Source: Pixabay/Creative Commons The expression of anger and sadness in pop music lyrics is on the rise, according to a recent language-based quantitative analysis (Napier and Shamir, 2018) of the emotional sentiment contained in over six thousand songs that reached Billboard’s “Hot 100” between 1951 and 2016. This paper, “Quantitative Sentiment Analysis of Lyrics in Popular Music,” was recently published in the Journal of Popular Music Studies. This study was co-authored by Kathleen Napier and Lior Shamir of Lawrence Technological University in Michigan. Notably, chart-topping songs released during the mid-1950s were the least angry during the entire sixty-six-year timespan of this pop music analysis except for the three years between 1982-1984. For this study, Napier and Shamir analyzed 6,150 songs from Billboard’s Hot 100 charts using a text-mining program called “Tone Analyzer” (which is part of the computational linguistic tools in the IBM Watson developer cloud) to conduct an automatic analysis of the “tone” of sentiments (e.g., emotions, feelings, attitudes) found in written text such as published song lyrics. What Is Billboard’s Hot 100? The Hot 100 is a weekly tabulation by Billboard of the most popular songs in the United States. As a college student in the 1980s, I did an… Read full this story
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