Evolution of 50 years of pop music tracked
By Rebecca Morelle
Science Correspondent, BBC News
6 May 2015
From the section Science & Environment
Scientists say the invasion of British bands into the US charts marked a musical revolution
The evolution of western pop music, spanning from 1960 to 2010, has been analysed by scientists.
A team from Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College London looked at more than 17,000 songs from the US Billboard Hot 100.
They found three music revolutions – in 1964, 1983 and 1991 – and traced the loss of blues chords from the charts, as well as the birth of disco.
The study is published in the Royal Society Open Science journal.
The team also refuted claims that pop music is starting to sound the same.
Dr Matthias Mauch, from Queen Mary University of London, said: “What is really fascinating to see is how has diversity has changed – we can measure whether the charts have become more bland.
I think that hip-hop saved the chartsDr Matthias Mauch, Queen Mary University of London
“Many people claim music is getting worse and worse, and we didn’t really find anything like that. There is not an overall trend for the composition, the musical ingredients of the charts, to become less diverse.”
The researchers looked at the different characteristics of music, including harmony, chords changes and timbres (the tonal quality of the music), and then analysed how they changed over time.
In the early 1960s, chords called dominant sevenths, found in jazz and blues started to die out.
Instead, in 1964 the invasion of British bands – from …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment