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Music Is Dumbing Down According To Study

When it comes to music, they just don’t make it like they used to, according to new study. Their findings; “modern music tends to be rather dumbed-down.”

Researchers compiled lyrics from 353,320 songs that were commercially released between 1970 and 2020. They are all English-language from the genres of country, pop, R&B, rap and rock songs. They studied how long and complex the words used by songwriters were, as well as how frequently phrases are repeated and whether they represent happy, sad, positive or negative emotions.

Study authors found that the number of different words used in songs has dropped 38% in the last 40 years.

The number of “angry” words in songs started increasing in 1980, and continues to increase to this day.

On streaming services, a song has to be played for at least 30 seconds to be considered “consumed.” Researchers think this has led to lyrics that are simpler so they can be identified as soon as a song starts.

The study also reveals that fans of different music genres prefer lyrics from different eras, including rock listeners who prefer lyrics from older songs, while country fans prefer new ones.

“There’s more rhyming lines and also more chorus,” explains senior author Eva Zangerle, a computer scientist at Austria’s University of Innsbruck. “We basically found that lyrics [have gotten] easier to comprehend.”

Young woman wearing headphones and taking notes at home

Photo: Westend61 / Westend61 / Getty Images

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