None whatsoever. They replace them all with a couple different pseudo-resolve-y things, which keeps the song moving forward and never lets the listener actually rest. Plus we break down one of the most famous riffs in all...

The worst advice I got in High School - Becoming a musician, classical musicians, music school

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How's She Buying That Stairway To Heaven?

There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold, but, really, how is she buying that Stairway to Heaven? We may never know what exactly Robert Plant was singing about, but at least we can study what Jimmy Page was playing with it. The harmony of Stairway is rich, complex, and sometimes downright non-sensical, but today we'd like to take a look at what's going on under the hood and explain our take on why this rock classic works so damn well. Also, special thanks to Patreon patron Susan Jones for suggesting this song! We're doing an analysis video every...

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The hidden oil patterns on bowling lanes

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When Giant Fungi Ruled

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How To Modulate Anywhere

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