Anyway, according to England’s NME (citing Reuters), a Spanish research team analyzed pop songs recorded between 1955 and 2010 by delving into an extensive archive called the Million Song Dataset.
After applying algorithms to the music in the archive, they found that pop songs have become "intrinsically louder" and less varied in terms of chords and melodies.
Explaining his team's findings, Joan Serra of the Spanish National Research Council told Reuters: "We found evidence of a progressive homogenization of the musical discourse. In particular, we obtained numerical indicators that the diversity of transitions between note combinations – roughly speaking chords plus melodies – has consistently diminished in the last 50 years."
All of which raises the question: exactly which incredibly varied pop music were the scientists listening to? And really, the Beatles and the Stones and ABBA and Blur and U2 and Lady Gaga and the Beach Boys are bland?
Maybe pop music in the last 10 years has become more repetitive owing to the law of diminishing returns but the last 50? I mean, Perry Como and Rosemary Clooney were good but not that good.
Anyway, scientist Serra's team also wrote in their study – published in the Scientific Reports journal - that pop music's "timbre palette" has become less extensive, meaning that songs are featuring fewer and fewer different sounds.
However, Serra's team found that pop music has advanced in one area over the last 50 years: so-called "intrinsic loudness." This term refers to the intensity at which a song is recorded, so a song played at the same volume as another can seem noisier if its "intrinsic loudness" value is greater.
And with that, the world rolled over and went back to sleep.
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