Musical Complexity and Top 40 Chart Performance
Radio airplay drives record sales and reflects the preferences of popular music consumers. Musical preference is a function of complexity and familiarity in a laboratory setting. Musical pattern recognition research evaluates the similarity of two melodies or rhythms. This project measures the musical complexity or self-dissimilarity of songs in the Billboard modern rock top 40 and associates it with their chart performance. For songs that show short-term and long-term popularity, complexity is positively correlated with overall chart performance.