May 21, 2024

Science – Oldenburg – A study on popular music: the main singing became quieter – Knowledge

Oldenburg (dpa) – Compared to vocals about 70 years ago, the lead vocals in light music have become noticeably quieter. This is the result of a study conducted by researchers from the University of Oldenburg and published in the journal “JASA Express Letters”. An analysis of more than 700 songs revealed striking differences between different types of music: If you want your vocals to be heard well, you don’t necessarily have to become a front man.

Scientists determined the lead vocal to accompaniment ratio (LAR: “lead vocal to accompaniment ratio”) for songs in the year-end lists of the US “Billboard Hot 100”. Gerdes summed up the assessment: “Our analysis shows a significant downward trend in the LAR from about five dB in 1946 to about one dB in 1975”. After 1975 the LAR remained stable. On the one hand, the authors attribute this to advances in recording technology and music.

They also found clear differences between genres like country, rap, rock, pop, and metal: lead vocals were louder in country than the rest of the band, followed by rap and pop. In rock the ratio was approximately equal, while in metal the accompaniment was higher than the main vocals in most cases. In addition, individual artists can often be heard louder than groups.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 230425-99-445880/2

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