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How many songs should I put in an album?

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Hi. I was just wondering, how many songs should I put in one album? When I researched this topic, I found a lot of different ranges. Some say that about 8 songs should be OK. Others say that this is too short and prefer 10-15 songs. Others say that it doesn't really matter as long as the album is at least 30 minutes long. What do you think?

 

To give a little context: As was suggested in an earlier post I made, I recently set up a Bandcamp account to post my music. I did visit the pages of various other musicians there to see how many songs they placed in one compilation; however, the numbers were too inconsistent for me to make any conclusions (some albums contained less than seven songs but were still quite long, while others contained several songs with much shorter tracks).

 

If this topic is in the wrong category, I do apologize.

 

On Rye

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It doesn't really matter that much, an album can be whatever you want. The number of tracks and their length used to be determined by the limitations of physical media. With an album hosted in the cloud, it can be whatever you want. But if you really want some kind of constraint there is no magic number, but in general I would say most albums are 8-12 tracks and 30-60 minutes

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You could do it Jean Michel Jarre style and have one big track, about 30 minutes long, where the songs blend into each other. 

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12,000 tracks.

 

:P

 

Of course, I'm kidding. Instead, I'd be more concerned with:

 

- what is the message(s) of the album?

- how many songs can fulfil that message?

- what's a good amount of songs to give the album enough value that people would want to buy it?

- how long will it take to create/produce all of those tracks and when do I expect to release the album?

- etc

 

I've never set out to say an album would be X amount of tracks. Instead, I just wrote and kept working on it until it felt complete to me.

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With more and more online services letting people buy individual songs, I'd say it doesn't particularly matter. It used to be that you'd put X songs on a CD to balance the (effort of X tracks + manufacturing and marketing cost) vs. (the price you'd sell the thing as a unit to the customer). If X was too small, your customers might feel like they were paying too much due to the publishing overhead.

If it's entirely online, then there's no "per-disc" manufacturing overhead anymore. If the online service lets you buy individual songs, customers also don't have to buy whole albums when they only like a couple songs on the album.

As a consumer, the only time I use the album-as-an-organization-system is when I find a compilation by different artists including one artist I know I like, hoping that some of the other songs are similar and could suit my tastes. Edited by Nypyren

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Thanks nsmadsen and Nypyren.

 

I actually started working on it during the first week of March. As of now, I've managed to complete 7 songs. I don't really have a message, as it's just an instrumental electronic album about a dream I had.

 

I've never purchased a completely instrumental album before (rather, I've bought individual tracks), so I wasn't sure how many songs to include in one to make it worth buying. I could be wrong, but I think people are more likely to buy an album if it has lyrics... I don't know. Haha.

 

All in all, it's good a way for me to gain experience composing and releasing music.

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