New Pop is Flat and Differs with Oldies Only In Decibels
Pop music, the genre of popular music has been a different cultural experience that has captured listener's attention for ages. It was in the 1950's that it originated to its modern form. But there has been a major transition over the period of time. Pop songs have become loud and increasingly homogenised.
The researchers from Spain have unveiled certain facts by considering a huge archive known as Million Song Dataset, in which they studied the patterns and metrics, characterizing the usage of primary musical facets such as pitch, timbre, lyrics and loudness in order to study pop songs from 1955 to 2010. So basically Justin Beiber, Ke$ha are nothing but ABBA and Beatles. Or something very similar.
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A foot tapping, head banging song of Lady Gaga, is not something you hearing for the first time. You would have heard it earlier, but now a listening to a modified version that is wrapped with more decibels and higher version of instruments.
A team led by the artificial intelligence specialist Joan Serra at the Spanish National Research Council, selected music from the last 50 years and ran through it through some complex algorithms and found that pop songs have become intrinsically louder and more bland with less variety in terms of chords and melodies.
The study that has been published in the journal Scientific Reports also found that, since so much of the music is being made with a limited variety of sounds and instruments; "timbre palate" has been reduced. The loud version of the song that we receive is volume that goes into the song during recording.
Serra says, "The music industry has long been accused of ramping up the volume at which songs are recorded in a 'loudness war' but this is the first time it has been properly measured using a large database."
Researcher Martin Haro, of Barcelona's Pompeu Fabra University, said: 'I think this is related to the role of music. Nowadays, it is more about relaxing; you don't want to think about what the music is telling you. In the 1950s and 60s, music was more artistic and for getting messages, things about politics, across. When the synthesiser was introduced, you had lots of bands like Pink Floyd that were experimenting with different types of sound and chords; this was an experimental playground for them. Now it's about dancing and relaxing, rhythm and energy, with groups and bands not so interested in experimenting with sound and chords.'
The researchers concluded saying, old tunes recorded with intense loudness, simpler chord progressions and different instruments could sound new and different.