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Study Claims Biggest Songs of Past 10 Years Boast Third-Grade Reading Level

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  • Study Claims Biggest Songs of Past 10 Years Boast Third-Grade Reading Level

    Someone must have read one of my posts for this one. https://music.yahoo.com/blogs/live-n...191647681.html


    I did a personal survey of the top 100 dating back to the 40's and found 80% or more of them to be lame.

    Is it really that difficult to incorporate high quality poetry into a song? I know I did experiments myself using poetry books.
    I'd borrow the poetry and attempt to fit it to music. It was a bit difficult finding any that could be sight read and put to music.

    I believe its because poetry is something you have to read a little and savor its meaning which takes time. Music is time based and
    has limits on how quickly you can formulate and image and comprehend what's being said.

    I have a hard time following what's being said in rap music with its monotone machine gun production of words in music.
    Its kind of like an old time movie being sped up so you don't see the shadows between the frames. The quality of the music in rap
    is some of the lowest quality musical arrangements going so the speedy lyrics distract you from the boring musical content.

    I suppose the drop in reading level comes down to the drop in reading level of the kids buying music. Producing abbreviated text messages
    instead of actually reading books to expand your vocabulary seems to be the trend.

    I wonder if music will eventually become nothing but abbreviated text where the person already has to know what that code means to understand the songs lyrics?
    Seems like a logical progression to me. You can pronounce the letters then leave large air gaps between while the people have time to decipher what was
    coded out at a 3rd grade level comprehension speed.

  • #2
    pop_hits_ bullets ... die miss anything? Sides, the moar average, the moar sales.
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    • #3
      I think today's pop music sucks, but I wouldn't fault it on lyric quality necessarily. I mean many legendary pop songs from the '50s and early '60s had even a 1st grade reading comprehension level. Lyrically I do think today's music makes too many contemporary references so much that people in the future will laugh at how dated it was.

      But as a musician, lyrics are the last thing I pay attention to in a song.
      Elson TrinidadSinger, Songwriter, Keyboardist, BassistElson and the Soul BarkadaWeb: www.elsongs.comMySpace: www.myspace.com/elsongsFacebook: Facebook PageTwitter: twitter.com/elsongs

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      • #4
        I'm not a connoisseur of fine songs. I do think though that the libretto to a lot of classical stuff - opera and earlier choral stuff comes in right around retarded by comparison. I like catchy stuff. Beck's about as sophisticated as I'd Give AS about. Good melody. words that flow; good enough.
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        • #5
          Poetry =/= Lyrics

          Also, this thread is more or less the same as the Lyrical Intelligence thread, so I'll just put a link to my reply: http://www.harmonycentral.com/forum/...9#post31491969

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          • #6
            Study Claims Biggest Movie Scripts of Past 10 Years Boast Third-Grade Reading Level

            I don't know if that's true or not. I just wanted to see how it looked in print.
            Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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            • #7
              I can't tell without video.
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              • #8
                I would be interested in seeing an analysis done on a decade by decade basis for the entire history of recorded music... I suspect that popular music isn't written at a college reading level, and never has been. By definition, it's supposed to be popular, which often means writing to the least common denominator; if it's too smart, you're excluding half the population (see sig ).

                It would also be interesting to see an analysis of the most popular subjects for popular songs in each decade.
                **********

                "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                - George Carlin

                "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post
                  I would be interested in seeing an analysis done on a decade by decade basis for the entire history of recorded music... I suspect that popular music isn't written at a college reading level, and never has been. By definition, it's supposed to be popular, which often means writing to the least common denominator; if it's too smart, you're excluding half the population (see sig ).
                  Yes exactly! That's what makes it Pop!
                  <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

                  “Music is well said to be the speech of angels... nothing among the utterances allowed to man is felt to be so divine."

                  ~Thomas Carlyle

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                  • #10
                    Another possible factor is it sounds at least to my ears that music has become increasingly percussive in nature over the years. Hence, quick, single-syllable, percussive words fit in well.
                    The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by elsongs View Post
                      But as a musician, lyrics are the last thing I pay attention to in a song.
                      Once in a while I'll hear a song on the radio and it will dawn on me what the song is about. Never mind the fact I may have heard it a thousand times over the course of thirty or forty years. I never really paid much attention to the lyrics.

                      A song either moves you or it doesn't regardless of what the lyrics are about.
                      Last edited by Folder; 05-30-2015, 02:23 PM.

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                      • #12
                        "Ah louaye louaye, ohhh baby, I said me gotta go yeah yeah yeah yeah
                        Ah louaye lowye, ohh babyI said now we gotta go
                        A fine little girl she's a waitin' for me
                        [untelligible unintelligible] across the sea
                        [untelligible] all alone
                        [unintelligible]"
                        The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post
                          I would be interested in seeing an analysis done on a decade by decade basis for the entire history of recorded music... I suspect that popular music isn't written at a college reading level, and never has been. By definition, it's supposed to be popular, which often means writing to the least common denominator; if it's too smart, you're excluding half the population (see sig ).

                          It would also be interesting to see an analysis of the most popular subjects for popular songs in each decade.
                          todays college reading level isn't that high either

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post
                            It would also be interesting to see an analysis of the most popular subjects for popular songs in each decade.
                            I'd be willing to bet most of them involve sex, and hardly any involve food additives.
                            The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

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                            • #15
                              Sex, jobs/school/the man, sex, parents/the man, cars, sex, stuck up girls, guys who are dogs, cheating, sex, forgiveness, regret, forever, never, sex, drugs/alcohol, more cheating, and sex.

                              And girl names.
                              Last edited by blue2blue; 06-01-2015, 06:59 PM.
                              .

                              music and social links | recent listening

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