In the songs of the last 70 years less melody and more notes

In the songs of the last 70 years less melody and more notes

According to the study published in the journal Scientific Reports conducted by Queen Mary University of London. over the last 70 years, song melodies have become increasingly simpler: their complexity has reduced especially around 1975, with the advent of new genres such as disco and arena rock and later with the explosion of hip hop and digital music.

Researchers Madeline Hamilton And Marcus Pearce They conducted the research by examining the most important melodies (usually the vocal ones) of the most successful songs, those that among the 1950 and 2022 they reached the top five of the US charts compiled at the end of the year by Billboard.

At the end of the analysis it turned out that the complexity of song rhythms and arrangements has decreased over the last 70 years, while has increased the complexity of other musical elements such as the average number of notes played per second.

The work of two British researchers identifies that the focal moments when things changed significantly were in 1975 and 2000, and to a lesser extent in 1996.

Scholars speculate that the melodic changes that occurred in 1975 may reflect the advent of genres such as new wave, disco, and arena rock. Those that occurred in 1996 and 2000 may instead correspond to the rise of hip-hop or the increased use of digital audio workstations, which allowed for the repeated playback of looped audio.

Furthermore, according to the study, the greater availability of digital instruments allows for the expression of musical complexity through the sound quality rather than through melody.