I told you so. Things were better in my day.
This study also doesn't reflect the simplification of melodic and harmonic structures in today's songs. Or the reduction in variety of instruments. Say what you will about disco, at least it often used a wide variety of instruments including brass, woodwinds and bowed strings, especially with its purer predecessor, Philly soul. Instrumental backing today lacks the richness and lushness of yesteryear, even of groups like ABBA, never mind the experimental phase the Beatles went through. Now, you get an electric guitar, a bass, drums and maybe a keyboard. Not to mention the women nowadays all seem to mimic the shrill, nasal, closed throat style pioneered by Madonna.
Yep, I told you so.
Nice to see some objective confirmation of an observation I have made many times in recent years. It all sound the same these days.
Haha I heard Harry Vanda say once that they came up with the name AC/DC because all their songs consisted of the chord progression A-C-D-C. Most popular musicians will tell you there are only about three or four chord progressions you need to learn well in order to play 90% of any repertoir. The real beauty is in how you interpret them.
I am so very happy that the music of the 30s, 40s, and 50s is still so very much available. The quality of lyrics plummeted from the 60s on a musicianship has very much disappeared. Should you doubt this, I offer (1) the lyrics to "Every Time We Say Goodbye" and (2) the music to it. Sheer magic. Keep in mind that many of the great song writers back then had very solid educations and their grasp of language superb. What passes for language in today's music leaves me cold.
Captain Obvious
The music on our local classical station ( just gets better.
Yes, musically, sonically and lyrically recorded popular music has been going down the drain, but looking at that graph, which covers the last fifty years, meaning only half of the entire lifetime of music recording, there's still hope this will all reverse.
My little home studio is technically better than the stuff they used to record Dark Side of the Moon on, so it's definitely not a technical problem. Another strange thing, most decent studio musicians nowadays have far better technique than the Great Names from the sixties and seventies, but most modern music is lacking in creativity and "timbral variety".
My take on this : lack of musical education in the general public and an oversupply of recorded music. In the early 20th century most people sang or played an instrument weekly. Now everyone has an mp3 player and music has become a disposable product.
And the ever rising 'everything we do is so great' attitude in the pop music world.
Kevin Cloete
There's a lot more music now then there used to be. Talent is proportionately the same as it used to be. Say you get 1 out of 100 being great - that means for 1000 you get 10 great ones. For 100 000 you get 1000 great ones. Time has not changed - a day is 24hrs = 1440 minutes. The queue trying to be heard has gotten a lot, lot longer. The number of influential record labels has not kept up with the increase in the queue. Good music requires top talent. To sift through 100 000 people to get 1000 great ones takes a lot of man hours. A lot of talent will be missed if there are not enough people to look for it. Long live the good music!
Told you so. But I'm only 23 years old......
You don't need to be a babyboomer to recognize the importance of dynamical range in music.
Peter Wright
The notion that the "quality" of music can be determined by parsing statistics of questionable relevance is ludicrous. Would a similar "study" determine the quality of visual art using statistics gleaned from say, the color range of the palate and the techniques utilized to create the art? I think not.
Mr. Cloete makes a very good point. The sheer volume of music being created (and its potential audience) has expanded exponentially over the past decade, as have the ways in which music is used. Making broad statements about the quality of lyrics verges on stupidity; any one holding up one song as being superior to all others in this regard simply doesn't have a clue, or is hearing, but not listening.
I think the same amount of "good" music or "different" music or whatever makes it appealing still exists today. In fact there's probably more of that music and it's BETTER today. The sheer amount of crap music out there is what these numbers are great at showing. Their database is only 40 times larger than mine, which for a university vs. the avg internet user (maybe above avg music listener) seems a little weak. Are they taking into account music from all over the world in all genres? Or just the music we hear on the radio? (if you can stand to turn it on anymore)