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Science Determines Pop Music Is Too Loud

  1. Jul 29, 2012 #1
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/26/science-music-idUSL6E8IOE3320120726
     
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  3. Jul 29, 2012 #2

    chiro

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    I don't know if you needed a scientific study to show this! ;)
     
  4. Jul 29, 2012 #3

    Danger

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    Did they pay royalties for those million songs in the archive, or did they snipe them?

    Is this what killed Knapster?
     
  5. Jul 29, 2012 #4

    Astronuc

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    I think the pinnacle of rock, some of which became pop music, was the early 1970s - and maybe a plateau during the 70s into the early 80s. However, since then it's been down hill. I can't listen to pop music.

    I'll stick with classical rock from about 1965 to 1985, and good stuff like SRV and Satriani since.
     
  6. Jul 29, 2012 #5

    turbo

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    I wish that I had been of an age to hitch my way to Boston to attend Fleetwood Mac's Tea-Party concerts. My mother would have freaked out, anyway. The original "Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac" was a wonderful band, with one of the best rhythm sections in the business (thus the name), and the initial line-up was great. You don't need stacks of Marshall amps to impress the crowds - just play. IIR, Peter Green and Danny Kirwan (both Les Paul afficianados) would use their trips to the states to pick up Twin Reverbs, Super Reverbs and other Fender amps that were rare in England.
     
  7. Jul 29, 2012 #6

    DaveC426913

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    I'm curious. How could they possibly have determined that "the music is intrinsically louder"?

    Loudness is a property of playback; not a property intrinsic in the music itself.
     
  8. Jul 29, 2012 #7

    turbo

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    Perhaps a measure of the dynamic range?
     
  9. Jul 29, 2012 #8

    cepheid

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    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
  10. Jul 30, 2012 #9
    That said, can anyone find examples of music that is considerably more musically diverse (and I mean music that isn't just plain "weird" in that weird for the sake of weird sense, like middle-pink floyd records or primus)?

    I want to think I can find examples of more diverse sounding music that aren't just weird, but I really don't know.
     
  11. Jul 30, 2012 #10

    Ben Niehoff

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    The Beatles are a good example. Their early stuff all sounds the same. However, their later stuff (after Revolver) gets more experimental, and every song has a different "sound"; i.e., different combinations of instruments, different mixing, different tempo, different attitude, and different subject.

    Another great example is the jazz era. There is a lot of variation in feeling, from slow and sensual to hot and jumping. Jazz orchestras in the 30's played at dance halls and were expected to play music for all kinds of dances.

    I can't imagine artists today actually want everything to sound the same, unless they are just uncreative people. I would guess that music industry marketing has something to do with it...pushing artists to define themselves by a particular "sound", and insisting that every song on a given album have similar qualities to that one song that was really popular.
     
  12. Jul 30, 2012 #11

    jim hardy

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    i think we must be imprinted for life during interval age 18 plus/minus five years or so.

    i found much of the late 50's / early 60's R&R annoying, so listened instead to Miami's classical station WVCG.
    Arthur Fiedler's Boston Pops is still my favorite group.

    diverse? I'm not versed in music theory
    but
    Grab most any Fiedler/Pops album and you'll find a mix of Baroque era to R&R.
    It was Fiedler who said fifty years ago "One day we'll be playing the Beatles in symphony halls."


    fiedler_play_beatles.jpg

    Their rendition of "Tequila"(not on this album) is a delight.

    old jim
     
  13. Jul 30, 2012 #12

    DaveC426913

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    And I can still remember all the lyrics!
     
  14. Jul 30, 2012 #13

    Char. Limit

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    We all knew this. There's some great dynamic symphonic metal, though.
     
  15. Jul 30, 2012 #14
    I don't think this is what the article is talking about:

    I think what this means is that, regardless of choice of instrument, tempo, attitude, subject, etc, pop music has gotten less and less sophisticated in terms of chord progressions.

    To demonstrate what that means, here's the chord progression of a Beethoven piece:

    Here's a much simpler piece:

    The study is saying that the difference between pop music 50 years ago and pop music today is like the difference between the Beethoven and the Pachelbel, that the chord and melody journey have become more limited, less diverse. Fewer chords means you're automatically making duller decisions about transitions from one chord to the next.
     
  16. Jul 30, 2012 #15

    Curious3141

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    Opeth accompanies me on my drive in to work almost everyday. When I'm in the mood for some heavier stuff, it's Fleshgod Apocalypse.

    (OK, right now, Megadeth's discography is on strict rotation, because I'm getting myself prepped for their concert here in a week's time, but at other times, it's mostly European bands that I listen to).

    Symphonic/melodic/progressive death/black metal doesn't seem to be having such an issue with a compromised dynamic range.
     
  17. Jul 31, 2012 #16

    Ben Niehoff

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    Oh, if that's it, then that's nothing. It's happened on and off throughout history, it will reverse itself eventually. Compare:

    Plainchant: Chords? What chords?

    Early Baroque: OK, you can have thirds. I, IV, V, vi, ii, III

    Late Baroque: Bach fugues. Sevenths, diminished, suspended, appoggiatura, etc.

    Early Classical: Return to simplicity. Melody over block chords. I, IV, V7, vi, ii, III7

    Late Classical: Mozart fugues. Increased chromaticism. Modulate to weird keys. Sonata form.

    Early Romantic: Forget about forms, feeling is more important. Simple, bold chords (a la Beethoven). Modulate to mildly weird keys, sometimes. Add a 9th here or there.

    Late Romantic: 11th and 13th chords, complex harmonies exploring dissonance and resolution (a la Mahler).

    Modern: Experiment with rhythm and tonality to create organic mass of texturized sound (Stravinsky, Schoenberg). Not sure if this is "simple" or "complex".

    Film Era: Forget about depth, just make it sparkly so Han Solo can ride his broomstick through the gates of Mordor.
     
  18. Jul 31, 2012 #17

    Curious3141

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    There's a movie I want to see! :rofl:
     
  19. Jul 31, 2012 #18
    I dunno. Pop doesn't come out of that tradition, and 50 years ago it wasn't so sophisticated that it can afford to get even less sophisticated.
     
  20. Jul 31, 2012 #19

    Ben Niehoff

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    Right, pop comes from a tradition that started with African polyrhythms and went through spirituals, ragtime, blues, jazz, rock, motown, punk, R&B, metal, rap, etc. I don't know the detailed history of all of this, but I do know that 50's-era rock was very simple, much simpler than the jazz and blues from which it evolved. Rock subsequently expanded into something more complex by around the 70's and early 80's, after which I think we saw simplification again.

    Usually the "new, edgy" styles are simpler as a rebellion against the complexity that existed at the time. Look at the beginnings of punk, for example (or of 50's rock).

    I don't feel like modern pop music is driven by a rebellion against any musical tradition, though. To me it feels like we've had about two decades of "blah". I also get the impression that young people of today (my generation and the two or three after), in this country, don't feel very strongly about anything in particular, musically or politically. Where previous generations saw musical movements, today we seem to have musical complacency. It is mere entertainment, and not a "voice". There are probably several causes.
     
  21. Jul 31, 2012 #20
    This sums it up well.

    I still wonder what the people behind this study were up to. Seems like a lot of work for a not very important point.
     
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