Find Your Pop Music Blind Spots With This Quiz
Every day the Internet forces me to admit the fact that I am much older than I think. Recently, this (already deleted) tweet did a great job with this:
I was going in the last year of high school when Beyoncé, then in her infancy, earned her first number one single while still part of Destiny’s Child. It would be extremely condescending of you to say that I “grew up” listening to Beyoncé, and the fact that someone is obviously very young (but still old enough to use Twitter) finds it remarkable that the decrepit old woman 38 years old (Beyoncé is a month younger than me ) is still relevant makes me feel older than the dirt.
Well, if you, too, want to feel older than the dirt in something music-related, there is some interesting research to help you. The guys at The Pudding have developed an online quiz, Name What You Tune , which aims to identify the “generational gaps” in music by asking users to identify 10 once-top chart songs while listening to a short clip. The results are then averaged across generational cohorts to reveal which songs survived and which (perhaps rightly) disappeared from the pop culture landscape.
Start by entering your year of birth. (I suppose you could lie about it, but if you do, you mess up the data – and it doesn’t seem to make any difference to your quiz experience.)
From there, you will be asked to test your knowledge of popular songs from a random decade from the 1950s to the 2000s. It does this with an auto-play music clip (which you can listen to through your computer speakers or headphones) and a simple interface that lets you choose whether you’ve never heard it, think it sounds familiar, definitely know it, or sing along with lyrics.
All the songs that are served to you are what The Pudding classifies as “the top three hits of their time … extremely popular.” So you probably expect to know a lot of them. You may be wrong, but if so, you may also find that you are not alone. Because while taking the test is fun – and don’t worry, you can do it multiple times; there seems to be a ton of clips out there, and you can pick any decade you want after the first try – the real pleasure comes in watching the data The Pudding feeds after you’re done. Using information from tens of thousands of reps of the quiz, they determined which songs were remembered or forgotten over four generations: Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Boomers. Although you won’t be able to directly compare your own. results in terms of average indicators for generations, there is something to figure out. For example, you want to know which songs only 90s kids understand? You can view a list of hits that only millennials remember.
It was an important list for me because it confirmed what I have repeatedly said in every analytical article in the media that tries to classify me, born in 1981, as a millennial: no, I am obviously not a millennial , because I would and did so. ” I clicked don’t know for all four of them. My memories fit a little better with the songs best known by my fellow Medium Olds.
So, going back to my original point of view, if you want to feel ancient (or, I don’t know, confident in your youthful ignorance), check out the list of songs everyone except Gen Z knows. It’s fun . So many songs that I believe everyone will remember (not necessarily good ones ) seem to just wait an hour to be thrown into the dustbin of history: “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janice Joplin, “Cecilia” by Simon and Garfunkel, Stay by Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories, Hanson’s Mmm-Bop, The Goddam Beatles’ fucking Lady Madonna? What are you being taught in your now exclusively online schools? Fortunately, some things never change, and the data confirms that there is one song that almost everyone knows: almost 100% of test takers from all four generations can confirm that Billie Jean is not their lover.
So be sure to take the test yourself . Share your data points. Marvel at the ignorance of today’s youth. Or maybe think how culturally irrelevant you are, but no. Children are wrong.