Music Between the Numbers

Has Music Changed Over Time? The Numbers Say Yes

A while ago I decided to call my album New Music for Old Souls and even thought of it as a bit of a theme for what I do. I was watching a video by Rick Beato "Why BOOMERS Hate Pop Music" (watch the video and subscribe to his channel here and it dawned on me that some of the things he was talking about could be quantified. So, as a very first pass at Music Analytics, I went back and constructed a database of the Billboard Top 10 songs for each year since 1955. I populated it, for starters, with the number of chords in each song to see if there was a trend (I got this from either or There is a distinctive trend on this metric - Music has definitely changed since 2000!

Watch the videos - you can start with either Episode 1 (which is a little music tech talk heavy) or Episode 2, where I review the first week and look at Danceability and Energy - features that are measured on Spotify. We measure exactly how quantitative measures of music have changed over time! There are 5 episodes in the series as we go through a variety of the Spotify Audio Features as well as chord counts.

In a forthcoming 6th episode I will cover the score I developed - the Music Old School Score or MOSS (as in something a Rolling Stone doesn't gather). It calculates just how Old School or New School a song is. You can see in the graph below how it has changed for the Billboard Top 10 for each year over time.

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