Same old song
Music is a highly complex expression of culture, so it makes intuitive sense that music would evolve alongside culture.
This is anecdotally supported by clashes between generations that relentlessly defend the music of their formative years while simultaneously decrying the music of their ancestors and progeny. But to what extent does music actually change in terms of the many complex characteristics that may be used to understand music in a mathematically decomposable way?
My study, Same Old Song (completed as a part of a course in data mining I took in the fall of 2012), attempts to explore the composition of music across five decades (1960s-2000s) along the dimensions of loudness and tempo. A basic knowledge discovery lifecycle approach is used to analyze a collection of one-million songs, and results are presented that indicate distinct similarities in the way music is composed across the evaluated dataset. To conclude, a brief discussion of challenges related to the mathematical evaluation of music is presented, along with a potential roadmap for future investigations.