Presenter Information

Ben Wiebers, University of Wyoming

First Advisor

Jeremy Weaver

Description

Music represents a significant component of culture yet is difficult to objectively study. Several theories exist regarding quality in music, but none accurately describe all aspects of a song. Due to the importance of music within American society, a method must be formul ated in order to understand what makes quality music and conclude how well a song reaches its societal goal. Criteria are utilized to capture the full effect of listening in order to determine quality. These criteria are: Emotional stimulation, intellect ual appeal and understanding of musicality. Combined, they create a working theory, by which given songs can be objectively studied to determine the level of their quality. Using a list of Grammy “Song of the Year” winners, the theory tested. The result s showed that the data set did not display a true, uniform standard of quality and limitations were found within the criteria, but also that the experiment contained consistency of testing between criteria for individual songs and that 53% of the data set meeting the quality mark. This consistency and majority success rate for songs shows the successful application of the experiment in determining song quality.

Comments

Oral Presentation, UW Honors Program

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Developing a Theory on Quality Music Using American Popular Music

Music represents a significant component of culture yet is difficult to objectively study. Several theories exist regarding quality in music, but none accurately describe all aspects of a song. Due to the importance of music within American society, a method must be formul ated in order to understand what makes quality music and conclude how well a song reaches its societal goal. Criteria are utilized to capture the full effect of listening in order to determine quality. These criteria are: Emotional stimulation, intellect ual appeal and understanding of musicality. Combined, they create a working theory, by which given songs can be objectively studied to determine the level of their quality. Using a list of Grammy “Song of the Year” winners, the theory tested. The result s showed that the data set did not display a true, uniform standard of quality and limitations were found within the criteria, but also that the experiment contained consistency of testing between criteria for individual songs and that 53% of the data set meeting the quality mark. This consistency and majority success rate for songs shows the successful application of the experiment in determining song quality.