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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Other Topics  |  Entertainment  |  Pop music too loud and all sounds the same: official « previous next »
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Author Topic: Pop music too loud and all sounds the same: official  (Read 1042 times)
Allhallowsday
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« on: August 03, 2012, 11:14:06 AM »

Pop music too loud and all sounds the same: official

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/26/us-science-music-idUSBRE86P0R820120726
(Reuters) - 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 homogenization 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... 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/26/us-science-music-idUSBRE86P0R820120726
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tracy
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2012, 01:06:39 PM »

As a 48 year old rock and roller,I've been suspecting as much. The lyrics show little imagination and the almost monotone sing gives me a headache.
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El Misfit
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2012, 02:19:02 PM »

True Story- partly. It is too loud, but the same? There have been a few ones that have gotten away with, like Adele, Foster the People, and...well, that's all I can get right now. I rarely listen to modern pop  TeddyR, but the article I suspect is from someone who has heard the same song multiple times and just got frustrated with it. Let me just end it with this- When the Baby boomer generation started to listening to rock and roll, the previous generation hated it (though there were some who liked it) When the current generation started to listen to modern music, the previous generation hated it (with again, some exceptions) Just let that sink in, and think before hating a generation that likes their style more than yours.
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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2012, 03:26:46 PM »

True Story- partly. It is too loud, but the same? There have been a few ones that have gotten away with, like Adele, Foster the People, and...well, that's all I can get right now. I rarely listen to modern pop  TeddyR, but the article I suspect is from someone who has heard the same song multiple times and just got frustrated with it. Let me just end it with this- When the Baby boomer generation started to listening to rock and roll, the previous generation hated it (though there were some who liked it) When the current generation started to listen to modern music, the previous generation hated it (with again, some exceptions) Just let that sink in, and think before hating a generation that likes their style more than yours.
Why don't you follow the link and read the article?   Lookingup
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ulthar
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2012, 08:26:16 PM »


Why don't you follow the link and read the article?   Lookingup


Why let data get in the way of a good conclusion jump?   Twirling   Wink
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tracy
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2012, 12:11:37 PM »

, but the article I suspect is from someone who has heard the same song multiple times and just got frustrated with it.

A lot of us Boomers have the same trouble with"I-Heart-Radio" taking over our beloved oldies stations. Their playlist has shrunk so much that I get tired of songs I actually like. They claim to cover three decades,60s and 70s and 80s. Maybe they do but with only one or two songs played per artist. Even the Beatles....argh!
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voltron
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2012, 08:33:42 PM »

Haven't read the article as of yet, but (and I think I've said this several times) I do agree that popular music has hit an all time low as far as the last decade is concerned. Then again, I actively try to avoid pop music like the plague. Also, I'm an 80s pop freak which is what I grew up on - that tends to be par for the course, you attach yourself to the music you heard when you were an impressionable young kid and it becomes "yours". You tend to look down upon any music released after your personal coming of age music. Then again I can't really see anyone looking upon the latest pop trends with nostalgia. Most stuff on the radio these days is just soooo formulaic, bland, faceless, etc etc. I put a lot of blame on modern production trickery - autotune is the aural equivalent of CGI. I just lost my train of thought, but I think you can see what I'm trying to say.
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tracy
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« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2012, 12:54:24 PM »

Haven't read the article as of yet, but (and I think I've said this several times) I do agree that popular music has hit an all time low as far as the last decade is concerned. Then again, I actively try to avoid pop music like the plague. Also, I'm an 80s pop freak which is what I grew up on - that tends to be par for the course, you attach yourself to the music you heard when you were an impressionable young kid and it becomes "yours". You tend to look down upon any music released after your personal coming of age music. Then again I can't really see anyone looking upon the latest pop trends with nostalgia. Most stuff on the radio these days is just soooo formulaic, bland, faceless, etc etc. I put a lot of blame on modern production trickery - autotune is the aural equivalent of CGI. I just lost my train of thought, but I think you can see what I'm trying to say.

