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ThinkMind // DATA ANALYTICS 2019, The Eighth International Conference on Data Analytics // View article data_analytics_2019_1_20_60016


Johann Sebastian Bach’s Music is Speeding Up: Fake News?

Authors:
David van Erkelens
Daan van den Berg

Keywords: Music; Tempo; Violin Concerto; BWV 1043; Bach; Data Analysis; Online Data Retrieval; Fake News.

Abstract:
This study in cultural informatics investigates the claim made in 2018 by several news media that performances of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Double Concerto in D Minor, his compositions in general, and of classical music as a whole are becoming ever faster. Data for a total number of 19,660 releases in five of Bach’s compositional categories from between 1950 and 2019 are retrieved from online database Discogs, of which 2,999 are analyzed historically for speed increase. For the Double Concerto, we do find a slight speedup, but surprisingly enough, West European recordings speed up much more than non-West European recordings. And whereas the Brandenburg Concertos and several cantatas do speed up significantly, the Trio Sonatas for Organ and Suites for Cello Solo actually tend to slow down. We review the original claims in light of this new evidence, and contextualize our findings by relating to studies on musical development, the pace of life in urbanized communities, and begin to construct a scientific hypothesis for explaining our findings.

Pages: 5 to 11

Copyright: Copyright (c) IARIA, 2019

Publication date: September 22, 2019

Published in: conference

ISSN: 2308-4464

ISBN: 978-1-61208-741-2

Location: Porto, Portugal

Dates: from September 22, 2019 to September 26, 2019

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