Why in his day did he petó Georgie dann, decades later we couldn’t get ourselves out King Africa of the head and now we have Lola Indigo, J Balvin and Rosalía even in the soup? Because their repertoires are full of viral music. That is, topics that act like a virus. Literally. It is the conclusion of a study, carried out by scientists from the McMaster University, in Ontario, Canada, and published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A.
In it, it is analyzed how the number of downloads of a song expands through a population and is related to the SIR model, widely used for the study of epidemics or pandemics such as that of COVID-19.
Thus, they observed many curious data, such as that virality does not occur in all genres equally, being the electronic music the one that gives more foot to this type of behavior. But how can electronic music or a song by Lola Indigo or J Balvin behave in the same way as a virus?
The ‘modus operandi’ of viral music
The authors of this study on viral music focused on music downloads made from Nokia mobiles between 2007 and 2014.
At that time, viral songs were not the same as they are now. And, in fact, that is one of the points that supports his theory. They found that, although the most popular music, as its name suggests, is the pop, other genres, such as music electronics, have a behavior that is much more similar to that of an infectious epidemic.
It seems to be more common in electronic music, because it is a more “niche” genre.
So much so that it can be analyzed using the SIR model. As we have seen more times than we would like in the last year and a half, this is a model used to predict the evolution of a pandemic based on the number of people susceptible, infected and recovered.
Basically, curves are made with the amount of each of them, so that at the beginning all people will be susceptible and none will be infected or recovered. Later, the curve of infected begins to rise, while that of susceptible decreases, since infected people, ideally, they are not contagious again. Continue like this until you reach a peak after which it begins to decrease. As for those recovered, they increase little by little until they reach a point where stabilize.
With electronic music, according to this study, something similar happens. At first nobody knows the song; but little by little, through word of mouth, other people will get to know it and proceed to download it. Thus, the number of people who do not know it decreases. In the end, the number of people who know her becomes stable and, finally, usually, the song dies of success and stop listening and downloading.
The study authors believe that this applies mostly to electronic music because it is more “niche”. That is, the people who listen to it are more in contact with each other.
But it is also applicable to other viral songs. If not by downloads, at least by listening. This is what happens with current singers, such as J Balvin, Rosalía or Lola Indigo. On the radio, on television, in advertisements, on social networks … Like it or not, we are in constant contact with their songs, because we live in a very connected society. And that also makes it easier for songs to move much faster between people.
More common in young people
In previous studies, neuroimaging techniques to see how teens reacted to certain viral songs. They weren’t asked, they just looked at their brain activity in response to the melodies.
However, it was seen that, when talking about the opinion of other teenagers, his perception of viral music changed. This makes them especially susceptible, making them a perfect breeding ground for these songs to jump from person to person, mobile to mobile, and brain to brain. Is that how it works. In fact, if this article has made you remember the last song by Lola Indigo and now you can’t get it out of your head, we are not responsible.