I was a child of the 70s but I like a lot of 80s popular music. That's what I heard while in college. I especially liked Tears For Fears.
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AndyC
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« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2012, 02:35:21 PM »

It's so easy to dismiss criticism of modern pop music as the older generation's preference for music of their youth. Originally, with the technological and cultural changes of the mid-20th century, that probably had a lot more to do with it. But the fact is, as music became big business, it became bland, homogenized, unoriginal and plagued by committee thinking. Pop was always music for the masses, but now it's engineered for mass-consumption to the same degree as fast food.

I like nothing better, music-wise, than hearing a new song that stands out from the rest. Something clever and distinctive and fun, that shows some creativity and musical talent. I had an argument along much these same lines with the program director of a radio station I used to like. He was assuming I didn't like the new music, and just wanted them to go back to classic rock so I could hear the same old thing. I told him he was the one who insisted on playing the same thing over and over again. Hardly any songs with hardly anything to distinguish between them, and the same ones repeating all day, every day for months. I liked his station best when it had some classics, but also introduced some catchy new stuff on a regular basis. Then they made some changes to the way they polled listeners, and there seemed to be a lot less of both classics and songs that were new and interesting. The station became kind of stagnant. And this was how they became #1 in the market. By this guy's reasoning, that meant they had the best mix of music, and I could take my complaints and f**k off, basically.

The fact is, people have different tastes, whether it be in music, food, movies or even people they find attractive. You can't please everyone. Ironically, different taste is the argument usually leveled against criticism of modern pop music.

The truth of the matter is that anything really outstanding to some people is going to have people who don't like it, or like something else better. To have mass appeal, it can't appeal too much to anyone. It has to lean more toward mediocre. You add more of what most people like (in this case, the net result is increasingly loud music), but you also take out what puts people off. Since that is such a variable thing, it means losing some of everything. To make something more appealing, you can only get so far by making it better, because of varying tastes. To appeal to more people, you have to make it worse, until you strike that sweet spot where you've got the fewest possible people who absolutely hate it, while still maintaining a large enough number who like it. And we can see where that approach has progressively led.

I don't find the results of this study to be surprising at all, but I am glad that someone has finally found a way to quantitatively measure this, and put some objective proof behind my subjective opinion.
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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2012, 03:09:54 AM »

Once again, I'm in agreement with AndyC. It is exactly the same reason big budget movies often devolve into pablum.

Having looked up the original study, I believe they narrowed it down to three metrics which really did become more homogenous over time.

What they didn't discuss is the "Million Song Dataset," from which they gather most of their primary data. There is a website, which I only gave a cursory glance. Here it is. If anybody wants to delve deeper, I'd be happy to here about your findings. Specifically in regards to their selection process.

I bring this up because I think there are more artists out there putting out good music, challenging music that actually expands our pop vocabulary, then there have ever been. They may not be played on the radio, but the advent of the alternate mode of distribution that is the internet has made good music more widely available than it has ever been.

I've never really listened to the radio. Bad music is anathema to me. I can't ignore it as background noise, it worms it's way into my brain. Hence, I don't listen to the radio which mixes the good with the bad. Thing is, I really don't need to spend anytime with bad music. Just a few technological upgrades and I can have music I like at any time of the day. The era where radio enjoyed a sort of primacy of connection with musicians is over.

I listen to new music all the time, but I don't get it from the radio. It's not that hard to seek out the good stuff. For example, I get almost all my new music from the public library, and that's all nice and legal.

If all you listen to is the radio, you might be excused from thinking new pop music is all the same. But that isn't the case, that's just you willing to accept as new music what irrelevant studio executives think you should be buying, which is generally the musical equivalent of a Twinkie.

Do a little work. Seek out the stuff you like and leave yourself open. You'll be amazed, and you'll have a bunch of new music to listen to as well.
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