Is music becoming happier?

Music is the medium from which all societies define themselves, and throughout history has always been a way to express our emotions, so music represents humanity, we can agree on that, but is music becoming happier?Is music becoming happier?

If you ever listen to a song from say 30 years ago, the tones are duller, and they tend to be talking more about problems, examples are artists like David bowie and Madness, both of whom made millions, but if you listen to their music now, you might not like it as much, mainly because as society changes, our feelings towards that society changes, and thus our feelings and emotions around music also changes, sure there are still sad songs, but they aren't like they used to be, and lots of new songs now seem to have a happier tone, at least the really popular ones do.

So if there's a direct link between people's general happiness, and the tone and sound of a new released song, we can agree that music directly represents how we're feeling, based not just on words, but also by what tones and pitches the song reaches, meaning if music you hear is happier, and the songs you hear are jollier, it might mea society as a whole is becoming a happier place.

I'm not finished though, you might also recieve smaller undertones of sadness in a song, even if its a really happy one, so could that then releate to a society, of which seems happier on the surface, having sadder and smaller amounts of hidden feelings, things which are shunned under the metaphorical rug to be hidden, maybe? if so, by listening to today's music, what do you feel society is like, are we happier, or more tormented than before? and if so, how and why?


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What Girls Said 9

  • They sell more?

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  • You can pull happy, sad, uplifting and depressing songs from every era. Your theory holds no water.

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    • ah, but i'm more talking about the amount of happy/sad songs, what people are singing about and generally the beat, and the amount of those kinds of songs throughout times, if you think it has no basis, then i don't mind, that's your opinion, but it does make some sense to me

  • Music didn't become "happier". Music has become more superficial, that's what it is. It doesn't sound happier, it sounds more like when shallow assholes brag about their conquest with hottie's. Fucking annoying and u seriously wish I could slap some of today's singers to shut their fucking traps. And stop making those noises they call "singing" while all they do is basically whoring themselves on international television, being horrible role models for young people.

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  • More artificial in most cases, but more music today has higher beats.

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  • nice take 😊

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  • Depends on who you listen to and the genre. Today's pop has become positive or neutral. However many other genres are filled with sad songs. Some artists are just happier than others like comparing Pharrell Williams to Lorde. However back in David Bowie 's peak counterculture dominated music. Today music is dominated by the mainstream.

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  • not really i listen to metallica disturbed and stuff like that so i dont really notice if music is becoming happier

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  • You're right, I agree with you.
    Nice take :)

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  • Well, it's not like the world has gotten any better, so I'd just say popular musicians now are just living it up while they can. I know the indie I listen to isn't like that. And I still believe that music with social commentary is awesome. “There's a bunch of drug lords on the street, boom I shot one” doesn't count as social commentary, by the way.

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What Guys Said 9

  • I think music is getting worse and worse. It might sound more happy to some, but to me it just seems to be getting more and more superficial, more sexual and degrading towards women. We've got people like Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus teaching kids to dress and act like whores. It's sickening when I see 5 year olds grinding on each other singing along to Blurred Lines or my 9 year old sister telling she's the "freak of the week".

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  • I listen to a lot of music that is more sad than happy. Almost all of the songs I write myself end up being in a minor key. Not all music is happy.

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  • Please. I turned on the radio and heard some foul - mouthed hooligan yelling about how he 'got it on' with a bunch of females.

    ... back in the old country we sang about goats, beer, horses, ladies, nature, and beer.

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  • Nah music doesn't define society, todays music to me seems more like getting a rush of some emotion mostly happy yeah, yeah i agree that times are changing, its technology i think, ykno, da internets, i dunno tho, people can only understand what they have experienced

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  • I feel like all the music nowadays is just about heartbreak and the guys sound like they are about to burst into tears. Rock sometimes talked about heartbreak but in a manly way, to power through that shit!

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  • 30 years ago society was just starting to recover from the turmoil of the 60s and 70s. Music was VERY heavily influenced by drugs and the counter culture through the late 70s. It was pretty close to anarchy with complete rejection of, well, pretty much everything. By the early 80s things were just starting to calm down a little. By my ear, the music in the 80s was emotionless and too studio, rather than the gut feeling that it had before. By the 90s it started to get the old "soul" and bluesy sound back.

    I think every era has music with a message (or at least attempts to). But I think the messages in modern music are not quite as radical and in-your-face as it used to be.

    I know younger people probably don't think if it this way, but the world is actually pretty calm and peaceful right now. I think that's reflected in the music.

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  • Yeah. Death metal and rap are too happy.

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  • Music is typically a decade behind cultural mood. I've heard that theory. During the 60s, when things were still pretty good, cultural revolutionaries sought to make movies and TV as depressing as possible. This led to a backlash in the 70s, when the cultural revolutionaries started seizing positions in government and turning their attitudes into policies. The world got depressing, but music started to get cheery.

    During the early 80s, there was still much uncertainty. No one was sure Reaganomics would even work. The world was still reeling from Carter, and cynicism was everywhere. Except the music scene, which got really cheery.

    Then, things started turning around in the 80s. Whatever Reagan was doing, it started working. The cultural revolutionaries were furious, and made sure their bratty kids swung the pendulum the other way. A new wave of depressing music started to take hold, and lasted through most of the 90s and even into the 2000s when depression was king. Then, Obama came along and Nero'd the entire planet in wars. And we find ourselves reverting to the cheerful music styles of lore to escape from it. The historical pendulum theory. Music trends are a prime example of it.

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  • I don't think so, music was much happier 20-30 years ago.

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