A new computer program has been launched with its sights set on charting the evolution of pop or (popular music). The algorithm, generated by a London based team, has shown that American pop has remained unique in each decade over the past half century with one gaping discrepancy, the 1980’s.
Every generation has a proud link to the music of their time. Assuming that their youthful musical variation trumps all that came before and that will come after. This algorithm has been able to identify a reasoning for that thought process. Each decade is groundbreaking and unique in its own special way….except the 80’s. During this decade the spectrum of creativity was the most narrow across the 50 year period, essentially saying that all 80’s music sounds the same (something I have been trying to tell my dad for years). While its stylistic scope was finer, its not to say that the music from this era was not good. It merely just means that less songs were as catchy as other decades.
What is truly interesting about this study is that certain musical themes recur over time highlighting certain compositions. For example loud, high tempo music reigned supreme in 1966, and then again in 1985 with hair bands. Also, piano and orchestra complimented music peaked in the 80’s and 90’s then went into a wane period until the 2000’s.
Three years in particular over the course of the study (50 years) showed radical creative turns in musical style, 1964, ‘83, and ‘93. The 60’s boom may have been the most rich and complex with rock, soul, disco, mostly due to the British Invasion and the emergence of the Beatles.
In the 1980s synthesized percussion sounds came to forefront revolutionizing loud, robust sounds and launching them into our ears. Phil Collins, Motley Crue, Van Halen, REO Speedwagon, Queen among many others used this to bring a completely new sound to music fans.
The most modern change to the fabric of music occurred in the early 90’s with hip hop and rap coming to the masses. Providing the 90s with a completely different musical genre, the spoken, rhyming music scheme set to looping beats opened the door to so many great songs we know today.
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