Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Music in bad economic times

Terry F. Pettijohn II, a professor of psychology at Coastal Carolina University watches how popular tastes shift with economic conditions. This includes studying how economic and social factors shape preferences in popular music.

Looking at #1 songs on Billboard between 1955 and 2003 (this for a paper published in the journal Psychology of Music), he discovered that in uncertain economic times, people tend to prefer songs that are long, slower, and with meaningful lyrics. It’s not a perfect correlation, but it’s close.

Meanwhile, Playboy Playmates have tended to be more mature-looking in bad times. Draw your own conclusions from that one.

Yesterday’s Ongoing History Daily was The history of Taylor Hawkins’ heart

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 38111 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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