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Pop Music Sucks: Scientists prove it!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Steamtronic, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. We knew this already as musos, now there is quantatative scientific proof: mainstream commercial music is getting more homogenised.


    I can't imagine we have simply run out of talented writers, producers and artists. or can I imagine people dont want oto listen to good music anymore.

    My take on this is the record companies create new "product" designed to appeal to the statistical mean, rather than the old method of taking risks with new acts by providing them with professional guidance for arranging and recording in the hope of the "next big thing". The "music" has effectively been taken out of the "music business".

    Does this mean the eventual death of good new music and artistic diversity? :help:
  2. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I believe it is down to investment - everybody downloads music for free, where is the money to invest in artists' development?

    In the 1960s, 70s and 80s - money was made and while a lot lined big business coffers - a substantial amount was put into developing talent. Artists were given studio time and production teams to help them - we saw a lot of innovation, risk-taking and classic albums made!

    Now - there is liitle chance of making money out of selling recordings - nobody is going to invest in anything but the most bankable artists - like Movie Studios making sequels or remakes.

    How would a band like Pink Floyd get off the ground nowadays - no chance of a new, experimental band using studios and equipment that cost the money they had access to in the late 60s, early 70s! :meh:
  4. This is a joke right? I honestly can't tell.
  5. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    Well that is why they call it a music business , they suppose to make money from it, normal human beings love 4 chords song just like how McDonald put lots of salt into their food because people love them, oh don't forget about how the plastic surgery cost
  6. As far as I can tell, the study only refers to mainstream pop, and the 'real' musicians have been defying that for years. As long as there are people out there looking further than the latest charts, there is nothing to worry about.
  7. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Here's the link to the actual study:


    I think the results are interesting, but the usual doom and gloom about the evils of pop music can wait. For one thing, they don't seem to define what counts as a "pop" song and what doesn't. Also, while I'm no statistician and a lot of the study is Greek to me, they don't seem to have weighted results based on the popularity of the music or how widely exposed they were in media. Surely that would count?

    Also, the make a big deal about the "inherent loudness," meaning that music is recorded at higher levels, but I'm not sure that means people are necessarily LISTENING to the music louder - play a modern song and an oldie on the same speakers without turning the volume knob and yeah, the modern song will be louder, but people DO adjust the volume knob to the level they want.
  8. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
  9. Sketchy


    Jul 15, 2010
    Bristol, UK
    This is about the third or fourth time I've seen this link in the last 24 hours.

    I have to admit to not being surprised when I read it. I used to hate the radio at work.
  10. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    What the research shows is that the structure of pop songs has become less complex - i.e. fewer chord changes means the songs sound similar.

    It also mentioned the use of modern recording techniques that make the music sound louder. That would probably refer to over-compression of modern songs, and over-compression of re-releases of older pop music.
  11. And you can tell the same about Pop singers. Just listen to the last couple of years of "American Idol". The singers on there all sound exactly the same to me. And inevitably any singer who has the least little bit of "balls" and individuality ends up losing to yet another Pop Idol clone.
  12. Chef FourString

    Chef FourString

    Feb 4, 2011
    Death only for major labels. Independent music is on a steady uprise. Anyone with a computer, a torrented editing program, a few mics and some friends can produce good music as well as anyone else. The formula for pop will always be there, no matter what; the majors took their gamble on it and its failing in the capacity of real, honest music. It's up to us to keep writing and producing good music.
  13. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Looking at the study now. Hahaha, I love how they found "a growing homogenization of the global timbral palette" since the mid-60s. That fits very well with something I told a guitarist who likes to play solos - that when rock and electric instruments and all that were pretty new, people didn't yet know what works and what doesn't so they tried a lot of random stuff, and now we know better.
  14. notverygood


    Feb 11, 2010
    Maybe we should stop using the same 12 studio musicians for every record. I realize its easier to use people you always use, but it doesn't lend itself to trying new things.
  15. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    Or maybe stop having each musician record parts separately from their home studio or hotel room and record everyone at the same time playing as a band. That might loosen the processed feel a bit....
  16. Increased grouping of pop music will lead to more demand for out-lying genres.
  17. oh yes, oh yes...

    idiots like Led Zeppelin, Ten Years After, Jethro Tull, Moody Blues, King Crimson, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer, The Beatles, Rolling Stones etc, etc....they had no idea what to do with these new fangled electrical instruments...and look what a hash they made of it.

    God, how did i even listen to such terrible music. I'm surprised they even knew which side of the neck the strings were on. Hammond B3 organ? jeez, what's that....do you punch these funny white keys and get a sound?

    now that we have geniuses like Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, and the Backstreet Boys to lead the way, the sky is obviously the limit.

    i was born too soon.....God, how i wish I could have been a child of the 90's so i could bask in the Glory that is today's pop music.

  18. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    So pop music has become like most of today's television huh? People don't want to see something TRULY different (they think that throwing in some cheap shock value trumps WRITING and literary talent that is edgy), they want the same thing they've seen time and time again with about 1% of it changed or manipulated in some way. I tend to gravitate to educational television more than anything else, though I will admit getting a kick out of Big Bang Theory pretty regularly.

    I really worry more about kids than my own taste when it comes to pop music. All I can hope is that my kids will be able to sift out the garbage that gets marketed in their faces constantly. Sure, the argument can be made that my age can play a part in my taste, but you can't tell me that you could compare Tonight, Tonight by the Smashing Pumpkins with I'm Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO and say that you can chalk that up to my age influencing my taste. Shoot, if we want to stay in the same genre (i'll say...dance and techno in general) what about Basement Jaxx? I swear, I want to punch the guys from LMFAO in the face...and I KNOW it lol
  19. cableguy


    Jun 4, 2009
    North Bend, WA
    Not much to say except I love your avatar Dave. You don't see to many references to the Fabulous freak brothers anymore..........Good times.......good times......
  20. Flump


    Feb 20, 2012
    I actually disagree with this part. There is WAY more available for people to create experimental music these days for much cheaper. Hell you can buy multi-fx units and samples and 8 billion other things for very affordable prices. Hell I can record songs in my living room with high enough quality that most people wouldn't notice the difference between a professional recording and it costs almost nothing.

    There are plenty of experimental bands out there, but I think record companies are less likely to listen to them.

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