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The Gold Standard Song List
5,000 Brilliant Songs ... 100 Years ... 14 Genres

  • The Gold Standard Song List (GSSL) is an indexed database of information on 5,000 of the greatest songs in popular music, composed over a 100-year period. The list encompasses 14 genres, ranging from ragtime to rap, and everything in between.

  • The GSSL was created specifically for readers of the book, How Music REALLY Works!, 2nd Edition, which references hundreds of songs from the GSSL to illustrate points of excellence in both songwriting artistry and technical skill.

  • How Music REALLY Works!, 2nd Edition, provides songwriters and performers with specific, practical information on how to dramatically improve songwriting and performing skills. The book focuses on techniques for creating memorable, emotionally powerful music and lyrics.

  • If you're a songwriter or performer or producer who aspires to break away from the pack by developing a distinctive, signature sound, you will find the Gold Standard Song List a particularly useful resource. Chapter 11 of How Music REALLY Works!, 2nd Edition, describes how to use the GSSL to help you achieve this goal.



  • Everybody learns by example. So, if you write or perform popular music, whether in rock, hip-hop, jazz, country, or any other genre, and you want to improve your skills, the 5,000 songs on the Gold Standard Song List—the “gold standard of songwriting”—serve as an invaluable standard of excellence, a reference resource for you to consult at any stage in your musical career.

  • You will probably find that you've never heard many songs on the GSSL. If you seek out recordings of them, they will inspire and enlighten you.

  • The GSSL contains enough information on each listed song to enable you to find at least one or more recordings of each song, as well as the lyrics.


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