The numbers are in and yes, music is gradually getting louder each year. According to a study done by the Echo Nest, a music intelligence company based out of Massachusetts, the average loudness of music has been slowly increasing since the 1950’s. Analyzing the top 5,000 songs since 1950, the Echo Nest was able to determine how exactly the loudness of music increased throughout the years and what they found, is very surprising.
Starting in 1990, the average loudness of music dramatically shot up and over the next 20 years, increased by a staggering 39%. This means that between 1990 and now, music has exponentially become louder than it ever has before. When we speak of average loudness, we aren’t talking about new speakers or turning the volume up, we are talking about how loud the track is when it’s created and published. Instead of soft complimenting sounds, we have filled music with significant amounts of bass while also kicking up the general output of any given track.
Maybe this is associated with EDM’s rise over the last 20 years, or maybe we just need music to be louder to resonate with us. Either way, make sure to take your earplugs to your next show because it’s only going to get louder!
Source: Fast Company