"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."
We few, we happy few, we band of chipmunks....
I don't need a scientific study to convince me most current pop music is devoid of melody, interesting harmonic content, imaginative arrangements, good singing, interesting rhythms, intelligent lyrics, etc.
If people need artificial intelligence to tell them this stuff, they should go read a comic book or join a softball league.
There are great musicians today writing excellent pop material, but they're being ignored by the music biz. Adrian Belew, Mike Keneally, Kimara Sajn, come to mind immediately.
This is from the brand new pop album Wing Beat Fantastic, featuring songs by Mike Keneally and Andy Partridge.
Last edited by starthrower; Jul-30-2012 at 19:53.
"We found evidence of a progressive homogenization of the musical discourse,"
That what you're trying to say, @starthrower? Five multi-syllabic words in the sentence is much more authoritative. Nobody in the industry is going to accept concrete examples.
We have nothing to fear
but hearing loss.
Haydn Symphonies threads.
Exactly what i've been saying. It seems the music of the 60's,70's,80's and early 90's was good.
Much modern music of 2011-2012 gives me a headache.
It's simple, really. First, consider that Lady Gaga and her ilk are principally derived from disco. Now consider that disco was a phenomenon that originated in the 70s. Consider that, after the 70s, the music changed its window dressing, but the function remained the same - essentially to meet people and possibly have sex with them. Consider that modern society and the technology that enables it is all about doing things quickly, efficiently, or at least giving that illusion, so much so that we have largely skipped social interaction to the point where it is possible to be friends with 1000+ people on an international statistics database dressed up to look like a "social networking" website, 95% of whom you know literally nothing about. What better soundtrack for your light speed pseudo-socialite lifestyle than a no frills sex beat?
Last edited by Crudblud; Aug-01-2012 at 07:19.
^^Devastating rant there, Crudblud, but pretty true.
I don't like pop and I agree re the homgeneity. Go to a bar or club in Sydney, or L.A., or Shanghai and you're likely to hear the same type of music or 'muzak.' Diversity is important in music I think, I'm also worried about the sameness and blandness aspect.
But I agree with starthrower, there is good stuff out there, esp. I think in rock and other genres. But of course for a more limited audience.
But its similar to times past in some ways too. There were many 'one hit wonders' back in the days, no shortage of them since pop, rock, etc. started way back.
Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress - Mohandas K. Gandhi.
I know some people who are critical of this study, accusing "baby-boomers" of refusing to accept anything other than old rock n' roll or some kneejerk nonsense like that.
This new generation is a yuppie resurgence, if you look past the fauxhemian posturing. Culturally we really are devolving back into obsession of surface values more than ever. Wake me up when generation Y is over.
People who hide are afraid!
As usual, a "news" outlet gives you a silly headline, but limited explanation and no analysis. For example, the reduction in timbre palette presumably has something to do with the increase in synthesised instrumentation, but my guess might be completely wrong. Which music did they run through their complex algorithms? (Dare I ask explicitly, what was their definition of pop?)
As for the over 35s, not all of them would dismiss the pop output reaching back over the past 10 or 20 years, would they? (aside from those who have no interest in pop music in the first place.) Having been over 35 myself for 18 years now, I can think of much that I've enjoyed since 1994 that might belong to the genre.
And lastly, are we surprised? As crudblud says, 'pop' (narrowly defined at least) serves a narrow purpose and is hardly going to be sonically diverse.
FWIW, here's an article about the same topic from another source:
"Is Pop Music Evolving, or Is It Just Getting Louder?"
with links to the study and the data set (280 GB).
We few, we happy few, we band of chipmunks....
Ahh, how lovely to see yet another ill-informed gross generalisation in these pages!
BTW - thanks for the post!
Last edited by MacLeod; Aug-01-2012 at 16:53.
Pop music is louder because record labels insist that mastering engineers maximise the loudness. It isn't really even strictly to do with volume which you can turn down if you want but more to do with compression and over-compression. This is something that reduces the dynamics of the music so the quiet bits of a record actually sound as loud as the loud bits.
Anyone who's driven on the motorway while trying to listen to a classical CD will know that if you set that delicate pianissimo adagio section for the right volume, when the brass and timpani fortissimo it will blow your eardrums out.
Pop music, is mastered so that you never have to reach for that dial, whether listening in the car, on the radio or ipod. This lack of dynamics is Ok for some music, club and hip hop and other dance genres are produced and mixed to be 'in your face'.
What I find intolerable is when so-called classical stations like Classic FM here in the UK, compress their output so heavily that it makes listening in the car easier but completely ruins the subtlety of the dynamics of the music.
BBC Radio 3 are much less heavy handed and sounds more realistic but then you have to keep turning it up and down yourself if you're driving or have background noise around.
As for the music itself all sounding the same? That's just what pop loving teenagers say about classical music.
Actually, some of the skilful and imaginative manipulation of sounds and rhythms in the best of dance music is as interesting to me as any Xenakis or Partch and no more tedious.