Study Finds Pop Music Has Gotten Sadder But Also More Danceable

17 May, 2018, 12:04 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Singing the blues: Study of pop music finds rise in sadness - AP News

"The public seems to prefer happier songs, even though more and more unhappy songs are being released each year".

List your top ten favourite songs and then ask yourself if they are overall happy or sad.

This lyrical trend is in tune with the overall increase in loneliness, social isolation and mental disorders across society. The study does emphasise, however, that it doesn't mean all pop music written thirty years ago was happier and that likewise all current pop is sad, but it is evident that the trend is moving notably in that direction. "Successful songs are characterized by a larger percentage of female artists compared to all songs", they write.

That finding comes at a time when the music industry is wrestling with the issue of gender inequality, and men overwhelmingly dominate the ranks of artists and songwriters.

They've analysed half a million songs released in the United Kingdom between 1985 and 2015.

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The research showed that classical and jazz songs were "unlikely" to be successful.

Otherwise, the report surmises everything we already know: female musicians have surged in popularity over the past three decades, and classic rock music has taken a back seat in favour of electronic pop.

Songs with a low-happiness rating included Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" and Passenger's "Whispers" while songs with a high-happiness rating came from the "80s and included Wham's 'Freedom". They were looking for average trends in the acoustic properties of the music and the moods describing the sounds.

"But of course a large component of success is still something that even mathematics can not quantify".

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