“Track and Hook”: The Death of Creativity in Songwriting?

(via The Pudding)

“Track-and-hook” is Seabrook’s coinage for a music-making method that fundamentally distinguishes today’s music-making from all that came before. What separates track-and-hook from its predecessors is how the music is made. The storied, solitary figure working out musical problems at a piano while filling up an ashtray has been replaced by teams of digital production specialists and subspecialists, each assigned to a snare track, a bass track, and so on, mixed and matched and stuck together like Legos.
“The process doesn’t lend itself very well to art,” Seabrook said. Instead, track-and-hook is far more literally factory-like, a mode of production that emphasizes specialization and volume. As the technology writer Nicholas Carr wrote, “The manufacture of pop songs has been so thoroughly industrialized that it makes the old Motown ‘hit factory’ look like a sewing circle.”
Read more:

https://pudding.cool/2018/05/similarity/

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Our thoughts on this: As Gary Trust writes in Billboard“A Bacharach melody is not inviting people to get involved with it. But track-and-hook creates a template for a lot of different cooks stirring the broth.”

We think the first part of this statement is key. If you were Bacharach, McCartney or Elvis Costello, you wouldn’t want a lot of cooks stirring your broth. While track-and-hook involves more participants, the potential for Bacharach-like greatness is negated. We live in an era of songwriting homogeneity, but not much music that rises above the artistic mean.

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