June 6, 2011   23 notes

People’s music preferences show universal values !

If you look at the songs people like the most, results are essentially pop hits from the 90s and 00’:

Suddenly I see - KT Tunstall
Wonderwall - Oasis
She will be loved - Maroon 5
Feel Good Inc - Gorillaz
Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes
Under the bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Don’t stop the music - Rihanna
Speed Of Sound - Coldplay
Rehab Amy - Winehouse
Hey ya ! - Outkast

Number of listeners who tagged “I like” (source: Musicovery’s registered members database)

But instead of counting the number of positive ratings (“I like”), we can look at the songs people agree the most they like, and the picture gets totally different:

Georgia On My Mind - Ray Charles
Piano sonata “Moonlight” - Beethoven
Badinerie - Bach
What a wonderful world - Louis Armstrong
Stand by me - Ben E. King
Get Up, Stand Up - Bob Marley
Cello suite n°1 - Bach
Bitter sweet symphony  - The Verve
What A Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
Blue Moon - Julie London
Piano concerto n°21 - Mozart
Ain’t no sunshine - Bill Withers
Jammin’ - Bob Marley
Wish you were here - Pink Floyd
Paint it black - The Rolling Stones
Could you be loved - Bob Marley
Is this love - Bob Marley
Impromptu D899 - Schubert

Ratio between number of listeners who tagged “I like” and “I don’t like” (source: Musicovery’s registered members database)

Almost all those songs carry what we could call “universal” values: wisdom, compassion, love, peace,…
They benefit from a very low level of “I don’t like”. It is as if people are refrained from disliking songs that or artists who convey “universal” values.

It would be interesting if sociologists or other academics from relevant disciplines could investigate this matter more systematically, as well as other music services with large audiences (and large music preference ratings databases) to confirm this finding.

On a broader scope it raises issues regarding the way search engines or recommendation engines work.

Those results are extracted from an experiment Musicovery is conducting currently on its lab “Mapping music by likes”. To play with the map, it’s here

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