Here’s one for the books. British researchers argue global warming could have an effect on music tastes — we may not like songs about the sun the warmer the world gets.
“These assumptions we have about certain weather being good and certain weather being bad, like sun being good — that might change,” Karen Aplin of the University of Oxford told other researchers at a recent European Geosciences Union.
Think about it. The Beatles singing songs like “Here Comes The Sun” and “Good Day Sunshine” were all the rage in the 1960s when temperatures were in a cooling trend (that actually sparked worries about global cooling), according to government climate data. Aplin and fellow researchers crunched the data on more than 15,000 pop songs to conclude that song choices are heavily influenced by the weather.
“We found about 800,” said Aplin, when asked by First Post about how many bands, song, etc. have weather-related names. “Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the most prolific in this category,” reports First Post, adding that the “sun was referenced most often, followed closely by rain, said Aplin.”
This is not the first time Alpin and fellow researchers have tied songs to weather. She has been working on the subject since 2010 when Alpin and Paul Williams, both musicians themselves, started to talk about how weather impacts songs.
Alpin and Williams put out a study in 2011 that “catalogued orchestral music from the 17th century to the present, and involved analyzing depictions of weather,” The San Francisco Classical Voice reported in 2013.
“We found that music can be a deep cultural measure as to people’s response to weather,” Aplin told the Voice.
Makes sense, but does it really give us insight into how music will change from global warming? So far, scientists say the Earth has warmed about 0.8 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial times.
Music since then has changed wildly, but did rock’n’roll come about because temperatures began to drop after the 1940s and 50s? Were songs like “Twist and Shout” popular because it helped people stay warm? This reporter remains skeptical that music can tell us much about global warming.
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