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Pop Music is at its Worst? NOT!

January 19, 2018

Now this is interesting (for me). There is supposedly scientific evidence that modern pop music IS actually worse than ever before in history.

It comes (to me) from an BBC article (via slashdot). Their claims are in contrast to what I feel, in contrast to my believe (and hope) that history is actually progressing. I do not think it was all better back than. I grew up with Bay City Rollers and they were crap. On the other side, I have a strong trust in the scientific method, and that report seems legit. Now, how come? Is it just me, or can I resolve this obvious mismatch somehow? There are two thoughts I have which might explain this and I would like to know what you are thinking.

First, for the statistical part. My explanation would be that todays interesting music is happening much more outside the main stream and by that becomes plain unaccesible to the statistical analysis. When they take the billboard charts, bandcamp, soundcloud, myspace and various other means of modern social media based distribution channels simply go invisible to them. That would not matter, as their claims are about to the overall general trend which they report, but point in case here is, this analysed main stream is a much much smaller share of the overall music today then it was in the good old past of the 70’ties or even 80ties, 90ties. Music in 1980 maybe was covered to 80% by what’s in the billboard charts. Today it might be less than 40% of what is relevant, that even shows up there at all. I don’t have the real numbers here, but the principle holds and if this is true, the scientific findings only tell the story of an ever smaller part of music and hardly reflect on the vibrant variety and diversity of modern (pop) culture.

Second, there is the demoscopic argument. They report from the polls that over all age groups people thought the current decade has the worst music, with the past decades getting better numbers the longer they were gone. This is in #4 of the BBC article. What I think is that this is strictly a relative finding. If they would have made the same poll in 2000 it would have been again the then current decade, the 90ties, which would have got polled the worst. And again in 1980, the majority of people would have said the 80ties where worse then the glorious 70ties. And on, and on, and on it goes. Personally I think there the 90ties were really bad. Techno, and with it the modern electronic music, the only interesting thing emerging from it.

Here is the thing with statistics: the majority of menkind has an above average number of arms. Think about it. If you made it this far, you deserve some of the best pop of our times,

have fun

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