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Study on the Evolution of Popular Music in the US is finally out!

6 Mai 2015 2,930 views 5 Comments

Very excited, gave lots of interviews. Find the actual paper here (links to the paper’s Royal Society Open Science website).


  • Raquel said:

    Hi, Matthias. I’m a journalist from Brazil, and I want to know if we can talk about your music research for a special interview. It can be by e-mail or phone, but I need to make it until tomorrow. Is it possible? Thanks and my best. Raquel

  • John said:

    I read the abstract and part of the introduction and wondered how many musicologists and music historians participated in your research and whose ongoing work you studied prior to this work?

    I do see that “bloggers” and “pop stars” have a voice in the “debate,” however. Is this just an oversight in your Introduction section, or am I to assume (as I did after reading the BBC write-up) that you’ve largely ignored the areas of academia that regularly tackle this topic?

  • Thomas Hurlimann said:

    Hi. I read about your music chart study in the Swiss newspaper 20min.ch and I instantly thought, you need to know this: You can not analyze the development of an era’s music by only looking at the charts. It is like measuring a zivilisations technical development by analyzing the most common (hence cheapest) cars. What you find in the charts are mostly songs artificially pushed by the music industry, pushed by paying radio moderators to play it, by international video and ad campaigns. There are always better bands with better songs around, but no one ever registered those because they did not go through conventional distribution channels. Some of them became mainstream and got into charts but in a later era. So, the charts only represents the industries idea of what has to be the sound of the time, while in fact the actual development of music styles was always years ahead – at least it was so up to the end of the 90′s.

  • Matthias Mauch (author) said:

    You are of course right. But try to think the other way round: what better data set could we have used? It is true that we’re missing a lot of stuff — we are aware of that and would be happier if we didn’t. But We also thought the Hot 100 were the best place to start to get a first idea.

  • Matthias Mauch (author) said:

    You’re right, we should perhaps have said “scholars” more generally, or even particularly referred to musicologists. We do cite work, so perhaps that’s a consolation?