Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Over the past half-century, pop hits have become longer, slower and sadder,  and they increasingly convey 'mixed emotional cues,' according to a study just published in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts" [via "Pop Music Getting Sadder and Sadder" in Pacific Standard]


"Strikingly, they found 'the proportion of minor key songs doubled over five decades....  a general reduction in unambiguously happy-sounding recordings as well as an increase in recordings with ambiguous emotional states.'.... While conceding that pop fans may not be consciously aware of a preference for more complex music, the researchers speculate that 'musically untrained listeners may recognize quickly and explicitly that a contemporary fast-tempo, major mode song (such as Aqua’s Barbie Girl) has something amiss about it besides the lyrics.'....  This study suggests mass-appeal music is, on the whole, getting more nuanced and sophisticated."


Not the impression I'm getting from listening to Top 40 stations here, that's for sure.