I am not sure we needed a scientific research to determine this, but since there was one, here we go: Spanish researchers have found that pop songs have become louder and blander regarding chords, melodies and types of sound used!
This is what artificial intelligence specialist Joan Serra at the Spanish National Research Council declared:
‘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.’
An hour of listening to a popular radio, or even a few minutes spent in any mall, and I would have reached the same conclusion,… even better, I already knew it! But this study is interesting since, according to the Huffington post, scientists have used ‘the Million Song Dataset, which breaks down audio and lyrical content into data that can be crunched, to study pop songs from 1955 to 2010’.
Modern pop has less and less varied sounds, soon it will become one unique note, one unique timbre, played by the same computer, with the same auto-tuned vocals, so sad! So may be I am not a snob after all when I say that 99% of the current popular music sucks, I have just good taste. As for the loudness, it is obviously just to distract from the mediocrity.
Interestingly, researchers also noted this about old songs:
‘An old tune could perfectly sound novel and fashionable, provided that it consisted of common harmonic progressions, changed the instrumentation, and increased the average loudness.’
No please, don’t give people bad ideas, at least we still have the Beatles, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, the Velvet Underground…, don’t touch them!