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pop music DOES all sound the same

Jack Campin 28 Jul 12 - 06:42 PM
RTim 28 Jul 12 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 28 Jul 12 - 07:39 PM
Jack Campin 28 Jul 12 - 08:00 PM
GUEST,Andy Shandy 28 Jul 12 - 08:02 PM
Jack Campin 28 Jul 12 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Jul 12 - 10:38 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Jul 12 - 07:08 AM
MGM·Lion 29 Jul 12 - 07:18 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Jul 12 - 07:45 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 29 Jul 12 - 01:33 PM
dick greenhaus 29 Jul 12 - 02:28 PM
melodeonboy 29 Jul 12 - 05:25 PM
Little Hawk 29 Jul 12 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,Keith 30 Jul 12 - 08:40 AM
GUEST,Claire M (Permanant GUEST!) 30 Jul 12 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,CS 30 Jul 12 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,CS 30 Jul 12 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 30 Jul 12 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 30 Jul 12 - 02:19 PM
Little Hawk 30 Jul 12 - 02:36 PM
GUEST 30 Jul 12 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,Stim 30 Jul 12 - 03:05 PM
Jack Campin 30 Jul 12 - 03:37 PM
GUEST,Stim 30 Jul 12 - 04:16 PM
Jack Campin 30 Jul 12 - 05:01 PM
Joybell 30 Jul 12 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,BobL 31 Jul 12 - 02:41 AM
GUEST 31 Jul 12 - 02:56 AM
GUEST,Stim 31 Jul 12 - 03:04 AM
Mavis Enderby 07 Aug 12 - 05:10 PM
Phil Edwards 07 Aug 12 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,Stim 07 Aug 12 - 08:16 PM
catspaw49 07 Aug 12 - 08:37 PM
Bonzo3legs 08 Aug 12 - 02:45 AM
Mavis Enderby 08 Aug 12 - 03:59 AM
Phil Edwards 08 Aug 12 - 04:00 AM
GUEST,Charles Macfarlane 08 Aug 12 - 05:06 AM
Mavis Enderby 08 Aug 12 - 05:47 AM
Mavis Enderby 08 Aug 12 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,foggers (on cookieless Blackberry) 08 Aug 12 - 07:07 AM
Elmore 08 Aug 12 - 04:47 PM
Elmore 08 Aug 12 - 08:05 PM
Elmore 08 Aug 12 - 08:06 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Aug 12 - 04:25 AM
GUEST,Charles Macfarlane 09 Aug 12 - 02:05 PM
Elmore 09 Aug 12 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,999 09 Aug 12 - 08:41 PM
Rob Naylor 09 Aug 12 - 09:03 PM
GUEST,Stim 10 Aug 12 - 12:17 AM
GUEST,Stim 10 Aug 12 - 12:33 AM
GUEST,Charles Macfarlane 10 Aug 12 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 10 Aug 12 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 10 Aug 12 - 09:51 AM
catspaw49 10 Aug 12 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 10 Aug 12 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 10 Aug 12 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,Charles Macfarlane 10 Aug 12 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,Charles Macfarlane 10 Aug 12 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 10 Aug 12 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 10 Aug 12 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,999 10 Aug 12 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,Stim 10 Aug 12 - 11:48 AM
catspaw49 10 Aug 12 - 03:47 PM
Mavis Enderby 10 Aug 12 - 05:06 PM
Phil Edwards 10 Aug 12 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 10 Aug 12 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,Stim 11 Aug 12 - 01:31 PM
Desert Dancer 17 Sep 12 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 01 Oct 19 - 06:40 PM
leeneia 02 Oct 19 - 12:51 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Oct 19 - 04:12 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Oct 19 - 04:13 AM
punkfolkrocker 02 Oct 19 - 09:59 AM
Jack Campin 02 Oct 19 - 10:48 AM
punkfolkrocker 02 Oct 19 - 10:57 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Oct 19 - 11:08 AM
GUEST 02 Oct 19 - 11:19 AM
Nick 02 Oct 19 - 11:32 AM
Steve Shaw 02 Oct 19 - 11:46 AM
Mrrzy 02 Oct 19 - 12:10 PM
Bonzo3legs 02 Oct 19 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,HiLo 02 Oct 19 - 12:59 PM
punkfolkrocker 02 Oct 19 - 01:09 PM
Bill D 02 Oct 19 - 01:32 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Oct 19 - 01:38 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Oct 19 - 01:54 PM
punkfolkrocker 02 Oct 19 - 02:21 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Oct 19 - 02:47 PM
Jack Campin 02 Oct 19 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 02 Oct 19 - 03:06 PM
keberoxu 02 Oct 19 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Starship 02 Oct 19 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,HiLO 02 Oct 19 - 05:43 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Oct 19 - 06:12 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Oct 19 - 06:32 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 03 Oct 19 - 11:40 AM
JHW 03 Oct 19 - 12:08 PM
Richard Mellish 03 Oct 19 - 12:10 PM
Jim Carroll 03 Oct 19 - 12:26 PM
punkfolkrocker 03 Oct 19 - 12:41 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Oct 19 - 12:43 PM
Jack Campin 03 Oct 19 - 03:08 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Oct 19 - 07:54 PM
Richard Mellish 04 Oct 19 - 02:38 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Oct 19 - 03:40 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Oct 19 - 04:11 AM
JHW 04 Oct 19 - 05:47 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Oct 19 - 06:26 AM
punkfolkrocker 04 Oct 19 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,Richard Robinson 04 Oct 19 - 09:14 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 19 - 03:45 AM
Steve Shaw 05 Oct 19 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,Starship 05 Oct 19 - 10:04 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Oct 19 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,HiLo 06 Oct 19 - 08:37 AM
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Subject: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 06:42 PM

Or, how to be a grumpy old git, but now with added graphs:

http://www.nature.com/srep/2012/120726/srep00521/full/srep00521.html

summary:

http://io9.com/5929469/the-real-reason-why

I hate to think what the same methodology would do with country.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: RTim
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 06:58 PM

Agreed!!
Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 07:39 PM

What utter rot. To most ears all Irish music sounds the same; all Scottish music sounds the same; all Jazz sounds the same; all Piobaireachd sounds the same; all Balinese gamelan sounds the same; all Traditional English Folk Songs sound the same; all Mozart sounds the same; all Gaelic Psalm singing sounds the same; all Gagaku sounds the same; all Swedish fiddle music sounds the same...

When don't know or understand the music, it all sounds the same. Why post just to tell us about stuff you don't care about or understand? Tell us what you know, not what you don't; after all, considerable knowledge is always offset by a greater ignorance.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 08:00 PM

Somebody didn't read the article.

The surprising thing is how many different parameters they looked at, and that the trend was the same for all of them.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Andy Shandy
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 08:02 PM

Errrmm..

pop is fun - that's why we like it.

Similarly, for many millenia all human orgasms aint changed that much and have more or less felt the same -
but we still likes them too.

Bread, beer, cheese; give or take acceptable variations - always very samey, but nonetheless also very nice - still like 'em..

plenty more popular/populist examples of 'always the same, never changing, but we still like them' !!!

getting the drift ....???

Ok, of course this does not apply to Folk music
which is noted for being radically different and ever changing
with every new song being innovative & sonically unique...

yeah as unique as my flatulently reverberating arse cheeks !!!
and not much more popular with the greater British public.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 08:15 PM

They didn't look at genres labelled as "folk".

I suspect the trends would have been much the same if you looked at any one of them.

Commodification means homogenization. It just so happens that pop is the most commodified musical genre there is, so it's the obvious one to look at.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 10:38 PM

I think nations (to use the term loosely) go through brilliant periods and then lulls in their music, and that we are definitely in a lull right now.

I don't need graphs to tell me that the pop music I hear in public places lacks melody and other forms of musical interest.


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Subject: Folklore: It does all sound the same - official
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 07:08 AM

From The Irish Times 27th July 2012:
Jim Carroll

Spain
POP MUSIC TODAY DOES ALL SOUND THE SAME
In what could be comforting news for anyone over the age of 35, scientists have worked out that modern pop music really is louder and does all sound the same.
Researchers in Spain used a huge archive known as the Million Song Dataset, which breaks down audio and lyrical content into data that can be analysed, to study pop songs from 1955 to 2010.
A team led by artificial intelligence specialist Joan Serra at the Spanish National Research Council ran music from the past 50 years through some complex algorithms and found that pop songs had become intrinsically louder and more bland in terms of the chords, melodies and types of sound used.
"We found evidence of a progressive homogenisation of the musical discourse," Mr Serra said.
"In particular, we obtained numerical indicators that the diversity of transitions between note combinations - roughly speaking chords plus melodies - has consistently diminished in the last 50 years."
The study appears in the journal Scientific Reports. - (Reuters)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: It does all sound the same - official
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 07:18 AM

Why did you give this news the "Folklore" prefix, Jim? Just out of interest...

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Folklore: It does all sound the same - official
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 07:45 AM

Hit the wrong button Mike, but it has been passed down through the generations so, by some peoples' reckoning it can be......!!
Thanks for he opportunity to clarify my own particular stance.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 01:33 PM

Somebody didn't read the article.

True; I got bored after the first few words.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 02:28 PM

If a genre of music didn't consist of individusl works that had substantial similarities, it wouldn't be a genre.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: melodeonboy
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 05:25 PM

If, as I assume, modern pop songs are primarily more a product of improved technology and the skill of the sound engineers using that technology rather than any creative flair, individuality or talent on the part of the artist; and if a large majority of these songs are produced by a much smaller number and variety of record companies, then it would seem likely that they would sound the same, or at least more similar to each other than would have been the case in the past.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 05:47 PM

That's the problem with the pop music audience...they get bored VERY easily! ;-) It only takes about a verse and a half of just about any song to bore them unless there's a hook. (whoopee!) A hook and some chaotic video scenes will keep them vaguely interested for, oh, maybe one and a half more verses at the very most, and that's why pop songs are usually pretty short. DON'T ask them to remember the words! That would be soooooo boring!

In ancient times people would quietly listen to epic poems, tales passed down by word of mouth, stories that were easily an hour long and songs that told a story in 20 or 30 verses. They didn't get bored. Perhaps this was because they didn't live in a world that gave them about 600,000,000 choices of what to do all the time, thus leaving them so jaded and overfed after awhile that they weren't really much interested in anything.

It's simple. Give a child one toy and he will treasure it, give it a name, turn it into a companion that lasts for years. Give him 800 toys, 3 computers, a cellphone, an Ipad, a Blackberry, and whatever the hell else you can get out there for your kid these days and.....he'll get bored. Very bored. He'll have no patience at all. He'll have no ability to sustain any attention span. He won't stay interested long. He'll decide that almost everything "sucks", get depressed, and be depressing to others.

And he'll probably listen to a lot of pop music eventually, because it's all around him, but certainly not with enough attention to remember the lyrics of the song...but that's okay, coz they're probably not worth remembering anyway, right?

We may be looking at the most bored, overstimulated, overfed, unhealthy, and confused generation in human history right now in the developed world...mainly because we have buried ourselves under a mountain of material goods and ephemeral media and have lost our souls and our minds in the process.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Keith
Date: 30 Jul 12 - 08:40 AM

check out this site guys!

www.ThatSongSoundsLike.com


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Claire M (Permanant GUEST!)
Date: 30 Jul 12 - 10:42 AM

I'm so happy to read this & wish I'd found this place before.

I like some pop music, but wouldn't want my shelves full of it. It could be because it wasn't played at me, while blues/folk always was. I'm so used to the latter that I get in a foul mood when I can't listen to it for some reason, & as soon as I put some on it goes away.

As a disabled person, my life is (& will be) very different to that described in standard pop songs, so I tend to gravitate toward nastier songs because they make more sense; me 2 fine legs were, in a sense, taken away (because they don't work), I do get lost (but unfortunately not in the pines), a lot of people I know happen to be very ill, so they do tend to die quite young.

I can cope with some pop music, but most people I know who like it seem to want to play it too loud, & think I'd be happier if I didn't listen to the music I do. They seem to get bored easily too. I don't & I don't think I ever have. In their way of thinking, if you like something you must own it, even if you're not sure you like it. Get me a decent cd & I'll be happy for ages.

As for toys, I still treasure Katy the rag doll (ooooh, I luv you just the way you are) & Midnight the toy cat.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 30 Jul 12 - 12:37 PM

There is exciting pop music out there, but it seems to be even more at the fringes of 'popular' music than it was when I were a young thing and me and my best friend were going silly over this strange pixie woman singing in Icelandic on the Indie chart on C4's (then excellent) The Chart Show.

Nevertheless, with tools like Gnoosic / MusicMap, YouTube, Grooveshark etceteras, good pop is much easier to actually discover now than ever, so we're no longer dependent on the late John Peel to act as our musical ears and likewise there's no excuse for limiting oneself to the safe formulas of the top ten muzak machine either - where the so-called 'art' of performers like Gaga, still regurgitates the same top ten formulas of twenty plus years ago.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 30 Jul 12 - 12:39 PM

Oh, and I love a good hook.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 30 Jul 12 - 01:32 PM

[punkfolkrocker: with his serious head on for a few moments]

I've mention before on mudcat how much I love "The Archies";

manufactured bubblegum pop perfection churned out on the factory production line
by some of the cream of late 60's USA commercial song writers
studio producers, session singers & musicians.

Even the LP filler tracks and B sides are timeless pop music
instant acting maximum effect anti depressants.

I rate The Archies high up there with The Turtles, Monkees & Lovin' Spoonful.

Maybe occasionally since the glories of UK glam rock
maybe, just maybe, during the last 35 years
isolated pop singles almost as good as the vintage golden era classics emerge
to brighten up a a few short minutes of day to day modern alienation & misery.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 30 Jul 12 - 02:19 PM

..interesting Guardian article on my mrs's current favourite new pop group
and their 'grooming' for stardom by UK music biz industry.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/mar/08/stooshe-girl-band


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Jul 12 - 02:36 PM

A good hook can definitely be really neat, no question about it. What troubles me is when a song has a good hook....but it doesn't have anything else good in it. ;-) If you know what I mean...

Some pop music is quite good, by the way. Most of it is pretty lacklustre stuff, but there are a few gems to be found here and there.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jul 12 - 02:52 PM

The pop music of the present will become the "traditional" music of the future. That's how it's always been. It is slightly amusing when people who embrace traditional and folk music complain about the "sameness" of whatever music it is that they don't like. As Dick Greenhaus pointed out above musical genres are "genres" because they share a lot of common elements. Nine times out of ten, the things that the don't share are borrowed from other musical genres.

Bottom line is the reason that genres exist is because certain people, in a certain place, at a certain time, happen to like a particular rhythm, coupled with a particular sort of phrasing, following a small variety of melodies, with lyrics that tell stories that reflect the ideas and values of their place and time. Musicians, smart people that they are, endeavor to give em what they want.

Another time, another place, another kind of music.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 30 Jul 12 - 03:05 PM

To remedy the good hook/boring song problem, "The folk process" allows the performer to trim the boring parts and use the hook on its own-the way "I rolled and I tumbled" got taken from "Knoxville Girl" and turned into a whole stack of blues records.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Jul 12 - 03:37 PM

The point of the paper (which it seems you haven't looked at) was NOT to slag off pop as a genre. It was analyzing developments WITHIN the genre, which are most likely paralleled in many others. (I can think of a few exceptions, from widely differing milieus).

How about you cut out the dimwitted cliches and actually read the thing?


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 30 Jul 12 - 04:16 PM

That Guest was me. I hope you don't think that my comments were dimmwitted, Jack, because I actually read the article. I was responding to the people in this thread who are "slagging off" pop music.

As far as the research, their observations are correct, but music is written that way on purpose, so they aren't telling anyone anything that isn't widely known already. Why is is written that way is the better question, and even that question has some pretty well established answers.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Jul 12 - 05:01 PM

the reason that genres exist is because certain people, in a certain place, at a certain time, happen to like a particular rhythm, coupled with a particular sort of phrasing, following a small variety of melodies

As the researchers pointed out, if you look back a few decades you find a far wider variety of sounds WITHIN THE SAME GENRE. Genres do not start out stereotyped.

A few examples within folk/trad:

- the range of voice types for performers entering the field is far less than it was; who's a 20-year-old Sheila Stewart or Jock Duncan?

- in Scottish trad, the range of keys used routinely is far less than it was 200 years ago. Where did B flat go?

- the range of durations for songs commercially recorded has always been far narrower than for uncommercial music. The cliche is about long ballads, but there are far more very short songs that never make it onto commercial recordings because there is no way to pad them out to fit anything longer than wax cylinder, if that.

- religious material used to be part of the same genre as secular folk songs and dance music, with performers like Father Sydney MacEwen crossing over between them. Not any more. The Americans can get away with it to some extent but it had better be something the Carter Family recorded.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Joybell
Date: 30 Jul 12 - 05:41 PM

True-love still teaches children to accompany themselves as singers. I work with children producing commumity shows. It's comforting, though really, really sad, to know we're not mistaken. The popular songs they want to learn to sing, and the way they expect to sound, agree with this study. *sigh*. Luckily for me we live in a rural community and the kids just love the old songs I teach them -- so far. This is within the context of theatre so they don't see it the same way. When they want formal lessons, though, they expect to sound they way their ipods tell them they should.
Joy.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,BobL
Date: 31 Jul 12 - 02:41 AM

Pop music has always been stereotyped, or at least standardised in some way. Songs of the 50's invariably had the same form: V1, V2, bridge, V3, repeat bridge, repeat V3. Songs of the rock & roll era almost invariably followed a 12-bar blues chord sequence. To look at a different aspect, styles tended to alternate between simple "D-I-Y" (think skiffle) and more developed (think Sgt. Pepper), the simple styles showing less variation. Dunno about the present day, I gave up on pop as a bad job thirty years ago.   

It would, however, be interesting to see how pop compares to other music genres under a similar analysis.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jul 12 - 02:56 AM

Here are three songs that are popular this year--you can probably still hear them on the radio, if you still use a radio. Listen and decide if you have trouble telling them apart, etc. Out of deference to folk tastes, I have not provided links to anything with a strong club/dance feel, such as, say, Jessie J's "Domino", Alexandra Stan's "Mr. Saxobeat" or anything by The Black-Eyed Peas, so you'll just have to trust me that there is a lot of range there, too.

a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf_l3EGQvL8">Andrew in Drag

Somebody that I Used to Know- Gotye

Someone Like You


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 31 Jul 12 - 03:04 AM

That was me. Here's the link again--
Andrew in Drag


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 05:10 PM

Reviving this thread as it's been mentioned in another

Surely this study is only as good as the dataset used. Reading the supplementary information, the "million song dataset" is slightly misleading in this study as more than half of it was discarded due to lack of date information or duplication.

Also, Jack, Country is included...


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 06:33 PM

The pop music of the present will become the "traditional" music of the future. That's how it's always been.

I don't think it's always been like that at all - any more than pop music has always sounded the same. I think all you can say is that some folk songs collected 100 years ago had originally been popular songs (music-hall songs and broadside ballads). Either side of that one period it doesn't work - popular songs from 1750 weren't being labelled as folk songs in 1800, and songs from the 1950s haven't magically become 'traditional' with the passage of time.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 08:16 PM

In order for a song to become traditional, it has to be well known, and it can't really be well known if it isn't popular...here is an interesting thread about how pop songs turn into folk songs.Soul Asylum's Runaway Train, Folksong?

From my point of view, self-proclaimed "folk and traditional" musicians are not necessary, and may actually get in the way.(just threw that in to stir up trouble::-)


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 08:37 PM

Great research under the "Who Gives a Shit?" classification and obviously there are some folks with a sincere interest in shit! The dumbass lines in the article and on this thread just keep on coming! I think I particularly like the bit about genres not starting out as stereotypes..........of course they don't since at that point they aren't genres!!!!!!!!!!


Spaw


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 02:45 AM

It never used to, for instance compare Shakin' All Over by Johnny Kidd with Rubber Ball by Bobby Vee - the second is crap and the first is one of the best ever! Compare Moovin' & a Groovin' with any of Bert Weedons pap.........


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 03:59 AM

Funnily enough I do have a sincere interest in shit...


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 04:00 AM

Stim - you're missing the point. "Folk songs being created out of the entertainment industry" is something that happened quite a lot between about 1850 and 1900. 1900-1950, not so much; after that, hardly at all. And before 1850 there were songs, but there wasn't so much of an entertainment industry.

Life in Britain changed out of all recognition between 1800 and 1900, and what we now think of as folk songs are a product of that history. You're mistaking a historical fact for a general law.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 05:06 AM

> From: Burton Coggles
>
> Surely this study is only as good as the dataset used. Reading the supplementary information, the "million song dataset" is slightly misleading in this study as more than half of it was discarded due to lack of date information or duplication.

You're obviously a glass-half-empty person. They still managed to find 464,411 individual pieces they could use, which is surely enough to be statistically significant in this context?

> From: catspaw49
>
> Great research under the "Who Gives a Shit?" classification and obviously there are some folks with a sincere interest in shit! The dumbass lines in the article and on this thread just keep on coming!

Just because you don't consider something relevant (1) or even just interesting to you, doesn't make it shit.

(1)        You may not even realise its relevance. The article proves that the Loudness War is actually happening. This is something that *should* concern you if it doesn't already, because the louder on average music becomes, the less overhead there is to accommodate peaks. IIRC, when I borrowed the CD from the local library, Lene Marlin's "Sitting Down Here" actually clips and distorts as early as about 8s in and constantly thereafter - given that it's an otherwise approachable track with more variety than many in both lyrics and use of acoustic instruments, that's rather depressing.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 05:47 AM

You're obviously a glass-half-empty person - maybe. That means there's room for more beer though...

More seriously though it could be argued that the data-filtering & reduction makes the dataset more statistically significant as only songs which have date tags in the MusicBrainz database are included, which could arguably be the more popular or well known songs. As it's a study of popular music this seems valid.

Be interesting to know what an analysis of the "less popular popular" half million songs would reveal though. Arguably this might be the more interesting side of pop? I suppose that was what I was trying to get at...


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 05:52 AM

...and I suppose it's because my pedantic-scientific side reacts to the "analysis of one million songs proves they all sound the same" type comments. It proves nothing and doesn't by any means include all western popular music (define that!).


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,foggers (on cookieless Blackberry)
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 07:07 AM

Yep the esteemed Mr Coggles (who holds a doctorate in shit so he does know what he is talking about) is right to point out that if you start bandying research around, those of us with a scientific/academic leaning will be interested in the minutiae of the size of the data set and the inclusion/exclusion criteria because that seriously affects the validity of any conclusions offered. I know it is not as much fun as jumping on the "pop is homogenised rubbish" bandwagon.

I also agree that we humans are creatures of habit and this goes some way to explain why we may tend to like things that fit a certain pattern and consistency, whether its beer, cheese, murder ballads or 12 bar blues.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Elmore
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 04:47 PM

I haven't listened to much pop music since I was seduced by folk music in the late fifties. My wife took me to concerts by The Eagles, Elton John, Jimmy Buffett,and Steely Dan. They were all pretty good, and didn't sound alike. Is that pop music?


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Elmore
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 08:05 PM

Is Leonard Cohen pop music?


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Elmore
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 08:06 PM

How about Tony Bennett?


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 04:25 AM

Further thoughts
Jim Carroll

Brian Boyd Irish Times 3.8.12

NO, IT'S NOT JUST YOU-SCIENTISTS PROVE POP REALLY HAS EATEN ITSELF

RELAX. YOU'RE NOT prematurely old, there's nothing wrong with your hearing, and your musical sense and sensibilities are still in full working order.
If you've felt alienated and irritated by the pop music charts over the past few years, console yourself: it's been scientifically proven that the music you listened to when you were younger actually was a whole lot better than the beat-infested, pop-assembly-line rubbish that now thumps its way out of your radio and clutters up the charts.
This week scientists showed, and they can provide tons of white-coat data to back up their findings, that pop music today really does all sound the same - and is annoyingly loud to boot.
Those redoubtable types at the Spanish National Research Council fed almost half a million pop, rock and r'n'b/hip-hop songs from 1955 up to the present into a computer. A special program broke down the audio and lyrical content into crunchable data, and once a bunch of hyper-complex algorithms had been thrown at the songs it emerged that pop music today has effectively eaten itself.
There is a blandness now that simply wasn't there before - and that refers to the number of chords used, the construction of the melody lines and the overall sound. Modern pop has a more limited "timbre palette" and there has been a consistent diminishing of anything approaching "interesting" in how a song is composed, recorded and played.
Look at the top 10 singles listed below and you'll get some idea of that uniformity of sound. Simple chord progressions with a generic rhythmic background and a homogenous use of instrumentation abound. It's battery farm pop.
If you really listen closely you'll hear that "rhythm" and "energy" are the new lodestars of the pop world, which may be fine for something clattering away in the background on daytime radio. But pop used to strive to be so much more than just surface. Listen to what Human League accomplished, for example - and they're not that long ago in terms of the study.
These days, best-selling pop songs are increasingly written to order by committee. A song such as Umbrella (ella-ella) was originally written for Britney Spears who, displaying characteristic insight, turned it down. It ended up in Rihanna's in-tray, and at best she's just the "face" of the song. It has got to the stage where you could swap songs around the handful of pop artists who dominate the singles charts and no one would really know the difference.
"We found evidence of a progressive homogenisation of the musical discourse," commented the boffins behind the study. "In particular, we obtained numerical indicators that the diversity of transitions between note combinations - chords plus melodies t has consistently lessened in the last 50 years."
The tragedy is that the industry still doesn't realise it's hit an iceberg, that it's chasing the lowest common pop chart denominator and squeezing out the innovation that could help save it. Boilerplate pop isn't doing anyone any favours, despite the dead cat bounce it might be give sales.
The predominance of "loud and bland" is a betrayal of pop's protean strengths. Furthermore, the increasing listen-to-me loudness of pop music is a desperate last throw of the dice in the playlist wars. Loudness is now baked into the pop song and is used as much to hide what isn't going on as to ramp up its meretricious appeal. Dynamic richness is sacrificed at the altar of commercial appeal.
Now that we have actual scientific data about how pop has atrophied over the years, surely it's time that all concerned, from the A&R department to the songwriters and producers, realised that it's the maverick and the counter-intuitive who have been responsible for the great leaps forward.
There are enough flagrant examples from the past two years alone to show that free-range pop is cherished, rewarded and acclaimed - and universally so.
bboyd@irishtimes.com


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 02:05 PM

Well that just shows that one should always try to read and understand the research itself rather than rely media reports.

Quite like the phrase "battery farm pop" though ...


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Elmore
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 07:45 PM

Are Norah Jones, ZZ Top, Ben Harper, U2, John Mayer,Big Brother and the Holding Company Barbara Cook Pop? When I listened to pop music the big names were Frankie Laine, Bing Crosby, Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Patti Page.

c


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,999
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 08:41 PM

Thank you for posting that, Jim. I thought my hearing was going.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 09:03 PM

How did they decide what's "pop" when selecting the half million songs to base their analysis on? Since it was Spanish researchers, did they use Spanish charts, UK charts, US charts of what as selection criteria?

Did they include, with hindsight, a lot of older songs that didn't figure as "pop" at the time, but as "underground rock" and if so did they balance them up with current non-chart "indie" songs that are relatively unknown in the mainstream?

In fact, I looked up the "million song dataset" from which the Spanish researchers extracted their half millions songs. It appears to be a mish-mash of data from:

- The Echo Nest (A US National Science Foundation grant-aided organisation)

- LastFM

- SecondHand Songs (a database of cover versions)

- MusiXmatch Dataset

- Taste Profile Subset

....and several others.

I've found it quite difficult to wade through the fairly murky logic behind the algorithms used in song selection, despite one of my specialities being statistical analysis of large datasets.

Some of the phrasing from a paper on the Test Profile Subset includes:

[Figure 2 illustrates the distributions of users-per-song and
songs-per-user in the Taste Profile Subset. Most importantly,
there is a dramatic long-tail effect in song popularity:
half of the observed songs have at most 13 unique listeners,
while 95% have at most 488 unique listeners...]

[transferring and storing a
full ranking of all songs for each test user would require
an unreasonably large amount of bandwidth and storage.
Instead, we will set a threshold  and only evaluate the top-
 portion of the predicted rankings.]

[We acknowledge that there are aspects that can not be
measured from the play counts and a ranked list of predictions.
Specifically, ranked-list evaluation indeed, virtually
any conceivable on-line evaluation may not su-
fficiently capture the human reaction: novelty and serendipity
of recommendations, overall listening time, or changes in the
user's mood.]

[The most trivial recommendation algorithm is to simply
present each song in descending order of its popularity, regardless
of the user's taste profile. Although this model
does not incorporate any personalization, it is useful to establish
a global baseline that should be out-performed by
any reasonable personalized model.]

[We also observe that the same-artist recommender significantly outperforms the global popularity model, as well
as the latent factor model. This indicates that there are
substantial gains to be had by exploiting meta-data transparency,
and incorporating domain knowledge specific to the
structure of musical items, e.g., the relationship between
songs, artists and albums.]

(From "The Million Song Dataset Challenge" by Brian McFee et al)

Having gone through this paper, which deals with the "Taste Profile Subset" I'm still not much wiser as to how they define "pop" music. From what I can see, in this dataset, a song like Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" would make the list on play-count alone, though it would never have been regarded as a "pop" song when released as an album track in 1975 and wasn't even ever released as a single until 1995! the same applies to many songs from the 60s and 70s which were never in any "commercial pop" when originally released but have since become iconic anthems of the period.

How to compare these "fairly" with what's being produced "underground" these days, and which may well be as varied in its own terms as the "non-pop-pop" of 40-50 years ago was?

If the review was confined to just singles chart tracks of the relevant period, I suspect the rexsults wwould show that "top 20 hits" of every period have been structurally limited, similar and "battery farm pop". When I look back to stuff that was in the charts in the days I started listening to "underground music" it was mostly as bland and anodyne (though not quite as loud) as what's in the charts now.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 12:17 AM

As I may have let on, I think the research is lame, in addition to being completely wrong. If that's not enough, I doubt that most of the people who have voiced agreement here have any idea what the popular music of today even sounds like.

Here is a list of The Top 100 Songs from 1962, which, as the more astute among you may glean, was 50 years ago. Pretty much the songs that I remember(having been surgically attached to a transistor radio at that time). Now here's the deal: Most of the songs on that list can be played with the same Doo-woppy 1-6-2-5 chord progression. Here is an example: Dave "Baby" Cortez' "Rinky Dink"

Don't care how many Spanish researchers say different, don't care how many Irish Times music writers you line up, this statement, "In particular, we obtained numerical indicators that the diversity of transitions between note combinations - chords plus melodies t has consistently lessened in the last 50 years." doesn't even make sense.

And, just so you know, I've always been a big Dave "Baby" Cortez fan...


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 12:33 AM

God love you, Phil Edwards, but I've got some terrible news for you, and that is that the "folk music" of today is the music that most people know, not the music that people in folk clubs play. What people will remember in the future will be distilled from what is popular today--why would it be any other way?


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 09:21 AM

>        From: Rob Naylor
>
>        How did they decide what's "pop" when selecting the half million songs to base their analysis on? Since it was Spanish researchers, did they use Spanish charts, UK charts, US charts of what as selection criteria?
>
>        Did they include, with hindsight, a lot of older songs that didn't figure as "pop" at the time, but as "underground rock" and if so did they balance them up with current non-chart "indie" songs that are relatively unknown in the mainstream?
>
>        In fact, I looked up the "million song dataset"
>        ...
>        (From "The Million Song Dataset Challenge" by Brian McFee et al)

A link would have made it easier to comment on your comments.

>        Having gone through this paper, which deals with the "Taste Profile Subset" I'm still not much wiser as to how they define "pop" music. From what I can see, in this dataset, a song like Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" would make the list on play-count alone, though it would never have been regarded as a "pop" song when released as an album track in 1975 and wasn't even ever released as a single until 1995! the same applies to many songs from the 60s and 70s which were never in any "commercial pop" when originally released but have since become iconic anthems of the period.
>
>        How to compare these "fairly" with what's being produced "underground" these days, and which may well be as varied in its own terms as the "non-pop-pop" of 40-50 years ago was?
>
>        If the review was confined to just singles chart tracks of the relevant period, I suspect the results would show that "top 20 hits" of every period have been structurally limited, similar and "battery farm pop". When I look back to stuff that was in the charts in the days I started listening to "underground music" it was mostly as bland and anodyne (though not quite as loud) as what's in the charts now.

This is the first critical comment I've seen that might have some genuine scientific foundation. One of the surest ways to lie with statistics is in the choice of the dataset, or the criteria applied to it.

Derek Brimstone used to say something like: "What these people say is that the first day of your life is the most dangerous, but the last one's pretty dodgy too!"

In the 80s the police began a campaign against drunken driving, using a statistic like: "X% of accidents involve alcohol!" I can't remember exactly what X was, but my point is, if a drunken pedestrian suddenly lurched out in front of a stone cold sober driver and was hit, that would be included in X, so the choice of that particular statistic was deliberately misleading, and was presumably done to give a bigger value of X than would have a more appropriate statistic such as the percentage of accidents involving drivers found to have alcohol in their blood.

