NOTEWRTHY: Sped-Up Songs
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Today, let’s talk about a rising trend in music that a lot of artists have fed into recently. That’s right, we’re talking about sped-up/slowed-down versions of songs.
For those of you that don’t know, there’s been a rising trend in music recently where artists are re-releasing songs on their streaming accounts where the songs have either been sped up or slowed down. You might be wondering: “Why would they do this? What could cause them to re-release a song if the only thing changed is the tempo?” Like many music trends these days, we have TikTok to thank for this.
A common practice with short-form video content apps like TikTok and YouTube Shorts is to use a popular song or “sound” with your videos in order to get the content more viewership. As such, some creators take it upon themselves to make these audios so they blow up even more. Even more to the point, these creators will use songs that are already popular but cut down the portion they use in order to fit the short format. This can be done either by using simply a short clip of the song, or, the more popular method: speeding it up.
The demographic for the aforementioned apps typically have a shorter attention span. Therefore, brevity is the name of the game. By changing songs slightly to conform to this trend, the creators generate the viewership they intend to. As a by-product of having these smaller clips, they also increase the raw number of views per video because people tend to just leave their phones open on a video. Regardless of whether or not they’re paying attention, the algorithm sees this as the person really enjoying the content, and as such, deems it more likely that more people will enjoy this video.
But with all of this in mind, what does this mean for music? Well, I see this personally as a deeper entrenchment of shorter and short attention spans within the general population. And quite frankly, it doesn’t sit right with me. If we become a society that has to depend on shorter and short-length content to entertain us, we can be even more distracted from important messages. It allows us to be more easily manipulated as well because it means we will ignore the things that can’t be condensed down into a small format.
Besides the attention span problem, I see the practice as lazy and non-creative. The amount of time that artists spend on making a song exactly to their liking is often a staggering amount of time. By re-releasing the same song but at a different speed, they not only undermine the originality of the first version but also make the new version seem like a cheap cash grab in comparison. Music should be about creativity and expansion, not retreating back to old and lazy ideas.
So, while I do believe TikTok is an important platform in terms of musical influence within our current society, I also feel that it contributes negatively in some ways.
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for today. Have a great week y’all, and I’ll see you next Saturday.
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