Surprise! Study finds pop sounds more and more the same

(RNN) - According to researchers, no, you aren't just imagining it. All pop music really does sound more or less the same, and it really is getting louder and louder.

"We found evidence of a progressive homogenization of the musical discourse," Joan Serra, a researcher with the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute at the Spanish National Research Council, told Reuters.

Serra led the study, which analyzed hundreds of thousands of songs with information available in the Million Song Dataset.

The dataset is a "freely-available collection of audio features and metadata for a million contemporary popular music tracks," including genres such as metal, hip hop and electronic. It includes music released from 1955 to 2010.

What they found probably won't shock you.

According to the study, which was published in Scientific Reports Thursday, trends show pop music moving towards "less variety in pitch transitions, towards a consistent homogenization of the timbral palette and towards loud and, in the end, potentially poorer volume dynamics."

"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," Serra said to Reuters.

In other words, music is becoming less and less unique, and sounding more and more the same.

For struggling artists, the study even reveals a bit of a tip for sprucing up some creative juice.

"An old tune with slightly simpler chord progressions, new instrument sonorities that were in agreement with current tendencies and recorded with modern techniques that allowed for increased loudness levels could be easily perceived as novel fashionable and groundbreaking," according to the study.

Need an example? Check out this 1967 hit from The Four Seasons, "Beggin'," and then this 2007 remake by Norwegian hip-hop group Madcon.

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