The points you raise about song selection for the database are valid. It would certainly be interesting to know more.

>        From: GUEST,Stim
>
>        As I may have let on, I think the research is lame, in addition to being completely wrong.

Surely it can't be both? It's either lame, in which case it's only partially flawed, or it's completely wrong, in which case it's totally flawed. Given that these things are peer-reviewed, etc, I think the latter is unlikely.

>        Here is a list of The Top 100 Songs from 1962

"100 Greatest Songs From 1962

Criteria: - These records were chosen and ranked based on their initial and lasting popularity, and on their impact on the overall scope of musical history. Records are listed based on the year that they were released."

So that list is flawed as well, because it's partly based on hindsight. If it is true that pop music today is more simplified than that of fifty years ago, those making a selection today such as the above are likely to skew the results by applying modern criteria to produce the selection. You could try this:

1962

>        this statement, "In particular, we obtained numerical indicators that the diversity of transitions between note combinations - chords plus melodies t has consistently lessened in the last 50 years." doesn't even make sense.

Can't find that sentence in the original research page.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 09:41 AM

Charles please could you use the simple & proven effective communicational convention
of "Quotation marks".*

Your increasingly lengthy multi quote referencing posts are such an eye-strain to untangle
they are rendered almost unreadable.

In fact almost too jumbled to even begin to try reading....

* eg: "Here is a list of The Top 100 Songs from 1962"

italics are optional, but I prefere to use them for improved clarity.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 09:51 AM

Now back to the topic of debate.

As unreliable and spurious as this 'scientific' research may be,
we need to consider for whom these 'findings' will be of most benefit
and a source of increased 'indisputable' cultural power...??


In a similar way to how & why the Nazi party needed Eugenics
and other sham fashionable modern state of the art sciences
to prove theories of racial purity and superiority....




The POP RESISTANCE will fight back against cruel oppressors !!!


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 09:58 AM

Well Macfarlane, after continuing reading you have convinced me you are both interested in shit and full of it. My mistake.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 10:33 AM

When I was a kid I had a friend who could tell me the make, type and engine size of the unseen car coming around the corner just by the sound it made. We were about 10 at the time, but even so I was sure it was some sort of trick. Was he using reflections in house windows? But no - he could tell them all, where all I heard was a car engine (though I might, at a push tell if it was diesel). I've since met others who can do exactly this - & car mechanics who can tell by the sound of our healthy car engine that all is not as well as we'd hoped.

That said, I can just imagine one of said mechanics (maybe my old childhood pal himself; he had the splendid name of David Crackett though I think he went into double-glazing) muttering his cups: "Trouble with pop music today - all sounds the bloody same!"

*

Ever visited that sight that tells you the Number One Pop Song for your birthday? I did, and got THIS ghastly piece of formulaic MOR dross which I guess was the one of the reasons things just had to get better, which they did, and continue to do so without petty studies like this wasting precious time & resources.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 10:40 AM

Oops! The correct link to my Birthday Number One:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I2cG-ed6hw

I can only wish that such an ensemble as Hesperion XXI had been Number One on the day I arrived on Planet Earth, but, truth was, no one was doing that back then either. Just listen to so called Early Music from the 50s & Early 60s and most of that it heavy handed lifeless formulaic dross as well. It took the mid-late 60s youthful zeitgeist to blow the cobwebs off & kick-start all manner of musics into the sort of diverse life which these days we take for granted.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 10:46 AM

>        From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
>        
>        Charles please could you use the simple & proven effective communicational convention of "Quotation marks".*

And what if there is something within quotation marks within the quoted part of the post? The real problem is that Mudcat doesn't provide even the most basic form of text formatting to simplify applying italics or similar.


>        From: catspaw49
>
>        Well Macfarlane, after continuing reading you have convinced me you are both interested in shit and full of it. My mistake.

Your mistake is to fail to realise that abuse the is the last refuge of a loser.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 10:57 AM

>        From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
>        Date: 10 Aug 12 - 09:51 AM
>        
>        Now back to the topic of debate.
>        
>        As unreliable and spurious as this 'scientific' research may be,
>        we need to consider for whom these 'findings' will be of most benefit
>        and a source of increased 'indisputable' cultural power...??

Supposing that these results are followed up, and sufficiently widely accepted, neither of which is at all certain, I suspect that those who might benefit most might actually be music industry moguls, who might use it to justify concentrating expenditure ever more on mainstream work.

>        In a similar way to how & why the Nazi party needed Eugenics
>        and other sham fashionable modern state of the art sciences
>        to prove theories of racial purity and superiority....
>        
>        The POP RESISTANCE will fight back against cruel oppressors !!!

Dear me, if this is meant to be serious (there is no smiley) you really have got conspiracy theory bad, haven't you? Have you been taking your anti-paranoia medication?


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 11:08 AM

yep.. Charley Macfullofhimself has leached onto this thread
to show off his vast knowledge and superior intellect & wit....

you need 'smileys' ???


.. it's a lovely sunny day, try chilling out to some Herman's Hermits & Bay City Rollers...


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 11:13 AM

our mistake is to fail to realise that abuse the is the last refuge of a loser.

That's you clamped then, Macfarlane as abuse seems to be one of your pet tactics. Loser, huh? It figures.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,999
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 11:29 AM

Well, the Kodak moment is gone, that's fer shore.

##############################

Notice the slope of this lady's breasts as she does a pop song from 1965. Turn your computer upside down to see the year 2005 and it's obvious that she has changed her singing style as well as her physiology. Couldn't be clearer.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 11:48 AM

A study of this kind would seem to require a much more comprehensive definition of variables than has been specified in the research model, and the conclusions therefore seem overbroad, and tend to be contradicted by information from other sources.

Do you like that better?

This research seems really to be more intended to showcase the current state of music information retrieval technology, and, rather than to actually answer questions, to suggest the avenues of research that may now be possible.

As is sadly typical of scientific studies of all types, the press, aided and abetted by those with a musical axe to grind, has jumped to
attention grabbing, and misleading conclusions.

Incidentally, rather than being either an exercize in dismissing contemporary music or pointless "Who gives a shit" research, this technology is used at such places as Pandora, iTunes, etc to find other sorts of music that you might like, based on the recordings that you have listened to.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 03:47 PM

Macfarttle.........

Abuse? Geeziz man.......Abuse? No.....See, abuse would be if I suggested your mother was a collie who ate shit and ran rabbits or that your balls were the size of buckshot pellets and your dick resembled a broken toothpick. I didn't do that fearing that it all might be true.   

I'm a nice guy.......ask anyone..............


Spaw


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 05:06 PM

This is the first critical comment I've seen that might have some genuine scientific foundation. One of the surest ways to lie with statistics is in the choice of the dataset, or the criteria applied to it.

D'you ever get the feeling your postings are invisible Foggers?


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 06:01 PM

the "folk music" of today is the music that most people know, not the music that people in folk clubs play

Since I don't believe there's any such thing as "the folk music of today", I don't agree. As far as folk music's concerned, mechanical reproduction - starting with pianolas and ending with TV - changed everything, ISTM.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 06:48 PM

As far as folk music's concerned, mechanical reproduction - starting with pianolas and ending with TV - changed everything, ISTM.

Musical experience is part & parcel of the available technology of any given culture; technology which is only an extension of the way we deal with information anyway. Folk remains a reactionary myth within the technological framework of the culture that creates it, or yearns for it. Without technology there would be no Folk; it only exists at all because it was perceived to exist and taxonomised via recording & reproduction. If the Old Trad Songs had been left in their natural habitat they would have died just as surely as the music of the Druids, the Ancient Egyptian Sun Priests or the Troubadours.

In a very real way the old songs died too; they live on only an as technological echoes; as Ghosts in the Machine (even the Machine Molle). Meanwhile the Idioms & Traditions of a Myriad Human Musics continue apace, undaunted, evolving as never before, if only because Technology gives them the juice to do so. In terms of usage & experience 'the folk music of today' is right there, available to all at the flick of a switch or a touch of a button. It's whatever floats your boat & remains as relevant and as vibrant an aspect of human experience as it has done for 50,000 years. The technology of musical recording is now the technology of musical creation, just as surely as Conlan Nancarrow created his masterpieces on the piano roll.

