• Dani Roperto

Could it be that musicians are like wines: the older, the better? (english).

Actualizado: 8 de dic de 2020

I have started following different bands and solo artists immediately after their artistic birth, and have accompanied them throughout their career. Some are still active while others have been left on the road. I have wondered, on more than one occasion, if I have become more demanding or if the quality of the artists' musical work has indeed been decreasing with the advancement of their career. Or is it the opposite? Could it be that musicians are like wines: the older the better?

Let's start the analysis. In this first visualization, it is shown the released albums of more than 1000 artists (10,000+ albums), as well as their ratings. Green colors indicate better scores, while red is a sign of poor artistic quality. The albums are ordered, from left to right, from first to last.

The graph seems to show a higher density of green colors to the left of the graph, which is degrading towards the yellow and reddish tones as we move to the right. This visualization is not entirely clear or decisive in reaching a conclusion. Let's move ahead with another analysis tool.

In this second method, we will use a correlation analysis. The correlation coefficient can take continuous values between -1 and +1. This coefficient shows the relationship between two quantitative variables. In this case, we want to see how the ratings of each artist vary, as the number of released albums grows. A value close to +1 indicates that the ratings have been improving with each album release; the trend is positive. In opposite, a value close to -1 indicates that your albums were getting worse through the years. Intermediate values, approximately between -0.5 and +0.5, would indicate that the artist's career was scattered and irregular, alternating between highs and lows. For this analysis, we take only the artists who have released more than 5 albums.

The graph clearly shows a high density of values below the 0.0 value. This is a clear sign that the artists, as a whole, have had an irregular and downward trend with the advancement of their recording career. Let's move on to a third analysis. What we will do now is make an average of all their albums, according to the release order. That is, we are going to average the ratings of all the first records, then the ratings of all the second records, and so on. We will take, as a sample, all artists who have released up to 15 albums, which are a representative sample.

The graphic displays that the artists, as a whole, begin their career releasing albums of great artistic quality, reaching their maximum peak in the second or third album. Then a significant downward trend begins. These three analyzes are sufficient to conclude that, indeed, the vast majority of artists are losing artistic quality in relation to the qualification of their records, as their professional career progresses. This analysis does not invalidate that many of them have gained in technical skills or and/or have gained in popularity and increased their fan base.

To learn more about the graphics and the rating system, we invite you to browse the rest of the MOC | Music On Charts and/or read the Frequently Asked Questions.

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