Music

158 posts
Graphing highly structured data

The following sankey diagram appeared in my Linkedin feed the other day, and I agree with the poster that this is an excellent example. It's an unusual use of a flow chart to show the P&L (profit and loss) statement of a business. It makes sense since these are flows of money. The graph explains how Spotify makes money - or how little profit it claims to have earned on...

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Visual deconstruction of popular songs

Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding, for NYT Opinion, look at how the structure of songs have changed to fit with the current methods that people consume media: It’s inescapable that today’s aspiring artists and songwriters must operate, for survival, in a landscape of streaming services and social media. From Spotify to TikTok, the goal is to create music that will grab a listener’s attention from beginning to end. You’re not...

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Comparing live music recordings against the studio versions

There’s something about hearing music live no matter how many times you’ve heard a song record in the studio. Maybe the acoustics are different. Maybe the musicians play a favorite song differently. Maybe the musicians feed off a big crowd’s energy. For The Pudding, Kat Wilson and Kevin Litman-Navarro quantified these differences between studio and live versions. The result is the Live Music Jukebox, which lets you pick an artist...

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Defining ’90s music

In search of songs that define music in the 1990s, Matt Daniels and Ilia Blinderman for The Pudding look for songs that that Gen Z still recognizes. Also, the songs that are mostly foreign to the younger generation: In 1999, “Wild Wild West” was the song of the summer. Yet it is fading far faster than any other ’90s hit with comparable starting popularity. Twenty years ago, it was inescapable....

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Remix and make music with audio from the Library of Congress

Brian Foo is the current Innovator-in-Residence at the Library of Congress. His latest project is Citizen DJ, which lets you explore and remix audio from the Library: It invites the public to make hip hop music using the Library’s public audio and moving image collections. By embedding these materials in hip hop music, listeners can discover items in the Library’s vast collections that they likely would never have known existed....

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Looking for generational gaps in music

Inspired by the genre of YouTube videos where younger people listen to older music, The Pudding is running a project to find the generational music gaps. Enter your age, songs play, and you say if you know the song or not. The aggregate results are shown as more people listen. For example, the above shows the percentage of people in a given age group who did not recognize the listed...

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Neural network generates convincing songs by famous singers

Jukebox from OpenAI is a generative model that makes music in the same styles as many artists you’ll probably recognize: To train this model, we crawled the web to curate a new dataset of 1.2 million songs (600,000 of which are in English), paired with the corresponding lyrics and metadata from LyricWiki. The metadata includes artist, album genre, and year of the songs, along with common moods or playlist keywords...

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Testing the infinite monkey theorem

If you have a room of monkeys hitting keys on typewriters for an infinite amount of time, do you eventually end up with a Shakespeare play? For The Pudding, Russell Goldenberg and Amber Thomas put the infinite monkey theorem to the test directing the computer to randomly generate musical note patterns to match classic songs. All said and done, the point here isn’t the real numbers, but the faith that...

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Geography of FM radio

So get this. There are these things called radio stations that broadcast music using frequency modulation. They call it “FM radio.” You don’t download or stream the music, and you don’t get to choose what songs you want to hear right away, but sometimes you can call locally and request a song you like. It’s also free to listen to if you have this thing called a “radio.” In exchange,...

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Measuring pop music’s falsetto usage

Vox and Matt Daniels delved into falsetto in pop music over the years. Is falsetto a big trend now compared to the rest of the history? The process of finding the answer, noisy data and all, was just as interesting as the answer itself. Tags: falsetto, Matt Daniels, music, Vox

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