The important thing is not how music is played or reproduced or recorded. The important thing with music is how is it HEARD, which has always been, and will always be, via THE EAR and straight to THE HEART and THE SOUL. It is because of THE EAR that music exists at all.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 01:31 PM

Well, Phil, If you don't believe in the folk music of today, I guess you're not going to be that much fun at a party;-)

Your comment about the pianola makes me laugh--though my inner "music wonk" compels me to point out that that it was far from the first mechanical musical device, the "music box" probably was(it was also probably the first programmable device).

At any rate, my belief is that "folk music" and "folk songs" are that collection of words and melodies that someone in a community knows well enough to start, and have most of the rest in the group join in.

These group of songs is not necessarily very coherent. I suspect that, even in the depths of the past, when our forebearers grunted Proto-Indo-European morphemes in caves there was the odd music hall tune.

Such like the estimable Mr. Child collected specific sorts of things, such as ballads, which created among latter day revivalist an impression that there was time when people liked nothing better that to sit around and drone ballads to one another. However,I think people are people, then as now, and that after a few of the long ones, someone would sing a contemporary song, with a few bawdy verses thrown in, and the older ones would complain and go off to other other room and play cards, leaving the young ones to pair off for dancing to the temporal equivalent of "hip-hop", while someone said something to the effect that that wasn't real music.

It is further my thought that in these times we tend not to sing together much because our present day world doesn't allow the sort of camaraderie that facilitates singing together.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 17 Sep 12 - 07:20 PM

The Computer as Music Critic (NY Times, 16 Sept. 2012)

from the researchers, excerpted...
DID your parents tell you that today's music is getting poorer and too loud? Well, maybe they were right. But we will offer a different hypothesis: what if it is all about economy of resources? If today's music still satisfies listeners the same way pop music did 50 years before, then maybe its creators are simply better at crafting pleasing songs.

If music is a form of information and musicians are using fewer "words" to convey their message, maybe they're getting more efficient.

Far from being in decline, perhaps pop music is on the verge of a golden age. Critics may disagree, and the qualitative debate may never be resolved. But the data, gleaned from massive music collections and computers, objective and detailed as they are, might just say otherwise.

Joan Serrà and Josep Lluís Arcos are researchers at IIIA-CSIC, the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute of the Spanish National Research Council.


~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 01 Oct 19 - 06:40 PM

Seven years on, and the reason I refreshed this thread,
is this experience:

I had a fairly lengthy drive today, relying on my car radio,
where a whole lot of FM radio stations are programmed
at the touch of the right combination of dashboard buttons.

(No, I don't do Alexa. The heck with Alexa.)

The FM stations where I live and drive, have their parameters.
Some play more of the older stuff than anything else,
and those stations make a living, so they have their audiences.

Within the "pop music" category, and
within what is fairly current now and not from earlier generations,
I have noticed two distinct areas,
covered by two types of stations/programmers.

One is the corporate conglomerate mass media stuff. You know,
the names that EVERYONE has heard of
even if many of us never go out of our way to listen to the music;
the celebrities of the pop music industry.
The names change, the business remains the same.

And the other category?
"Alternative" is the term favored by writers who compare pop musics.
These radio programmers/stations tend to be
around universities and colleges.
Today's "Alternative" could be Beck, could be Sleator-Kinney,
many more names.
Some have got big contracts with big companies;
some work the student-concert circuit really hard and
manage to break even, even though they are not household names.

I spent the drive today
switching back and forth between the two categories of stations.

And ... yes, you can smell it coming ...

it really DOES all sound the same. It did to me, anyhow.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: leeneia
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 12:51 AM

Two weeks ago, I was staying at a hotel owned by a famous chain. I wanted to color in an adult coloring book and had to go to the computer center to find a table. (No desk in our room.) I listened to a lot of corporate pop while coloring, and I can assure you it was homogeneous to the max.

The same kinds of voices, the same limited range. Melodies mostly stepwise. One pattern of percussion throughout each piece, the dull thuds produced by cheap music software. If this music were candy, it would be Milk Duds.

I didn't understand one sentence of the lyrics all evening long.

I don't understand why the hotel goes to such trouble to make high-class visuals (fine woodwork, nice carpets, fancy furniture), then fills the air with cheap, shrill, poor-white loser music.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 04:12 AM

Of course all pop music sounds the same - amm music sounds the asme to the non initiated
The difference with pop music is that, because its created as a commodity it's designed to sound the same until the manufacturers decide that sound has reached the end of its shelf life and decide to replace it with a "new sound" that will be put through the same process - ad infinitum
Whatever the composers and musicians want to create or of capable of creating is immaterial - it won't become "pop" (popular) until it sounds as if it will sell to the marketers
There ahre hiccups in this process - The Beatles created their own sound, which was then marketed as part of the 'Mersey Sound' and began to sounds a different 'same'
Folk songs became 'the folk sound' and became indistinguishable frpm therest of the pap
The same happened with jazz and Country and Western
Look what happened to the "new raw sound" of punk (which I always detested) sanitised and marketed as a commodity

The best of all music maintained it's identity and its uniqueness and survived apart from the machine, put the musical 'Big Brothers' always kept their beady eyes on it to see if there was any pelf to be got from it
There - got that off my chest !
Jim Carrolll


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 04:13 AM

sorry 'bout the typos but I'm sure someone can make use of them
Jim


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 09:59 AM

Old dogs probably moan that all cats sound the same...???

Actually, I might agree with dogs on that one...


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 10:48 AM

Of course all pop music sounds the same - amm music sounds the asme to the non initiated
The difference with pop music is that, because its created as a commodity it's designed to sound the same


No it wasn't created like that. Elvis and Roy Orbison had voices that were very different - much more different than any two male voices you could find on the British folk scene today. But you don't get that range of voice types today in pop, either. It took decades of evolution for that homogenization to happen.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 10:57 AM

btw...

I don't listen to much 21st century music..
But this 'pop' track from 2016, which I first heard last week,
is my most recent favourite..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjfspM5sDIA


But.. hey.. It does sound the exact same as.. well.. ermmm..
King Houdini and His Calypso Parliament aka Wilmoth Houdini - "Bobby Sox Idol" circa 1947

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aB159Ac7sh0


So that proves it then.. all pop music is the same...


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 11:08 AM

"No it wasn't created like that. Elvis and Roy Orbison had voices that were very different "
Another world, another set of values in my opinion
Back then the words were far more prominent and distinguishable than they later became - the diction was far better
I suppose it's all down to how deeply the subject interests you
I have never been able to take pop songs seriously since the late fifties
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 11:19 AM

The reason is that the marketers control the music on the media. Reduced playlists, conformity to the dollar and the ignorance of the pop musicians to the history of music contribute.

The late Fifties and early Sixties represented a shake up in the industry when the marketers didn't quite know their target audiences which allowed Dylan, PPandM and the KT to go up the charts. Then the rockers created something new and outside the bounds of conformity.

Something similar happened in Country Music with Haggard, Nelson and the Outlaws.

Every once in a while, the public gets to make a choice on what they want to hear other than the tastes of the pocketbook executives. Then, the marketers have to retool.

Think of it as being a metaphor for the way our government is being run today. The majority of people have little choice in their representation.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Nick
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 11:32 AM

In a somewhat similar vein Has every song been written?

And I like Rick Beato's take on music


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 11:46 AM

Last year I spent an hour and a half on a hot, cramped coach in Greece as we were transferred from airport to hotel. The bus driver played poor-quality recordings of Greek pop songs from his memory stick. The enervating atmosphere, combined with the chatter, the bus noise and the shrillness and thudding of the music (the only elements of it that were discernible) COULD have had me thinking that all Greek pop music was the same (and shite to boot)...

Pop music on the radio is transmitted with extra compression so that loud and quiet bits are smoothed out. Great if you're in your car doing eighty with all that engine and road noise...a feeling of sameyness is thereby injected into the music. If I'm on the motorway, I find I can't listen to Penguin Eggs or Mozart piano sonatas on CD because the wide dynamic range means I either miss the quiet bits or turn the volume up extremely loud...

