Have you ever pondered why pop music has become more depressing recently, with more and more songs charting in minor keys? Many studies have been conducted in this area, but it is important to remember that the most important thing is to contextualize the circumstances of different people who are involved in the same practice of the same manifestation: music.

It is difficult to have a really positive image of the world in a situations of lock down, and especially when a silent pandemic of mental illnesses has been around for almost a decade. Some people have chosen to channel their emotions and overflows with music. We all know how much of a healing method playing an instrument or singing can be for so many people.

According to several anthropological research, songs have gotten more gloomy as the use of phrases connected with negative emotions grew by a third from 1965 to 2015. With an average of 300 words per song, the top 100 singles have 30,000 words in their lyrics each year. While 450 of the terms elicited negative sentiments in 1965, the number had risen to 700 in 2015.

In the previous 50 years, the number of songs recorded in minor mode has nearly doubled, while the number of slow songs has increased since the 1990s.

Lior Shamir of Lawrence Technical University’s findings was also cited by the BBC in 2019. From 1951 through 2016, Shamir amassed lyrics for 6,150 Billboard Hot 100 hits. During that time, the number of people expressing rage and contempt doubled. “We witness a clear and constant change in the lyrics,” says Shamir, “which have become more angry, more afraid, more sorrowful, and less joyous.”

So it’s not you; it’s mainstream pop music, which, according to an AI, is becoming more depressing. Researchers at the University of Irvine in California conducted this investigation. Drama is the current trend, according to the results. Of course, we’re talking about pop. Because reggaeton is a whole different story.

The most intriguing aspect of these investigations is that they have revealed the formula for pop success. Finally, music is mathematics: diverse timbres, rhythms, and notes that are repeated repeatedly and that, when broken down and examined by Artificial Intelligence that takes into account decades of music, have already discovered a pattern that repeats too often.

They haven’t made it public yet, but if this group’s next endeavor is a music CD, we should be on the alert.

Another less inventive critical factor for success is the “superstar” variable, which states that musicians who have previously released a hit had an 85 percent increased chance of repeating it in the prior five years. Even for normal mortals, this one was simple, so image how easy it would be for artificial intelligence.


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