So You Want To Be a Rock and Roll Star…
Hooktheory, a system for learning to write music, analyzed 1,300 popular songs for how chords were used.
First we’ll look at the relative popularity of different chords based on the frequency that they appear in the chord progressions of popular music. Then we’ll begin to look at the relationship that different chords have with one another. For example, if a chord is found in a song, what can we say about the probability for what the next chord will be that comes after it?…
It will surprise no one who has done time playing rhythm in a band that the most common chords used overall were G, F, and C.
[TotH to Flowing Data]
As we reach for the Rickenbacker, we might recall that it was on this date in 1968 that Elvis Presley took the stage for the first time in over seven years to record the NBC television special Elvis, remembered now as “the ‘68 Comeback Special.” The King’s informal jam session, recorded that night in front of a small audience, was the inspiration for the “Unplugged” concept, later popularized by MTV.
(The chords that ran through the repertoire fit Hooktheory’s pattern precisely; c.f., “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.”)