For a number of years I've been editing pop music tracks on my laptop for a local dance teacher, generally by cutting bits out and splicing and blending bits together. I obviously have to listen very closely to the music in order to do that, often having to play passages over and over again to get it right. I've done several hundred songs like that by now. Many an earworm has been the upshot. Pop music hasn't been "my thing" since the Beatles split up but I'll tell you what: in terms of invention, imaginative arrangement, lyricism and production values, there's some bloody good stuff out there. And there's variety. Of course, being a woman of good taste and exceptional talent, the dance teacher has probably selected mostly "better" pop songs... You can have music, any music, playing in the background, but if you're not engaging with it there's the danger that it will rankle and "sound all the same." Engage with it and you're likely to discover that variety and nuance. There may be many common elements in pop music, but, as Dick Greenhaus said seven years ago, if there weren't it wouldn't be a genre. You still might not like it even if you do try to engage, but at least you opened your mind...

I still haven't bought any Greek pop CDs and am unlikely to indulge. End of random musings....


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 12:10 PM

Everybody's talking 'bout (can't believe nobody said that yet) mmPop Muzik!


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 12:15 PM

Many singers of so called "pop music" sound if something is being poked up their bums when singing - I suppose they need to compete with folk singers who bleat like goats of sheep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 12:59 PM

To suggest that all pop sounds the same is really a very narrow view...and a tone deaf one. Imogen Heap does' nt sound remotely like Natasha Kahn, nor does Natasha Kahn sound at all like Adele...yet they are all talented women and they all bring a great deal of passion and skill to their music. I believe that these artsts
and many like them, would write and perform music regardless of the renumeration.
We could make a list of pop icons and it would be easy to see that they do not all sound the same.
If, by your own admission, you haven't listen to much of it since the fifties, I don't know how you can pass such sweeping judgement on a genre about which you know so little.
   I sometimes get the feeling that what people really don't like about pop is not its' sameness, but its success.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 01:09 PM

Some old folkies are even more intolerant about pop music
than extremist evangelical vegans are about tasty hot meat pies...


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 01:32 PM

As my daddy used to say, "It's the same... only diffrn't."

To even discuss the idea, people need to clarify their personal, subjective concepts of what constitutes 'sameness'. After long, bickering debates, they will discover that it's kinda like my daddy said. SOME songs/music is very much the same in SOME aspects, and very different in others.

I personally agree that far too many pop songs have far too many irritating similarities to suit me... most about topic, but also about coherence and repetition... and very often, volume. However, if pressed to listen to a moderate list and classify them, I 'could' find some differences. I might even... now & then... find one that is relatively interesting or vaguely pleasant. But I am simply not familiar enough with most 'pop' to bother sorting thru 100 to find 1 or 2.
    ... and because for the first few years of Mudcat, I used to debate fiercely that 'folk' and 'traditional' were not defined narrowly enough, I dare not even attempt to explain MY subjective categories in pop.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 01:38 PM

"Some old folkies are even more intolerant about pop music"
The only intolerance I can see here is from those who describe an effort to analyse and describe a music as 'intolerant'
Do we have to accept everything without thinking or talking about it
I can remember bitter battles with you and others about the importance of traditional song - does that make you "intolerant" ?
Not liking a genre is not 'intolerant' it's personal taste
"Old Folkies" and "extremist evalangical vegans" doesn't strike me as particularly tolerant
Look to thyself before you start casting your stones boyo
On observation, Pops songs are not there to be listened to anyway - those played as muzak, as many are, are talked over and whenever I've been unfortunate enough to be at a live session, shouted over, even by those who are there for the music
I've often wondered what would happen if someone adopted the folk club "shhhhhh, we're trying to listen"
Can't see Metalica fans being too pleased
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 01:54 PM

Forgot to add
Aren't people who worry what others think of their music being a little insecure ?


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 02:21 PM

Jim - it's a meat pie duel at dawn then...

Now "Ernie" was a proper chart topping pop hit...


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 02:47 PM

"Jim - it's a meat pie duel at dawn then..."
Sorry - I'm an "extremist evangelical vegan" - remember !
Now if you'd suggested sticks of celery you'd have been walking with bow legs for weeks
Jim


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 03:00 PM

My answer to Steve's Greek bus experience was being on a long bus ride in Croatia. That was the first time I heard Dolly Parton's "Jolene". Which (a) didn't sound stereotypical in any way and (b) had every word crystal-clear, even on a bus's sound system. This is a trend we're talking about, not a universal.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 03:06 PM

Producer-package-consumer. Are you a pop music consumer? They are typically female, c.13-24yrs.

If you were not born in the present century, you are likely not a pop music consumer.

If you prefer AM-FM radio or piped in muzak over mobile phone and ear buds, you are likely not a pop music consumer.

If you feel Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello (Señorita) look or sound like Lil Nas X* & Billy Ray Cyrus (Old Town Road,) you are likely not a pop music consumer.

The consumer, not the producer, decides what product succeeds in the marketplace. If you believe you can predict or control the emotions of a million+ teenage girls, you are a special kind of delusional.

*Not to be confused with NAS & Nick Cannon, aka: Shuck & Jive (Eat Dat Watermelon.)


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: keberoxu
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 03:10 PM

I'm delighted to see some dust
getting kicked up on this question,
whether or not the opinions are like my opinion.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 04:02 PM

I think it was Kendall Morse who said something along the lines of "All Indians walk in single file. I know that because just yesterday I saw an Indian and s/he was walking in single file."


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,HiLO
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 05:43 PM

Well, they are not predominately teenage girls. the most successful ohas always been driven by boys and men in the 18/24 age bracket. heavy metal, punk ,rap, and goth are almost exclusively male driven. the current crop of female pop stars, Taylor Swift,Adele and so on, are a great sign that pop is now celebrating more and more female pop stars And,as I said, they are passionate, talented and successful....and they are not all the same. their “sin” , seems to be that they make money..they also make music which will be the” folk” of their generation. give credit where it is due...please.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 06:12 PM

Well said. What I think is that you don't have to diss it if you don't like it. As for the money side of things, well a great conductor of Wagner, a composer I hate to pieces, can make enough dough from a few night's' gigs to buy my house. A player for the greatest team in footballing history, Liverpool FC (argue and you might get "a visit..."), can make enough money in one week that would allow me, my brother and my sister to retire in luxury for life. It's called CAPITALISM. You can think of plenty more examples. So it's invidious to single out pop music for its cynical money-making. Of course it's like that. But that's the world we've acquiesced in, unless we're lifelong rabid Marxists who've eschewed all modern conveniences and still shit in pit latrines and ride donkeys into town.

Ps. Try "Symphony" by Clean Bandit...


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 06:32 PM

"I might even... now & then... find one that is relatively interesting or vaguely pleasant. But I am simply not familiar enough with most 'pop' to bother sorting thru 100 to find 1 or 2."

Well same here, Bill, but, as I was saying, I was obliged to "sort through" hundreds via signing up to help that dance teacher. And it was an eye-opener. I won't be investing in pop CDs any time soon (though my copies of Beatles and Queen albums, along with the odd Dolly Parton, Abba and Mamas and Papas compilations, enjoy a permanent and treasured presence in my glove box...), though I did find that, among the dross, there is much that is genuinely original, well-wrought and beautifully produced. It's just that you don't have to like it...


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 11:40 AM

...heavy metal, punk ,rap, and goth... &c consumers would not self identify as pop music consumers. Each of these genre market rebelling, to one extent or another, against pop culture as part of their cache.

If you're in the business of producing pop music you'll know who you're target demographic is. It hasn't changed since the beginning.

Doesn't mean they're all evil, or bad people. They're just consumers like everybody else.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: JHW
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 12:08 PM

I'd agree with 'I don't need graphs to tell me that the pop music I hear in public places lacks melody and other forms of musical interest.'
I've wondered something else as I am fed such background music today (7 years later than that post).
Can today's kids all read the dots? I assume they must be able to or how could they sing song after song with no discernable melody.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 12:10 PM

My experience of pop music is almost exclusively what is inflicted on me when I am shopping. Sometimes it drives me straight back out of the shop and makes me wonder why they seem happy to drive potential customers away. (I know, most of their target customers are oblivious to the "music" and some of them apparently can't bear silence.)

There is a strong beat provided by percussion, a very simple rhythm, hardly any melody, and about a dozen words sung umpteen times over.

I understand that the production of such "music" usually starts with a "rhythm track" to which other layers are added.

