6 posts
Why we listen to the same Christmas songs

You know it’s the holiday season when Mariah Carey starts singing about wanting you for Christmas. The Washington Post goes into why we listen to the same songs every year: Holiday music burrows into a sweet spot in our brains’ wiring, said Brian Rabinovitz, a lecturer at the College of William & Mary whose expertise is the neuroscience of music. All music can stimulate the brain’s pleasure centers, he said,...

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“Take On Me” by a-ha recreated in Excel

Dylan Tallchief recreated “Take On Me” by a-ha in Excel. It’s not the tools. It’s how you use them. Something something blah blah. It’s in Excel! Tags: a-ha, Excel, songs

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Old Christmas songs get all the play time

Jon Keegan scraped the playlist from the local radio station’s all-Christmas playlist for a few days. Then he looked at play counts and and original composition dates: Considering the year in which each song was written, my dataset spanned 484 years of published music. Of course, many of the older songs are considered “traditional” songs, without a clear writer or composer. One obvious thing about this genre is that it...

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Increasing similarity of Billboard songs

Popular songs on the Billboard charts always tended to sound similar, but these days they’re sounding even more similar. Andrew Thompson and Matt Daniels for The Pudding make the case: From 2010-2014, the top ten producers (by number of hits) wrote about 40% of songs that achieved #1 – #5 ranking on the Billboard Hot 100. In the late-80s, the top ten producers were credited with half as many hits,...

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