Have you ever wondered why you could not get the taste of old music from modern music ? In the past, people bought a limited number of albums. There were 8-10 songs in each album. That’s why we were listening to those albums 50 times in order to get the money out of it. Today, millions of modern music songs can be accessed with one click. Therefore, the tolerance limits of people have dropped much more. If we like a song in the first 15-20 seconds, we like it. if we do not, we move on to the next song. That’s why modern music producers began to use various tricks to keep their songs popular.
First of all, entries (intros) are shorter for songs now.
When we look at the songs made between 1960-1990, Considerable portion of them have one minute long intro part. The songs start at a low tempo and speed up after one minute. Nowadays, the intros of the songs are either absent or limited to 10-15 seconds, if any.
The chorus parts of the songs were brought forward.
In the past, in a 5-minute song, the refrain was entered in the 3rd minute. But now in a 5-minute song, it is entered in the 30th second. This is because the most striking and crucial part of the songs is the refrain. If people listen chorus part early, they are less likely to change the song. However, unlike expectations, this diminishes the strength and strikingness of the refrain. The song that moves slowly but surely towards the chorus for 3 minutes would have higher effect than songs that enter chorus directly.
In addition, the frequency of using refrains in today’s songs has increased. While the refrain part was sung 2-3 times in a song in the past, today the refrain part is sung 5-6 times in places. In the past, 20-25% of the songs consisted of the refrain, today almost 50-60% of them consist of the refrain.
Musicians used to write their own songs.
Especially in the bands, the song lyrics were written as vocals, while the back music was organized by the other members of the group. Lyrics writer companies today write songs in packages and sell them to singers. For example, 22 of the songs written by the famous Swedish songwriter Max Martin and sold to various singers became “hit songs”. Max martin’s clients include Britney spears, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Avril Lavigne. Today, many world-famous singers do not produce their own music and buy songs from prominent people and make albums.
The production of similar works
The similarity of the songs is something that is done deliberately. According to the researches, the human brain is more prone to love other music similar to the music it has heard and loved before. Therefore, if all songs on a singer’s album are based on a certain formula, it is highly likely that those who like one of these songs will also like the others.
Computer backed artificial effects & voices
Most of the instruments used in modern pop music are actually computer effects. Almost all of the melodies are performed on a computer without using an instrument. In the past, to be able to make music, it was necessary to shut yourself away in million dollar studios and go to camp with the most high-tech and real instruments. Today, thanks to the technology available, a person can even make an album in a room of her/his home, which hits the musical quality of the album.
Most of the singers’ voices are corrected on the computer and made to sound better than they are. That’s why no pop singer’s concert performance can get past a studio performance today. Although recently, voices have begun to be corrected in concerts. The tempo of the songs is much faster and the length of the songs is much shorter. At the same time, the average volume of the songs is higher.
The Quality of lyrics worsened
Not only the music and melody of the songs but also the lyrics changed. In the past, the vocabulary used in song lyrics was at the last level of high school (grade 12), but in the last 5-6 years this level has reached the middle 2 (grade 7) level. The lyrics and the words used in these lyrics are getting more and more simple to be digested and consumed more easily. Sophisticated words are not used much anymore. According to a study conducted in Spain and the results of which were published in Nature, 500 thousand songs that were made and published between 1955-2010 were analyzed by a computer. It turned out that the harmonic quality of the songs dropped from year to year, the songs were increasingly similar and the sound and tempo of the music increased every year.