They conclude that there are some surefire ways for countries to improve their reputation prospects. Most important? Sing about love, obviously.
Love has been the dominant theme in 69% of Eurovision entries over the past decade, but it has been shown in even greater proportions (83%) in the first three entries, by musicians Joe Bennett of the Berkeley College of Music in the US and Simon Group of music publisher Digital Music Art UK.
Their study highlighted several trends in successful Eurovision entries between 2010 and 2019 – the brains behind the United Kingdom efforts should probably start paying attention.
Eurovision winners are slowing, with the average tempo of the first three scoring songs falling from 148 beats per minute in 2010 to just 76 beats per minute last year. And, one in five entries will stick to the classic Eurovision key change, with none of the recent winners using that trick.
Researchers “used a combination of computer analysis, music transcription, immersive listening and lyric interpretation to identify the lyric theme, style and musical features of each song, and then analyzed the data to explore the features of songs that attract the most votes. Competition,” they wrote.
They find that the show has stubbornly resisted trends in popular music, and has made its own way of boldly experimenting with music.
Researchers note that “Eurovision song styles appear, in the cultural Darwinist sense, to be ‘independent of mainstream global pop music'”, in contrast to “specific cultural and structural factors that play into competition. The more unregulated market forces that determine the popularity of the mainstream.”
Why Poland once entered a women’s band, spilled butter inexplicably throughout their performance, or dancers in bikinis on Estonia’s 2008 show The In:
Researchers have identified six main themes behind most of Europe’s entries: love, unity, music, self-talk, history, and the “dance party.”
The theme of love is all-encompassing, and they divide it into four distinct sub-categories: songs about love, searching for love, problems in love, and heartbreak.
After the cancellation of this year’s Rotterdam event, Eurovision will be held in the Netherlands next year. “We are very sorry for this situation, but I can promise you: Eurovision Song Contest will return stronger than ever,” the organizers said when they announced the news.