The Oatmeal on The Music Industry.
This needs to be reblogged again.
After analyzing data on the diversity of notes and timbres in music from the 1960’s to today (part of the Million Song Dataset), Spanish scientists show that music has gotten more homogenous in the past few decades.
So, maybe not better, but same-er.
Image of the inside of my heart.. (Taken with Instagram)
You are listening to music, evolved.
I don’t mean that in the sense that it’s tomorrow’s next big electronica style, but rather that the music itself has undergone Darwinian selection.
DarwinTunes is a project of Bob MacCallum and Armand Leroi from Imperial College London. They wondered if music might evolve by means similar to the way natural selection acts on genetic traits, with the best bits surviving and remixing into a more fit future tune.
They began with this cacophony, a real mess of dissonance. Then they let listeners pick their favorite bits and allowed those loops to “mate”. What you hear above is the result after 3,000 generations of musical replication, and clear tendencies toward beat and harmony are evident. Of course, listeners come into this experiment with modern notions of what pleasant sounds mean, and real musical evolution took place over thousands of years and with hugely differing cultural influences.
Still, it’s a supremely cool melding of science and music, and a reminder that whether its cultural or genetic, everything is a remix. Check out Ed Yong’s writeup at the link below, hear the whole evolution here, and visit DarwinTunes for more.
At Hooktheory, a music theory blog, they analyzed the chord patterns of 1,300 popular songs to look for patterns. You’re looking at the most-used chords when songs are transposed into the key of C (the most popular key in pop music by a 2-to-1 ratio).
If you know anything about music theory, that graph makes sense. The I-IV-V chords own it. And the Am? That’s the vi, forming a chord progression that has apparently worked for pop music since the 50’s.
Original? No. But hey, everything is a remix.
These are so cute! You can buy them here.
Sorry. Not a pun. But I just found the cutest coffee mugs ever and had to share.