Song Lyrics 1: Counting Words

This is the first of a series of articles about analysing text data. The statistical music historian might be interested in many sorts of text – from lists and catalogues through to complex ‘free format’ writing in tweets, record reviews, composer biographies, or encyclopedias. For these articles I will consider a dataset of song lyrics, taken from the LyricWiki website.

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Time at the top: classical vs popular music

One of the things that seems to distinguish ‘classical’ from ‘popular’ music is the fact that the same classical composers and works can remain at the top for very long periods of time – decades, even centuries – whereas popular music songs and artists can reach the top of the charts, sell millions of records, and disappear within a matter of months. But is this difference real?

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