The Art of Music Curation: Part 2

Design Metrics – A Practical Approach

In my last post I talked about “subjective characteristics” being used as design parameters in music curation strategy and why it was NOT an effective way to implement a music curation strategy for your business. In this post, I want talk about a “practical approach” to designing and implementing music curation metrics and how a practical strategy can benefit your music.

 

Chef prepping a meal

Metrics – The Concept

Again, this can be a “slippery slope” if you’re not careful. However, if you look at music characteristics in more simplified terms, you can easily assign some basic metric reference points to an individual piece of music. Sound Design Metrics is a way of breaking down music by its mood (overall sound and “feel”), attributes (lyrics, subject matter, story progression and sonic change), energy level (tempo and density), Genre (rock, classical…etc), vocal composition (male, female, non-vocal) as well as time of day (“day-parting”). These components are then give a value parameter. In simplified terms, it’s a way of providing the right mood and style for your business as based on music parameters combined with the time of day, location, target clientele and all other relevant variables. Some examples for reference characteristics are listed below. You can think of it as blending the right ingredients to make a great tasting dish.

These metric components can then be assessed by assigning a value scale to each one and then implemented by blending them into day-parted segments that are adjusted to fit the clients desired sound branding profile requirements. Some ideas on metric characteristics are listed below. Again, these should LIMITED to reasonable, definable characteristics while leaving “subjective” elements out of the process.

MOOD
(overall sound arrangement…etc)

ATTRIBUTES
(Lyrical theme…etc)

ENERGY LEVEL
(Tempo, instrumentation esthetics…etc)

GENRE
(Style of music)

VOCAL COMPOSITION

DAY-PART
Hours of operation broken down into 2 to 3 hour blocks depending on business type and overall hours of operations.
(open – 11am, 7pm to close….etc)

 

Metrics – Practical Implementation Examples

For example, if you have a fast food restaurant in a fast-paced urban area, the parameters might dictate that brighter and more high-energy music can work best from opening to around 11am to keep people feeling motivated for the rest of their day. As the day progresses toward lunchtime, the metrics would change from a high to more mid-level energy and tempo esthetics while maintaining more neutral mood components. This would continue to change with the pace of a business with this profile until closing time. Depending on the type of business, this formula can be modified in a number of different ways to achieve the desired result. For example, in business like a medical facility (doctor, dentist, chiropractor…etc) where the goal might be to provide and more relaxed and calming atmosphere consistently, the metrics would help simplify the curation process even more to provide a more consistent sound branding profile throughout the day-parts. Many companies have goals as far as brand identity and often times a carefully researched branding profile that they want to achieve. Again, these metric principles can work here as well to accomplish the desired goal by eliminating guess work or using subjective characteristics that are not based on stable metric guidelines. The goal of any curation process should be to make sure these branding requirements are met and that a stable and successful branding profile is created for the client.

 

In my next post I’ll take about using these characteristics to build concept stations as well as thematic and mood stations and how they can benefit your sound brand.