Pop music these days: it all sounds the same, survey reveals

Pop music is too loud and melodies have become more similar, according to a study of songs from the past 50 years conducted by Spanish scientists

Pop music is too loud and it all sounds the same. That’s the conclusion of scientists at the Spanish National Research Council, who have published a new report on songs released between 1955 and 2010, showing the “diversity of … note combinations … has consistently diminished in the last 50 years”.

Measuring the Evolution of Contemporary Western Popular Music, by Joan Serrà, Álvaro Corral, Marián Boguñá, Martín Haro and Josep Ll Arcos, appears in the journal Scientific Reports . The researchers used a dataset of 464,411 music recordings to analyse what has changed – and what has stayed the same – over the past half-century of song. “Many of [music’s] patterns and metrics have been consistently stable for [this] period,” they wrote. “However, we prove important changes or trends related to the restriction of pitch transitions, the homogenisation of the timbral palette, and the growing loudness levels.”…
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