So far, according to the Gracenote Systematic, the Eurovision Song Contest has won songs spanning 15 of the top 25 musical mood categories. In the last 15 winning songs, we find 12 of the basic moods. This year’s competition includes songs representing 15 of the 25 moods – including songs from the mood categories “Sensual”, “Cool” and “Moving”, which have never won this competition before.
Gracenote’s Sonic Moods tool is one of the key features of the song metadata offering that offers a wide variety of music search and discovery applications. Sonic Mood lets you capture how each song’s individual musical elements, such as rhythm, melody, harmony, and timbre, come together to create musical expression – the mood of the song. Gracenote used the professional support of a global team of music experts who provided the information from which patented machine learning algorithms learned to determine the mood of songs by analyzing the audio signal.
A trained artificial intelligence analyzed nearly every piece of music available for distribution, creating a detailed “mood profile” for each, showing the most significant moods and their relative intensity. In total, she classified more than 400 mood classes, which were also grouped into simpler sets – “Level 2” (100 categories) and “Level 1” (25 categories).
All of the Eurovision Song Contest winning plays from 1956 to 2021 have been analyzed to illustrate how the selection of winners has changed over the years. The mood survey of 40 songs submitted to this year’s competition was also included.
- The winning songs from the past 15 years – from 2006 to 2021, contain 12 different moods – according to Gracenote’s highest qualification level, with only two of them repeated – “Longing” and “Energizing”. This is a stark contrast to the first 15 years of the competition, where the winning songs only had a total of 5 top moods.
- Prior to 1990, Eurovision winning songs had a more subdued level of energy and a positive or “valence” message. The opposite trend has been seen since the 90s – winning songs are more energetic and relatively darker.
- Prior to 2000, winning songs rarely reached the “energetic” end of the mood scale. Previously, only two energetic songs were victorious – “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” by Israeli band Izhar Cohen & The Alphabeta from 1978 and “Rock Me” by Yugoslav band Riva from 1989.
- In 1998, singer Dana International’s song “Diva” ushered in an era of winners who featured a more energetic mood.
- In 12 of the 23 songs that won in 1998-2021, the “Energetic” vibe prevailed, in four “Calm”, and seven were somewhere in the middle of the scale.
- Winners expressing both calm and dark moods are rare. Only Eimear Quinn’s song “The Voice” from 1996, with the mood of “Niepokojący/Nie giving hopie”, belongs to this category.
- Three of the six songs that made it to the top three in the last two Eurovision Song Contests had the vibe of the third emotional category “Serious, Dark, Disturbing”. In this year’s competition, 3 songs reflect this mood.
Gracenote’s analysis of the top Eurovision Awards shows that the songs that won were generally calm, but positive in mood. The main winning mood was “Romantyczny” – it topped up to 6 of the first 11 Eurovision Song Contests. The light and simple “Easygoing” songs were also popular at this time.
The first winners of the competition referred to earlier musical eras and were similar in mood to works by Lili Marlene Marlena Dietrich or La Vie En Rose Édith Piaf, published in the 1940s.
The first artists to win the Eurovision Song Contest with songs in the “Optimist” category were Spaniard Massiel with the song “La La La” in 1968, and British star Lulu with the song “Boom Bang A Bang”. and Spanish singer Salomé with the song “Vivo Cantando” which shared a victory in 1969.
Five more upbeat songs won the next 15 competitions. The 1974-1976 winners and the 1981 Bucks Fizz category both fell into the “Carefree Pop” category with 100 different musical moods. The vibe of these songs was somewhat reminiscent of ’60s pop – Dusty Springfield’s “I Only Want To Be With You” from 1964 fits that vibe very well according to Gracenote’s analysis.
Prior to 1982, only one song won the Eurovision Song Contest, which was dominated by the “Giving Strength” vibe. In the competitions that took place between 1982 and 1993, there were up to five. This vibe also showed clearly on the pop charts of the 1980s with songs such as Jennifer Rush’s “The Power of Love” in 1984.
There were significant changes between 1994 and 1997. Most of the time, the quieter plays succeeded. 1994 winners Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan also made a “sentimental” vibe track a hit for the first time since the 1960s. Two years later, the very first (and so far the only) winner appeared to create a song with a “melancholy” vibe. In 1998, the song “Diva” by singer Dana International was the first winner of the competition in the “Incendiary” category.
In the first 40 editions of the Eurovision Song Contest, the winners were generally characterized by an above-average positive mood. 32 of the 45 winning songs were characterized by the dominant mood of “Joyful”, “Easy to Receive”, “Romantic”, “Strengthening”, “Vivid” or “Excited”. Starting in 1996, the percentage of winning entries with this kind of positive sentiment began to decline.
This century has seen a sea change, as more than half of the top 20 songs between 2001 and 2021 were characterized by an exuberant vibe.
Last year’s winning song “Zitti E Buoni” set the “Adventure” vibe on the podium. Interestingly, it was the only song submitted in 2021 with such a musical vibe. The song “Toy”, which won the contest in 2018, had the “Energizing” vibe, which had happened twice in the history of the contest – in 1978 and 2012.
Winning songs with a positive mood are less popular these days – only 40% over the past 25 years. the first places went to this type of work.
Among the 40 songs represented in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, 15 different moods from the first Gracenote category are singled out, more than in any of the last three contests. In more than half of the songs, the energetic mood prevails, only four songs express a calmer mood.
Among the songs in this year’s contest in Turin, Italy, the mood “Longing” appears in nine songs and “Energizing” in seven, making it the most popular. The top five closed with the vibe of “Sensual” (five songs), “Urgent” (four), and “Incendiary” (three).
Armenia, Greece, Azerbaijan, North Macedonia, Poland, the Netherlands, Australia, Iceland and the UK all reported songs that fit the definition of mood” Incendiary”, referring to previous winners 2019 (Netherlands), 2011 (Azerbaijan), 2007 (Serbia), 1997 (UK), 1986 (Belgium) and 1971 (Monaco).
Austria, Czech Republic, France, Norway, Romania, Serbia and Spain submitted “Energizing” songs. Soon we will see if they repeat the success of the three previous winners whose songs were in this climate (Israel 1978, Sweden 2012 and again Israel 2018).
Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania and Portugal will present the songs in the “sensual” mood that have not yet won the Eurovision Song Contest.
The song with the mood “Urgent” has won twice, in 1990 and 2013. As for this year’s competition, the mood is popular with the Nordic national team – Denmark, Finland and Sweden, the song Urgent Mood was also submitted by Malta.
Over the past 25 years, songs with an “incendiary” mood have been won four times – in 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2016. At the Eurovision Song Contest in 2022, songs with this mood will be presented by Israel, Latvia and Ukraine.
Specifically, the “Serious, Dark, Disturbing” emotion category is one of the most detailed third-tier categories to feature in the top five tracks of the last three Eurovision Song Contests. In 2018, with songs in this mood, Italy took fifth place, the Netherlands won in 2019 and Russia took third place, while a year ago the song of the Swiss team took third place.
This year’s songs from the Netherlands, Australia and Iceland were considered songs in the mood of “Longing”, that is, the mood of the emotion category “Serious , Dark, Natarczywe”.
Diversity has been flavoring the whole of Eurovision and its winners for some time now – just as the whole world of pop music is becoming more global and diverse than ever.
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