Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Why Is Pop Music So Repetitive?

Repetitive Music image
Many people are besides themselves about the current state of music today, claiming that it's far too stale and repetitive. While the pop charts have always had their share of the bland and formulaic, many think that today's music goes far beyond what used to be the norm.

And that actually appears to be true, according to a 2012 study by the Spanish Research Council. The study found that pop music is louder and less varied since any time since 1950.

Once upon a time you could blame this on the labels and their tastes, but now these same labels rely more on numbers to determine what they'll sign and release. That is, they look at Shazam searches, music streams and listening tendencies online, then use this behavioral data to predict who will be the next big thing.

In other words, fans shape the hits by essentially demanding the same songs over and over.

The study found that the reason why we like to listen to the "same" song over and over again is that the brain finds it easier to process. The less effort it takes to think about a song, the more we tend to like it.

What's more, broadcasters now play fewer songs and keep a hit in rotation longer than ever before. Now that program directors have more accurate electronic data to rely on, they've found that listeners are less interested in novelty or variety than they say they are. When something new comes on the radio, they're more than likely to turn it off.

So if you want to blame someone of the state of music today, blame the listeners and not the labels or artists. They're just giving you what you want.

1 comment:

Stephen Martin said...

A friend of mine was a realtor and when someone wanted to buy a new home they would usually say they wanted a different style than what they were living in. She would show them various styles and they almost always bought one in the same style as the house they living in.


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