The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49574   Message #750109
Posted By: NicoleC
17-Jul-02 - 11:24 PM
Thread Name: WHAT IS THE 'HOOK'?
Subject: RE: WHAT IS THE 'HOOK'?
Great articles, Sharon!

Way back when I took a "Record Production Management" class at USC. None of us could adequately define what a hook was in words. But throw on some records and every last one of us would pick out the same thing as the "hook," even though most of the songs had different way of hooking the listener.

This was solely a class by and for lucrative commercial production, so the, er, "rules" were: 1) In order to get played on the radio, you need to reach the hook within 30 seconds. 2) You can have more than one hook, but don't bother -- one will do and you can save the other for another song. (Ouch!)

I think #1 applies to most public performances, too. If an audience doesn't find something they want to hear pretty quickly, they'll go back to their beer in a hurry, and it's awfully hard to get their attention back once you've lost it.

Most traditional tunes seem to rely on the story itself to keep your interest -- one big long hook. You WANT to know what happened to Tom Dooley. Reading Sharon's quotes, I just noticed the big important bits of information in ballads seem to come in the same spots modern music puts the hook.