Today’s pop music really IS more depressing than 30 years ago

Today’s pop music really IS more depressing than 30 years ago: Upbeat tunes from Wham! and Duran Duran have given way to ballads from Adele and Ed Sheeran

It’s all too easy for the kids’ music to put you in a bad mood when it’s played at full volume from their bedroom.

However, there may be another reason it’s getting to you – today’s tunes are more depressing.

A study has found that music from 2015 is about 20 per cent more unhappy than it was in 1985. Upbeat pop from the likes of Wham! and Duran Duran has given way to the heavyweight ballads of people like Adele and Ed Sheeran, it appears.

A study has found that music from 2015 is about 20 per cent more unhappy than it was in 1985. Upbeat pop from the likes of Wham! and Duran Duran has given way to the heavyweight ballads of people like Adele and Ed Sheeran, it appears

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, analysed more than half a million songs released in the UK over 30 years to judge how music has changed. They found songs are less happy and ‘bright’ than they used to be, based on a mathematical formula judging elements such as pace, rhythm and major or minor key.

The study follows previous research showing song lyrics dwell more now on social isolation and loneliness.

Lead author Dr Natalia Komarova said: ‘The whole reason I started this study was because I was listening to the songs my teenage daughter played and thinking, what on earth has happened to music?’

The researchers looked at an average of around 600 charting and 16,000 non-charting songs a year from 1985 to 2015, graded under criteria such as happiness, sadness and ‘brightness’.


Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, analysed more than half a million songs released in the UK over 30 years to judge how music has changed. They found songs are less happy and ‘bright’ than they used to be, based on a mathematical formula judging elements such as pace, rhythm and major or minor key

This can be worked out musically as, for example, sadder songs tend to be slower and sung in a minor key. On a scale from desperately sad to blissfully happy, songs fell by about 20 per cent over the three decades.

Dr Komarova said: ‘Part of the blame for this trend in happiness might be related to social media. The social isolation of young people might play a role…perhaps that is being expressed through current music.’

The study, published in journal Royal Society Open Science, did not look at lyrics, only music. But it appears to offer some hope in that ‘party-like’ songs do better in the charts.

 

Source: Read Full Article