I understand from hearsay that not all pop music is like that. I also understand that the many sub-genres really do have differences, but what I encounter and try to avoid mostly sounds much the same.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 12:26 PM

"What I think is that you don't have to diss it if you don't like it."
No you don't, but it's not helped by the fact that it's becoming impossible to avoid it
My experiences in shops are the same as Richard's - you're left feeling that you have to send scouts ahead to find out how loud the music is on the PA systems (pretty much as you do to find if an unfamiliar folk club actually does folk song)
I walk out once and never go back - doesn't suit me and can't suit the shop - surely
The only thing that makes me angry is the ***** volume - pumped up over the point of distortion, more often than not
We have three traditional sessions in our small town on Saturday night - all catering for a different crowd in regular venues
right in the centre of the town is a disco venue - fine by me, except the volume is so high sometimes that it can be heard in the other three bars - a little 'impossible' for our best solo players
I've given up worrying about the damage being done to they youngsters' hearing - their choice, I'm afraid
'Pump up the volume' merchants should by locked in small, soundproofed cells and overdosed on their own medicine
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 12:41 PM

Counter to prevailing popular misconcetions..

Over the last decade a growing and profitable trend in the music equipment industry,
is development of increasingly advanced and affordable technology
enabling electric guitarist to achieve desired optimum tone and dynamics
at the lowest possible volume...

Arguably even quieter than banjos and some acoustic guitars...


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 12:43 PM

"I understand that the production of such "music" usually starts with a "rhythm track" to which other layers are added."

Sort of how baroque music is made then...


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 03:08 PM

I understand that the production of such "music" usually starts with a "rhythm track" to which other layers are added.
Sort of how baroque music is made then...


There is a really good book of Renaissance and Baroque bass lines you can use to emulate Tin Pan Alley hacks like Monteverdi, Purcell and Bach - Martin Erhardt's "Upon a Ground". I'm slowly working my way through it using the a=415 version of the backing CD.

An unvarying basic rhythmic pattern is also common to the Middle Eastern art music I play every week - usul in Turkish, iqa' in Arabic.

Some of these grumpy-old-man comments remind of an anecdote from a rural autobiography where the writer described talking to an old farmworker who was complaining that you didn't hear birds singing any more. There was a lark swooping and twittering directly over his head throughout the conversation but he was too deaf to notice.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 07:54 PM

All folk music is the same because they all sing down their noses with their fingers in their ears. All pop music is the same because they all sing with a mid-Atlantic accent. Just thought I'd mention it. And I should say that I don't believe a bloody word of it. Know why? Because, in my long and misspent life (pass the bloody corkscrew...), I've listened to both and discovered total shite and total nirvana in both. But at least I've listened.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 02:38 AM

Me: "I understand that the production of such "music" usually starts with a "rhythm track" to which other layers are added."

Steve Shaw: "Sort of how baroque music is made then... "

Perhaps, but baroque music and many other genres have plenty of melody and harmony. Pop music (of the sort that I'm referring to) is built on a foundation of percussion.

My dislike of excessive percussion goes all the way back to early years at school, when the music teacher would play something on the piano and a whole class of kids would be bashing drums, tambourines or whatever. A good solo fiddler can produce a driving danceable rhythm with no need for percussion, bass or any "rhythm section" whatsoever.

The pop music (of the sort that I'm referring to) also usually has a heavy off beat. Syncopation as one ingredient of a complex structure is fine and dandy. Syncopation as the fundamental basis of the music is tedious.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 03:40 AM

Amen to richard's last sentence as loud as anyone cares to trumpet it from the rooftops
My music is largely (but not by any means entirely) traditional
The non- folk music I like is largely that which requires individual skill, dexterity, variation and constant re-creativity
Today's pop music appears to be based on blanketed group sound - in the the vocal music, the words have become little more than repetitively meaningless appendages to the instrumentation
That's fine if you want to use it as a background (assuming that this is the kind of background that appeals to you) but the extreme volume that seems to be the norm excludes it from being any background I want in my life
I listened to a lot of pop music when I was young, but it was music I had to stop and listen to to fully appreciate
I still listen to the greats of popular music but nowadays they are the ones that came before I was interests - Ella, Billie Frank Sinatra... pre war giants
I've re-tried the ones I went out to buy, The Crickets, The Everly Brothers, Connie Francis... but find they have paled and become part of a past I used to occupy
The big leap forward when popular pop lost its tweeness and got some guts and provided excitment - little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis.... lasted for a time, but faded from lack of inventiveness and folk provided the stimulant and the opportunity to participate I needed to make music a part of my life
That's still here (as is much of the jazz I love)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 04:11 AM

"Amen to Richard's last sentence" - but you love jazz...?

Just listening to "Girl On Fire" by Alicia Keys on Desert Island Discs. Brilliant song, great vocal, smashing arrangement. One of the songs I did for the dance teacher. I love it!


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: JHW
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 05:47 AM

Just goes to show; I was listening to that D.I.D but when that track came on and the soap opera style tumbling drums came in the radio went off.
We all like different stuff, fine.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 06:26 AM

Don't know her Steve, but I'll try to get to (not in the Biblical sense of course)
My problem with many recommendations is that I feel it takes time to get to appreciate a singer fully - a single song seldom does that for me
Thanks
Jim


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 07:35 AM

"Syncopation as the fundamental basis of the music is tedious."

Any Brazilian mudcatters care to comment...

What.. there aren't any..??

They'd likely dismiss Northern hemisphere folk music
as too deadly dull, impotent, and rhythmically unsophisticated for them...???

They probably think it's music for grumpy old men to sit down and grow fat and lethargic to...??????

Crikey.. a lot of folks sure do get the wrong ideas about other folk's favourite kinds of music...


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Richard Robinson
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 09:14 AM

My take on the 'long coach journey' bit - is not a long coach journey, it was the middle of the night on Moniaive festival campsite, a few years back. Unexpectedly overheard stuff, anyway - people sleeping, silence rules, and, out of I-don't-know-where, someone sang "What's going on ?" (Marvin Gaye ? Not my specialist subject). Comments :-

a) it was a wonderful performance. Unaccompanied singing at its best, I was very happy to have heard it.

b) as a clarinettist, I prefer to leave The Words to be someone else's problem, but that is not a bland melody, nor entirely trivial. It works.

c) I have no idea whether the song is to be regarded as Pop Music or not. Or who might wish to do the regarding.


And, since someone mentioned Metallica, I'd like to humbly suggest that their take on Whiskey In The Jar is worth a listen. It gave me the impression that they'd actually thought about the words, which doesn't happen often. Yeah, okay, see b) above, so I'm contradicting myself.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 03:45 AM

"Any Brazilian mudcatters care to comment..."
All too busy shaving
Jim


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 08:39 PM

I'm rather fond of Carly Simon, I confess, and would like to suggest a handful of her songs to the "pop is all the same" brigade. "You're So Vain" (obviously), "Anticipation" (my favourite of all), "Nobody Does It Better" (what a belter). Others may wish to add. She's a great singer, the arrangements are brilliant and the songs are as good as pop songs get, which is pretty good. I could go on to James Taylor and Carole King. You'll find variety and lyricism aplenty. My very favourite pop song of all time is Here Comes The Sun by the Beatles. Gentle, lyrical, meaningful, beautifully played and skilfully arranged. Hate it all by all means but diss it not. Somebody out there loves it and hates yours, and who's to say who has dominion? By the way, my main listening is to any Mozart and to middle- and late-period Beethoven, Bach, Gershwin, Bernstein, Ravel, Schumann, Manuel de Falla (Three-cornered Hat: wonderful), Albéniz, Vaughan Williams, Stravinsky and Sibelius and mo'. But I can't be a snob because I like some pop. I've even been known to indulge in playing and listening to traditional music. I'd far sooner play it than listen to it...

One of the greatest pianists and conductors of the 20th century, Vladimir Ashkenazy, said that music was a complete mystery to him. That's a lovely idea that I keep with me. It helps in keeping the mind open, I find.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 10:04 PM

"And, since someone mentioned Metallica, I'd like to humbly suggest that their take on Whiskey In The Jar is worth a listen. It gave me the impression that they'd actually thought about the words, which doesn't happen often."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boanuwUMNNQ&list=RDboanuwUMNNQ&start_radio=1

That take is heavily influenced by Thin Lizzy's 1973 rendition, imo. If Thin Lizzy gets an 8, Metalica doesn't deserve more than a 5. YMMV.


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 05:32 AM

MM doesn't V. I fully agree!


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Subject: RE: pop music DOES all sound the same
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 08:37 AM

I am also a "fan" of Carly Simon. She is very much under rated both as a performer and a as a songwriter. Two of My favourites are Boys In the Trees (the song, not the album) and Julie Through The Glass. Beautifully sung and lyrically   lovely.


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