More proof that pop songs are getting slower and sadder

Music is always downstream from what’s happening in society at large. It may take some time, but popular contemporary music will always end of reflecting the general zeitgeist.

Some data scientists (professional and otherwise) have noticed something about pop songs on the Billboard Top 100. Through careful analysis of a variety of metrics, this music has been getting slower and sadder over the years.

ABC out of Australia helps us visualize this data. Here, for example, is a look at the music of 1993.

Now look at this graph of the tempo of pop songs over the last 25 years.

Here’s the one that fascinates me.

What’s going on? What can we infer from this. Not sure.

There are many, many data points here. It’s worth some study.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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