General Music Keywording Techniques

Music Keywording Techniques

This is a brief guide to help artists create for themselves, a tagging protocol for their music library.  After tagging music for Pandora and currently tagging and collecting metadata for licensing companies, I have gained some important and vital techniques for music keywording/tagging.


Effective Tags/Keywords:

It is important to have a basic set list of keywords that you use consistently to describe the nuances of your music.  Compile a list of words that fit with these categories:

  • Mood (i.e. Happy, Somber, Energetic, Sinister)
  • Industry Usage (i.e. Blaxploitation, Earthy, Organic, Radio Imaging)
  • Description (i.e. Textural, Atmospheric, Gritty, Smooth)
  • Subgenre (i.e. Orchestral Hybrid, Dubstep, Bubblegum)

Sentence Editorials:

Construct sentences that are populated with effective keywords.

Sentence structure sample:

“Pulsing and bright, featuring breathy female lead vocals, gritty electric guitar and warm electronic textures that create an introspective and reflective mood.” 

Sentence formula:

1.    Start the sentence off with the song’s textural information.  Use two effective keywords. (i.e. bright and sparkly/smooth and warm/gritty and crunchy)
2.    The middle section of the sentence should highlight the featured instruments (which you can also describe based on the mood or texture of the instrument. i.e. aggressive guitar, driving drums, introspective acoustic piano) Also, emphasis on musical form or style should be mentioned in this section if it is a dominant characteristic of the song.
3.    End the sentence with mood descriptors. (i.e. solemn and somber mood, or uplifting and inspirational mood.)

By using consistent tags and short descriptive sentences, you increase the possibilities of having your music available for the right spot.  If you have a high volume of tracks or need assistance, my team is available.

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