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Developing a Theory on Quality Music Using American Popular Music

Wiebers, Ben
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Music represents a significant component of culture yet is difficult to objectively study. Several theories exist regarding quality in music, but none accurately describe all aspects of a song. Due to the importance of music within American society, a method must be formulated in order to understand what makes quality music and conclude how well a song reaches its societal goal. Criteria are utilized to capture the full effect of listening in order to determine quality. These criteria are: Emotional stimulation, intellectual appeal and understanding of musicality. Combined, they create a working theory, by which given songs can be objectively studied to determine the level of their quality. Using a list of Grammy "Song of the Year" winners, the theory tested. The results showed that the data set did not display a true, uniform standard of quality and limitations were found within the criteria, but also that the experiment contained consistency of testing between criteria for individual songs and that 53% of the data set meeting the quality mark. This consistency and majority success rate for songs shows the successful application of the experiment in determining song quality.
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University of Wyoming Libraries