Music Has Become Sadder Over The Years

June 18, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Our music has been getting sadder over the years reports Tom Jacobs. Highlights include:

  • According to researchers the lyrics of popular music have become more self-focused and negative over time.
  • Since the 1960s a greater proportion of songs are written in minor modes – regarded as sadder than major modes. In fact the number of songs written in minor modes has doubled.
  • The average tempo of songs has also decreased over time, and they reached their low in the 1990s.
  • The trend in the slowdown of music tempo has been more pronounced in major-mode songs – suggesting that music has become more emotionally ambiguous.
  • The percentage of female artists leading the charts has also risen although it peaked in the 1990s.
  • Lady Gaga has bucked the trend. She has fast-tempo major mode recordings that have been popular.

To read more about how how this parallels the evolution of classical music from 1600 to 1900, how this relates to Aqua’s Barbie Girl, what this means for baby boomers and doomsayers, and more details of the methodology of the study, click here.

Source: Pacific Standard

Via: Marginal Revolution