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ABBA, back and more popular than ever… why is that?

Blair McPherson - former Director, Author and Blogger

They are back. They never really went away. What is it that has made their songs so enduring and so appealing to a such a diverse audience? Some of the lyrics are interesting but it’s not the words that make the songs so appealing on their most popular tunes but the harmonies.

In business we attach a lot of importance to the words, getting the message across and ensuring everyone is singing from the same song sheet. We assume that if we achieve this we will achieve success but we neglect the need for these different voices to harmonise. To take the melody and build on it. Worse we assume that just because employees have the words in front of them and the band strikes up they will sing.

But just like my old school assemblies a fair proportion of those assembled are simply mouthing the words. Of course we can bring together those with the sweetest voices into a choir who will make a beautiful sound but that may further discourage those who are already self conscious about their voices to join in. And then there is the mixed message we want everyone to sing out loud with enthusiasm but if those of you who with untrained or discordant voices could keep the volume down very low and not spoil the overall effect.

HR would be the modern choir teacher/leader one of those who believes every one can sing it’s just a matter of confidence, encouragement and assistance. Much like Gareth Malone the celebrity choirmaster does in the BBC t.v. series The Choir.

Just in case there is any doubt I am not suggesting we start each working day by singing the company song. Mind you a selection of ABBA’s greatest hits might not be such a bad idea may be Super Trouper or Money, Money , Money. But like I said at the beginning of this piece it’s not the words but the harmonies.

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