Study: Today’s songs all sound the same

Trinidadian-born U.S rapper Nicki Minaj performs on stage at the 2012 Wireless Music Festival in Hyde Park, central London, Saturday, July 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

Neal Augenstein, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – If you’re of a certain age, chances are you’ve thought today’s popular music sounds samey and loud, compared with music from the ’60s and ’70s.

You were right.

Spanish researchers ran a half-million songs from 1955 to 2010 through computer analysis, and found today’s songs have less melodic and chordal variety.

And it’s louder.

The findings were published in Scientifc Reports, from the journal “Nature.”

Songwriters today take fewer chances.

“The complexity of the pitch transition — chords and melodies — is simplified over the years. Right now music is full of …simple transitions. In the Fifties, new chords were tried and we were more experimental.”

“It is less an artistic expression and more a commercial product. Old music was more expressive, more experimental,” says researcher Martin Haro, a PhD student from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona.

Haro tells The Times UK, “I think music today has to sell, you have to catch people’s attention — and you have to be louder.”

“It has to be prepared for playing in the discotheque,” Haro says.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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