Songs of Love and Hate

I en artikel hos webmagasinet Aeon skriver forskerne Alberto Acerbi og Charlotte Brand om deres analyse af sangtekster i engelsksproget popmusik fra hitlisterne fra 1960’erne og frem. Acerbi og Brand klassificerede ord alt efter om de gav udtryk for negative eller positive følelser. Deres analyse (sædvanlig lineær regression) viser at der i vore dages hits er flere negative ord end for 50 år siden.

Og ordet “love” blev stort set halveret i løbet af 50 år fra omkring 400 til 200 forekomster, hvorimod ordet “hate” som indtil 1990’erne stort set ikke forekom i sange i top 100, nu dukker op mellem med mellem 20 og 30 forekomster om året i sange, der ligger i top 100.

Men hvorfor er det blevet sådan? Forskerne har flere forklaringsmodeller, som de nu vil undersøge. De skriver

The rise of negative lyrics in popular English-language songs is a fascinating phenomenon, and we showed that this can be due to a widespread preference for negative content plus some other, yet to be discovered, causes. Given this preference, what we need to explain is why pop-song lyrics before the 1980s were more positive than today. It could be that a more centralised record industry had more control on the songs that were produced and sold. A similar effect could have been brought about by the diffusion of more personalised distribution channels (from blank cassette tapes to Spotify’s ‘Made For You’ algorithmic tailoring). And other, broader, societal changes could have contributed to make it more acceptable, or even rewarded, to explicitly express negative feelings.

Fra Why are pop songs getting sadder than they used to be? (https://aeon.co/ideas/why-are-pop-songs-getting-sadder-than-they-used-to-be)

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