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  1. #1
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Default It's official: Pop music is louder and less original than it used to be.

    Read it and weep.

    Comforting news for anyone over the age of 35, scientists have worked out that modern pop music really is louder and does all sound the same.

    Researchers in Spain used a huge archive known as 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.

    A team led by artificial intelligence specialist Joan Serra at the Spanish National Research Council ran music from the last 50 years through some complex algorithms and found that pop songs have become intrinsically louder and more bland in terms of the chords, melodies and types of sound used.

    "We found evidence of a progressive homogenisation of the musical discourse," Serra told Reuters. "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."

    They also found the so-called timbre palette has become poorer. The same note played at the same volume on, say, a piano and a guitar is said to have a different timbre, so the researchers found modern pop has a more limited variety of sounds.

    Intrinsic loudness is the volume baked into a song when it is recorded, which can make it sound louder than others even at the same volume setting on an amplifier.

    The music industry has long been accused of ramping up the volume at which songs are recorded in a 'loudness war' but Serra says this is the first time it has been properly measured using a large database.

    The study, which appears in the journal Scientific Reports, offers a handy recipe for musicians in a creative drought.

    Old tunes re-recorded with increased loudness, simpler chord progressions and different instruments could sound new and fashionable. The Rolling Stones in their 50th anniversary year should take note.
    I do hope that last paragraph is facetious.
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  2. #2
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    Yep, I knew it was less complex. It's really fucking obvious if you listen to something like "Under the Milky Way" by the Church or even "I Can't Hold Back" by Survivor, which is not known for it's great musical composition, but I mean like "Broken Wings" by Mr. Mister ...come on, to make pop in the early to mid 80's you still had to have talent, apparently.

    However, some people aren't sensitive to musical complexity, I guess, because their musical intelligence is lower. It doesn't mean they aren't as smart, they just aren't as smart in that way, so it's all the same to them, I guess. I mean there was terrible repetitive folk music even back in the day...."Cotton Eye Joe" was actually written in the 19th century.

    When I look at real art, I feel something. Like high art, even in books - not even in an art museum - affects my mood and thoughts more than commercial art. Same with music.

    I remember reading this thread on Personality Cafe where ISFPs were commenting that they had to feel something from their music, and I wonder if the type as a whole has more musical sensitiivity, on average ...or if people with this kind of musical sensitiivity tend to type themselves as ISFPs. I know @JTG1984 has this musical sensitivity, though, and he's an ISTJ and doesn't even play an instrument.

    I'm curious as to what causes this type of intelligence, if it's simply a potentiality in the brain to recognize musical or artistic complexity, that some people seem to lack. Like high Fi? High Si? A little of both? Neither?

    Yeah I was totally thinking about this the other day, even about recent architecture, how the cheap simplicity of it is less moving than older architecture. What gives? Why are people now so artistically insensitive and stupid in America?

  3. #3
    Senor Membrae Eugene Watson VIII's Avatar
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    I heard pop music for 8 hours, every week day, before I decided to take music with me
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  4. #4

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    I used to really dislike pop music until I had to listen to it for work all the time. Now I even like some of it as long as it has a nice bass line I can get into.

  5. #5
    Senior Member acronach's Avatar
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    This is news?

    IMO, a lot of modern stuff is just annoying. I kinda wish I could live in the 80s sometimes :P

    EDIT: some of it is actually good, like lady gaga I can kinda tolerate, but the "popular" stuff that everyone has heard of but nobody seems to like is complete shit. idk, maybe I just dont hang around the people who would like that stuff?

    Now that I think of it I wouldn't really be surprised if a lot of airhead bimbos liked justin bieber and stuff like that, I can kinda see it... are there really that many airhead bimbos in the world that want to buy his music that he keeps getting record deals? scary thought...
    Last edited by acronach; 07-29-2012 at 01:41 PM. Reason: i felt like rambling
    Enneagram: Type 5, Dual Wing, SX/SP Instinct, Tritype 5-3w2-9w8
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Gish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acronach View Post
    This is news?

    IMO, a lot of modern stuff is just annoying. I kinda wish I could live in the 80s sometimes :P
    You now have the option to listen to all of the music from the eighties without being in the eighties through the magic of audio recording.
    Whoops.

  7. #7
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    Yep, I knew it was less complex. It's really fucking obvious if you listen to something like "Under the Milky Way" by the Church or even "I Can't Hold Back" by Survivor, which is not known for it's great musical composition, but I mean like "Broken Wings" by Mr. Mister ...come on, to make pop in the early to mid 80's you still had to have talent, apparently.
    Yeah, as a musician, I agree with that. Part of the problem is that you no longer even have to be a musician in order to be a pop star, even if it helps a bit. I mean, I think sequencing and sampling and tone tweakers and other popularized and cheaply available devices are pretty cool in the sense they've brought music down within reach of the masses; but just as with democracy, dumbing stuff down to the lowest common denominator still dumbs it down. There's a lot of crap on the radio that doesn't take a lot of talent to produce, and when you're doing loops instead of live recorded performance, well, how can it be any different but for the song to sound alike the whole way through?

    this study just kind of solidifies what was already pretty apparent.

    My kids actually are into 80's pop now. My eldest son (17) is really big into Tears for Fears now. It's endearing and rather pleasing. Thank goodness for iTunes.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #8
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    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_Gyh1r-ut0"].[/YOUTUBE]
    "I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine. "
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gish View Post
    You now have the option to listen to all of the music from the eighties without being in the eighties through the magic of audio recording.
    I KNOWZ ISN'T IT EXCITING!!!!

  10. #10
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