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Published on Jun 14, 2018
Using foundational computer science theories, Colin Morris focuses on understanding trends in popular music. Borrowing from the areas of bioinformatics and compression algorithms, he shows that the lyrics of pop songs have become substantially more repetitive over the decades. Having established that, Morris tries to convince listeners that this is actually a good thing. He traces repetition in pop lyrics back to its poetic roots, and shows that, rather than being formulaic and recycled, repetitive songs show fascinating diversity. He suggests listeners stop thinking about repetitive earworms as guilty pleasures, and instead think of them as virtuous ones. Colin Morris is a data scientist and educator based in Toronto with a Master's in Computational Linguistics. His work often involves applying computational techniques to the analysis and appreciation of popular music. Most recently, he has analyzed trends in lyrical repetition of hit songs. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx