Scientists: Pop Music Getting Louder, More Bland

According to Reuters, a team of scientists has apparently confirmed the long-held suspicions of parents everywhere that pop music is getting louder and blander.

The research team, which is based out of Spain, reached their conclusions after analyzing pop records from 1955 through 2010, running the songs through algorithms to look at factors such as chord progressions and melodic complexity.

"We found evidence of a progressive homogenization of the musical discourse," Joan Serra, the head of the team, told Reuters. "In particular, we obtained numerical indicators that the diversity of transitions between note combinations — roughly speaking, chords plus melodies — has consistently diminished in the last 50 years."

Aside from the increasing homogenization of popular music, the team's findings also reflect the results of the so-called "loudness wars," showing that music is unequivocally getting louder, thanks mostly to over-compression.

While it can be assumed that the list of albums the team examined will be published along with their findings, a quick search didn't turn one up. It will be interesting to see if they included popular rock albums such as Back In Black, Led Zeppelin IV or Dark Side of the Moon, and how exactly they defined the parameters of "pop" music.

Do you think their findings are accurate? If so, why do you think that is? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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Josh Hart

Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.