United Kingdom "top 5" pop music lyrics
AuthorNorth, AC; Krause, AE; Kane, R; Sheridan, L
Source TitlePSYCHOLOGY OF MUSIC
PublisherSAGE PUBLICATIONS INC
University of Melbourne Author/sKrause, Amanda
AffiliationMelbourne Conservatorium of Music
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsNorth, AC; Krause, AE; Kane, R; Sheridan, L, United Kingdom "top 5" pop music lyrics, PSYCHOLOGY OF MUSIC, 2018, 46 (5), pp. 638 - 661
Access StatusOpen Access
The present research conducted a computerised analysis of the content of all lyrics from the United Kingdom’s weekly top 5 singles sales charts (Study 1, 1962-2011), and considered their macroeconomic correlates (Study 2, 1960-2011). Study 1 showed that coverage of interpersonal relationships consistently reflected a self-centred and unsophisticated approach; coverage of violence featured predominantly anti-authoritarian denial rather than overt depictions; and more recent lyrics were more stimulating. Study 2 showed no evidence that variations in lyrical optimism predicted future variations in economic optimism and subsequently GDP; but, consistent with the environmental security hypothesis, economic turbulence (defined as volatility in the closing price of the London Stock Exchange) was associated with the later popularity of lyrics concerning certainty and succour. These findings are discussed in terms of the advantages and limitations of computerised coding of lyrics.
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