The Global Pulse
Explore the world. Click a pulse to enjoy the most popular music of the week!
This visualization requires a modern browser such as Apple Safari, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox.
Variations in Popular Music
We're interested in a few key variations present in today's popular songs around the globe. While there are lots of ways songs differ, we're looking at a few (mostly) objective quantitative measures of song variation.
- It's all about the BPM. The overall pace of the song.
- Mode (Major vs Minor Scale)
- The foundation for the "mood" of a song. A minor scale often makes a song sound "serious" or even "melancholic" while a major scale often gives a "positive" or "happy" vibe.
- The perception of a song along the "quiet" to "loud" continuum. Consider an acoustic solo to dubstep. Not to be confused with "volume" or sound pressure.
- A perceptual measure of the power or intensity of a song. It's a measure computed by The Echo Nest and roughly a function of the tempo and loudness of the song.
On to the Visualization
- A UK-based online community in which users "scrobble" their song plays. With over 40 million users from around the world, particularly Europe and the Americas, Last.fm has logged some 43 billion song plays and counting. Aggregates weekly charts of regional listening habits.
- The Echo Nest
- A music intelligence service offering data on over 30 million songs, providing data points on the common attributes of music including tempo, loudness, danceability, and energy.
- iTunes Store
- Among the most popular digital music distributors in the world. Publishes a weekly top-10 sales chart for over 20 countries around the globe.
- Provides embedded player for streaming tracks.