Today’s pop music really does all sound the same


The scepticism about modern music shared by many middle-aged fans has been vindicated by a study of half a century’s worth of pop music, which found that today’s hits really do all sound the same.

Parents who find their children’s thumping stereos too much to bear will also be comforted to know that it isn’t just the effect of age: modern songs have also grown progressively louder over the past 50 years.

The study…analysed an archive known as the Million Song Dataset to discover how the course of music changed between 1955 and 2010.

While loudness has steadily increased since the 1950s, the team found that the variety of chords, melodies and types of sound being used by musicians has become ever smaller.

Joan Serra of the Spanish National Research Council, who led the study published in the Scientific Reports journal, said: “We found evidence of a progressive homogenisation of the musical discourse.

“The diversity of transitions between note combinations – roughly speaking chords plus melodies – has consistently diminished in the past 50 years.”

The “timbre” of songs – the number of different tones they include, for example from different instruments – has also become narrower, he added…

And then there’s rap and hip-hop. Designed for the lyrically-challenged. Though many of you enjoy the category – you must admit it fits the definitions of this article as a leading example, proponent.

6 thoughts on “Today’s pop music really does all sound the same

  1. Mark says:

    Mr Eideard. I like hip hop, which in many ways is not that different from it’s soul/funk roots. Rap lyrics are essentially poetry. Much of it bad poetry I grant you, but poetry none the less. I’d have thought you would be familiar with dualling poets, given your Celtic roots. πŸ™‚

  2. thefictionme says:

    I’ve been listening to stuff like Skid Row and Warrant and 80’s metals. But this! really great music! so much excitement even with no vocal! when the piano kicks in. damn that was top of the world! thx for posting this!looking forward to your blog!

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