Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Robert Carrie 

BA [Hons] Creative Music Production

My name's Robert and I'm a composer/producer/scorer/mix engineer from Dublin.

Project Description

With genres like jazz not being as popular as they once were and current chart music circling the same genres, this research aimed to see if genres that contain complex music theory and timbres, like jazz or experimental music, would be actively rejected by mainstream audiences, or if it’s just a case of music changing naturally.

This project analysed the songwriting ideas from these non-mainstream genres and recorded the audience’s reaction to them, with the result of establishing if they have a chance to become mainstream again.

The main conclusion drawn was that the average listener could welcome musical complexity in popular music if the techniques used don’t stick out from the rest of the music, which could mean complex genres have a chance at becoming popular again by mixing their tropes with popular music.

How Complex is Too Complex for Popular Music?

The thesis covers how the project was carried out and the results. For the project I created 5 short instrumental pieces, with each one getting more experimental in its songwriting than the last. From there a survey was carried out with questions about the aspects of each song's harmony, melody, rhythm and overall sound.
The thesis goes into detail about which techniques were put into each piece as well as peoples thoughts on them.