The “Golden Age of Music” argument is an age old discussion but what IS the “Golden Age”? The answer may surprise you.
Back in the 90’s a group of researchers brought in a large group of people half elderly and half college students. They were all shown top songs from every year between 1935 to 1994. They were asked 1. If they knew the song 2. If they had memories attached to the song and 3. If they liked the song.
In the Elderly group they liked songs from their teenage years best which wasn’t surprising as memories formed as a young adult are often the strongest ones. The college students however had a slightly different result; they also loved the songs from their teenage years the best but they also loved songs from the 60’s. This led the researchers to declare that the 60’s was the golden age of music.
Now facts are only facts if they can be replicated so in 2009 another group of researchers ran the test again with the top songs between 1955 and 2009. This time only college students were used. They were asked all the same questions with one extra one; “how old are your parents?”. Much like before the students preferred songs from when they were teenagers but this time they loved the 80’s instead of the 60’s. The 80’s would have been when the students parents were teenagers. This shows that there is no “Golden Age” it also shows that our taste in music comes from what is popular as young adults and what our parents listened to when we were growing up.
Remember if you have any science questions don’t be afraid to ask! I will do my best to answer all your questions!