Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Is music getting sadder?

There’s no question that the world is a weird and scary place—and that’s making a lot of people very, very sad. This is being manifested in the amount of sad music people seem to be searching for.

Spotify declared 2023 the year of the “bummer summer” due to the spike in the number of searches for sad music on the platform. Digging a little deeper, the majority of these searches are coming from Gen Z, especially teenage girls.

These songs tend to be slow, somewhere between 60 and 70 beats per minute. And unlike slow songs of the past that were meant for intimate couples dancing, these tunes are listened to while alone.

If you look at the Billboard Top 100, 50% of the hits are written in melancholy minor keys. Compare that to the 1960s when about 85% of hit songs were in happy major keys.

The situation is so pronounced that even the Centers for Disease Control is monitoring the situation.

Read more here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ 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.

Alan Cross has 38529 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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