NOTE: Sci is usually at SciAm Blogs on Monday, but they’re doing some updates to the site, and I thought I would stay over here for today, just in case.
I have an officemate (and I know they’re reading, everyone say hi to my awesome officemate!) who likes to listen to pop music in the lab. One time, the latest David Guetta (and various artists) was on, and we were working away like good little labrats. And then I made my officemate stop the music. I made them go back, and skip through some of the songs, playing about the first 20 seconds of each.
…they all sounded awfully alike. If you didn’t know what track number you were on, you’d never be able to tell whether you were about to hear Niki Minaj or Snoop Dogg within the first 10 seconds. The opening beats were similar, the opening chords were similar.
But we kept on chair-dancing along. I mean, it’s fun music.
But it did make me think. Is it just me, or does a lot of modern pop music really sound…the same? Or more alike, anyway, than in the past?
And luckily for me, a study came out that answers my question. It’s not just me and being old (get offa my lawn!) pop music really is becoming more…the same.
Serra et al. “Measuring the Evolution of Contemporary Western Popular Music” Scientific Reports, 2012.