How to Define Recognisable Music in 10 Steps

How to define recognisable music in 10 steps?Assume that if a brand says recognisable this links to their reach

Think about what the brand is asking – how do you measure if a song is famous as opposed to being sonically familiar based in its musical elements. As a rights holder – assign examples to each point to help people navigate this.


2) FAMOUS- Headline gigs at stadium venues, top 10 UK chart success, radio 1 play,  strong press (The Guardian, Rolling Stone, Mojo, Uncut, Clash), Online coverage (Pitchfork) and remain relevant to current audiences. Views/follows in multiple millions on YouTube, Spotify instagram, 

3) ESTABLISHED – Not had UK chart top 10 hits but have established fans and followings online in 100ks, sell out 3000+ seater venues, have a strong audience of their own and are not necessarily tied to current trends. 

4) EMERGING – have release an EP, series of singles or an album and are showing growth in their online following, may be have a brand endorsement deal or modelling contract

5) RECOGNISE THE SONG BUT NOT WHO THE ARTIST IS – those songs that are in our consciousness but we might not know the name

6) PIONEER – significant contribution to music, often referenced by other artists, may be a co-writer on a famous song, famous by association

7) BUZZ – HYPE BANDS – no chart success, award nominations 

8) SOUND IS RECOGNISABLE? Instrumentation sounds familiar how do you allocate music to this?

Emotion and movement (happy rise/sad fall) / style of dance music BPM eg: techno from common time (4/4), while the tempo typically varies between 120 and 150 beats per minute (bpm)

9) SOCIAL ATTRIBUTIONS – can this be linked to existing income, poverty and levels of wealth, social capital, social cohesion, and safety and security in the neighborhood. Sometimes I might refer to music that I hear played in particular shops or locations like air ports.  

10) SOCIAL IDENTITIES(gender, race, class) – is this already championed in particular magazines, films, art exhibitions and cultural signposts of a particular culture. It could be the song that a particular football team chant or music favoured by a particular DJ.


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Lynden Campbell

Lynden Campbell

After two decades in the music industry, Lynden has established herself as a music futurist ready to embrace complex and strategic licensing problems. Continue Reading...