It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Computer Scientists prove that Music diversity isn't dead

page: 1
6
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 19 2015 @ 02:28 PM
link   
So I found this article from PBS that talks about music diversity over the years and dispels many myths about the music industry as well as determines some neat things about it. I changed the article title because I didn't think it was a good one. It's a very interesting article and I suggest reading the whole thing.

Computer scientists prove 80s pop music is boring


“Pop music is dead.” You’ve heard the refrain dropped by nostalgic music lovers at backyard barbecues. And it’s no surprise. Everyone thinks the tunes of their generation marked a sort of cultural pinnacle and that music has since become bland.

But they’re wrong, according to a new computer program that has systematically charted the evolution of popular music. By treating each hit song like a fossil, the London-based research team found that America’s mainstream music has remained stylistically diverse over the last 50 years, with one decade as an exception: the 1980s. The research was published on Tuesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

The algorithm also spots the three years that inspired the most creativity in musical composition and shows that certain musical characteristics often attributed to the Beatles and the Rolling Stone actually predated these bands. (More on that below.)


So hearing how music of yesteryear was better and that music has gone downhill in modern times is a staple of old people griping about music. This article shows that not only are they wrong, they have no idea what they are talking about.

What's fun about this study is that they broke music down like fossil research and built a "fossil record" of all the music since the 1960's to get a feel for how music has "changed over time" (are you getting an idea of where I'm going with this yet?)


The researchers relied on Billboard’s Hot-100 list, the music industry’s tome that ranks the most popular singles by radio plays, online streaming and record sales. (They define pop music as any song that makes that list, regardless of genre.) The team downloaded nearly every song on this chart dating back to 1960 –- close to 17,000 total tracks.

The computer program scanned each tune for two features: harmony and timbre. Harmonies are the musical chords that define a song’s melody. Timbre (pronounced tamber) describes the character of music, the quality of tone. For instance, a piano and a guitar can play the same chord, but they sound different to the ear. Timbre is the word for that audio difference.

Next, after deciphering the harmonic and timbre qualities, the team built a “fossil record” of pop music, defined by when certain chords and timbre styles became fashionable or disappeared from our cultural consciousness.


They can trace "extinctions" of various music concepts.


For instance, they spotted the death of dominant 7th chords, which were a staple of jazz in the 1960s. The use of these chords gave a shade of gritty tension to Blues music and were featured in tracks by Elvis Presley, such as “I Feel So Bad.”

“We see in the ‘60s that the charts were filled with dominant 7th chords, but then they decline and never come back to life,” said lead author and computer scientist Matthias Mauch of Queen Mary University of London. “Other features rose into the charts, such as minor chords in funk, soul and eventually disco.”


Basically, the development of music follows the patterns of evolutionary theory as it changes over the years. This is something I've been saying for a while now, but it's nice to see corroboration of this.


“Original formulations by Charles Darwin assumed a constant rate of evolution, where everything changes in small steps. That turned out to be slightly false, as 20th century biologists recognized that life on Earth is punctuated by bursts of very fast rates of evolution,” Mauch said.

Pop music follows the same pattern. The team highlights three years that represent musical revolutions — that is, years that sparked a boon of innovative styles and variety: 1964, 1983 and 1993.


But circling back to the point of the article, what these people found with their computer program is that the 1980's were the decade of the blandest pop music.


The second landmark movement in 1983 came with the adoption of aggressive, synthesized percussion — think Phil Collins and his pulsating drum machine — and loud, guitar-heavy Arena rock with lots of chord changes, such as with Mötley Crüe, Van Halen, REO Speedwagon, Queen, Kiss and Alice Cooper. These rock bands were joined by new wave acts — like the Police and Cyndi Lauper — plus a surge of metronomic dance-pop heroes like Madonna and the Pet Shop Boys. (Michael Jackson’s Thriller dropped in late-1982) Meantime, classic country and folk lost popularity and wouldn’t return until the early aughts.

But these sounds and styles of the Reagan era flooded the music scene, pushing out genres like country and folk to the point that mid-to-late 1980s became most homogenous period in music over the last 50 years, based on the team’s computer analysis.


So next time you see someone complaining about the music the kids these days are listening to, just chuckle and tell them that THEIR music has been proven to be blander. Though keep in mind, this doesn't necessary mean the music was bad, there just weren't as many genres producing material worth listening to.

In any case, I found this whole thing very interesting and thought I'd share with everyone here at ATS to see what they think.




posted on May, 19 2015 @ 02:39 PM
link   
a reply to: Krazysh0t

And I bet they did this blindfolded and standing on their head, too!



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 02:55 PM
link   
It's all Canon in D.

Most songs just use the same chords.




posted on May, 19 2015 @ 02:56 PM
link   
A computer algorithm!!!
So who created the algorithm?
Is it open source?
I'd like to view it before I believe its a better judge of music than a human ear!
edit on 19-5-2015 by VoidHawk because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 03:00 PM
link   
a reply to: VoidHawk

Did you read how the program analyzed the music? It is more than just how it sounds to the ear. It's a really interesting exercise in evolutionary theory and how things develop over time.



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 03:07 PM
link   

originally posted by: grey580
It's all Canon in D.

Most songs just use the same chords.



Blues Traveler satired this concept with their song Hook.




posted on May, 19 2015 @ 03:11 PM
link   
This is very interesting. Thank you for posting. I hope people read the article. But let me predict that people are just going to say the algorithm sucks and their music is better.



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 03:16 PM
link   
a reply to: karmicecstasy

Exactly. That's why I had to change the title of the article. It tells SOO much more than just that 1980's pop music was the least musically diverse decade of music. I'm a big fan of music and like just about all genres, so I found this article very illuminating.



