Once again, Bohemian Rhapsody is #1, but why?

Once again, Bohemian Rhapsody is #1, but why?

Announcing the top ten of this year's 2000, December 8 at Sound & Vision in Hilversum.Image by Patrick van Emst/Pronopress

Musicologist Burgoyne is conducting research at the University of Amsterdam into what makes songs catchy. After experimenting with popular pop songs, he created four rules for what makes a song catchy. All of these elements depend on the melody: aspects such as rhythm, timbre, and harmony have been shown to be relatively unimportant to a song's appeal.

Songs that are easy to listen to have a lot of repetition in the melody. In addition to the singing voice Attractive Numbers often play a prominent role. The third rule is that the melody is often traditional: there are no unexpected patterns in the series of notes. The final rule states that the notes in a melody must fall within a limited pitch range.

What makes roller coaster Written by Danny Vera Very special? Why is the music of your youth always your favorite? Find out in the latest episode of our science podcast And at the same time in the universe. It can be heard in, among others Spotify in Apple Podcast.

And late bohemian rhapsody The Queen does not meet one of these rules. Burgoyne: “It's really an anomaly.” The song from 1975 has no distinct chorus, consists of several self-contained parts, and ranges in pitch from very high (“Scaramouche!”) to very low (“Thunderbolts and lightning…”). However, the Dutch have been opting for experimental rock en masse for many years.

Why? Musicologist Burgoyne faces a riddle: “I wish I had known!” According to Burgoyne, a possible explanation lies in the question of the top 2000 songs. The list is all about the best music, and that doesn't always correspond to the most popular or catchy music. “Take the Macarena for example.” Everyone knows that, you can sing right away. However, the number is not on the list.

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