by Josh Gross
Spanish researchers and cranky old robots have wrapped up a study of 50 years of pop music that seems to indicate that it's just a bunch of noise that all sounds the same.
From an article in Reuters:
A team led by artificial intelligence specialist Joan Serra at the Spanish National Research Council ran music from the last 50 years through some complex algorithms and found that pop songs have become intrinsically louder and more bland in terms of the chords, melodies and types of sound used.
"We found evidence of a progressive homogenization of the musical discourse," Serra told Reuters. "In particular, we obtained numerical indicators that the diversity of transitions between note combinations—roughly speaking chords plus melodies—has consistently diminished in the last 50 years."
The robots didn't point out that a major component of that loudness is not the music itself, but improved recording technology, and that the last 50 years have also seen a major shift away from orchestras toward smaller folk-style ensembles ... but whatever.
Though the study seems to affirm the allegations of old people everywhere—"music these days is just a bunch of noise"—it also seems to validate another cherished rock 'n' roll axiom tossed in the other direction: "If it's too loud, then you're too old."