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 03:21 PM
link   
When a computer (or it's scientist) can write a hit single, I'll listen.

Until then...



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 03:39 PM
link   
They downloaded nearly 17000 songs from the billboards dating back to the 60's.

Day yum!

I wonder just how legal their downloads were? Are we to believe they spent nearly 17000 dollars to prove this?
Who am I kidding, would it really surprise me if they did actually spent thousands on something like this? No I guess not.



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 04:49 PM
link   
But true masterpeices will always be frozen in time as epics to trip the minds of all who listen to comprehend.
The secrets of life.



I don't mean to dwell
But I can't help myself
When I feel the vibe
And taste a memory
Of a time in life
When years seemed to stand still

I close my eyes
And sink within myself
Relive the gift of precious memories
In need of a fix called innocence

When did it begin?
The change to come was undetectable
The open wounds expose the importance of
Our innocence
A high that can never be bought or sold

Symbolic acts - so vivid
Yet at the same time
Were invisible


Savor what you feel and what you see
Things that may not seem important now
But may be tomorrow

Do you remember when
Things seemed so eternal?
Heroes were so real...
Their magic frozen in time
The only way to learn
Is be aware and hold on tight

I close my eyes
And sink within myself
Relive the gift of precious memories
In need of a fix called innocence

When did it begin?
The change to come was undetectable
The open wounds expose the importance of
Our innocence
A high that can never be bought or sold



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 06:07 PM
link   
a reply to: Krazysh0t

Interesting article, me and a coworker were talking about different tastes in music the other day.

My conclusion was that my taste in music is better than his, and his taste in music is better than mine, just depends on who's doing the talking

edit on 19-5-2015 by rockintitz because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 06:13 PM
link   
a reply to: Krazysh0t

Might I just dispel.....??? I meant the article, not you.






Sorry, not seeing where pop music then isn't appreciated now.

Florence and the Machine with The Chain from Fleetwood Mac.

And Gretchen Wilson, a country singer, and Alice in Chains, with a 1970s hit Barracuda by Heart.

Did the writers only like one-hit wonders?

ETA: That was Alice in Chains, not Nine Inch Nails.....


edit on 5/19/2015 by WarminIndy because: (no reason given)

edit on 5/19/2015 by WarminIndy because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 07:04 PM
link   
a reply to: grey580

Terrific. Thank you very much.



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 08:07 PM
link   
In the end, unless its Maynard, its just a bunch of noise.




posted on May, 20 2015 @ 03:25 AM
link   
If they used the Bilboard's Top 100 then we are talking about tastes in the US, not really about the quality of the music created during those years.


Also, in latter years (mostly starting in the 1980s) those tastes were highly influenced by the record companies telling radio networks what music they should play.



posted on May, 20 2015 @ 06:27 AM
link   

originally posted by: TheLieWeLive
They downloaded nearly 17000 songs from the billboards dating back to the 60's.

Day yum!

I wonder just how legal their downloads were? Are we to believe they spent nearly 17000 dollars to prove this?
Who am I kidding, would it really surprise me if they did actually spent thousands on something like this? No I guess not.

After reading the original research (here) you can see that they "obtained 30-s-long segments of 17 094 songs", they didn't download the whole songs.



posted on May, 20 2015 @ 06:31 AM
link   

originally posted by: ArMaP
If they used the Bilboard's Top 100 then we are talking about tastes in the US, not really about the quality of the music created during those years.


Also, in latter years (mostly starting in the 1980s) those tastes were highly influenced by the record companies telling radio networks what music they should play.


LOL, and they trampled on the venerated decade of Generation X....

YEAH, Class of 1985!!!!

(that's mine).

I hate to ask, but Rock You Like A Hurricane is bland? And didn't Madonna start out in the 1980s? Let's just bash every Madonna album of the 1980s, she is just really bland.

(sarcasm).

Most of the one hit wonders came from the UK and maybe that's what music the writers were listening to. Now if they had it was Country music of the 1980s, they might have had a case, albeit smaller.

Hey, if the music of the 1980s can make Adam Sandler millions, then perhaps Adam Sandler knows more than these "experts".




posted on May, 20 2015 @ 06:57 AM
link   
a reply to: WarminIndy

The article isn't saying that music from yesteryear isn't being appreciated. It is just analyzing diversity as the songs are released. Trust me. I know first hand that music from yesteryear is appreciated. I'm about to see Del McCoury (Bluegrass legend) play this weekend. I've seen Tom Petty live. I'm a big fan of the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers, and I've seen many contemporary bands cover older songs and do them justice.

The also keep in mind that the article isolated itself to billboard top 100 hits. So if the song didn't make the top 100, they didn't account for it.



posted on May, 20 2015 @ 07:17 AM
link   

originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: WarminIndy

The article isn't saying that music from yesteryear isn't being appreciated. It is just analyzing diversity as the songs are released. Trust me. I know first hand that music from yesteryear is appreciated. I'm about to see Del McCoury (Bluegrass legend) play this weekend. I've seen Tom Petty live. I'm a big fan of the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers, and I've seen many contemporary bands cover older songs and do them justice.

The also keep in mind that the article isolated itself to billboard top 100 hits. So if the song didn't make the top 100, they didn't account for it.


Wow, I remember Del McCoury.

Is that all they used? And from 30 second snippets? Did they at least play Name That Tune?

Some of those Billboard 100 were one hit wonders, did they factor that in?



new topics

top topics



 
6
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join