“Musicalization of the Culture”: Is Music Becoming Louder, More Repetitive, Monotonous and Simpler?
“Musicalization of the culture” is the social science concept proposed by American philosopher George Stainer. He depicted the glooming future of music—it would become omnipresent while having increasing volume, repetitiveness, and monotony, which are ascribed to the debase of literal aesthetics. Although research that relates to one or some of these predictions exists, neither of them encompass all these “musicalization” manifestations, nor do they study the trend of these predictions over time. Therefore, this preliminary research tries to validate whether music has gained acoustic loudness, and lyrical repetitiveness, monotony, and simplicity in a computational fashion. Conducting time-series analysis with trend detection, we confirmed the increasing trends of acoustic loudness and repetitiveness but not monotony and simplicity from 1970 to 2016 using the MetroLyrics dataset and Spotify API. To investigate the simultaneity of these trends, we further conducted synchrony analysis and found little evidence indicating they would influence each other in a lagged fashion. In light of the results, we briefly discussed our findings by relating to the music industry change in reality. Our research made the first attempt to answer this music sociological preposition. On top of this, we also proposed novel metrics to quantify repetitiveness using closed frequent sequential pattern mining, which could be illuminating for future research.