Eurovision just got more diverse in terms of music

So far, according to Gracenote’s systematic methodologies, the Eurovision Song Contest has won songs covering 15 of the 25 major categories of musical moods. In the last 15 winning songs, we found 12 base moods. This year’s competition features songs representing 15 of 25 moods – including songs from the “Sensual”, “Cool” and “Moving” mood categories, which have yet to win that competition.

the moodMood – press material

Gracenote’s Sonic Moods is a key feature for displaying song metadata from a variety of music search and discovery apps. Sonic Mood allows you to capture how the individual musical elements of each song, such as rhythm, melody, harmony and timbre, come together to create a musical expression – the mood of the song. Gracenote used the professional support of a global team of musicology experts who provided insights from patented machine learning algorithms to determine the mood of songs through audio signal analysis.

The trained AI analyzed nearly all of the music tracks available for distribution, creating a detailed “mood profile” for each of them, indicating the most important moods and their relative intensity. In total, it ranked more than 400 temperament categories, which were also grouped into simpler groups – “Level 2” (100 classes) and “Level 1” (25 classes).

All winning pieces from the Eurovision Song Contest from 1956 to 2021 have been analyzed to show how the selection of winners has changed over the years. A mood poll for the 40 songs submitted to this year’s competition is also included.

  • The winning songs over 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 have a total of only 5 first-rate moods.
  • Prior to 1990, Eurovision Award winning songs had a milder energy level and a positive or “equal” message. The opposite trend has been observed since the 1990s – the winning songs are more lively and relatively darker.
  • Prior to 2000, winning songs rarely reached the “active” end of the mood scale. Previously, only two songs were victorious – “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” by the Israeli band Izhar Cohen & The Alphabeta from 1978 and “Rock Me” by the Yugoslav group Riva from 1989.
  • In 1998, the song “Diva” by singer Dana International ushered in an era of winners who presented a more energetic mood.
  • In 12 of the 23 songs he won in 1998-2021, the “active” mood prevailed, in four “quiet” songs, and seven somewhere in the middle of the ladder.
  • It is rare for winners to express calm and dark moods at the same time. Only the song “The Voice” by Emir Quinn from 1996, with the mood of “Nipokogsi/ne gives hopi”, belongs to this category.
  • Three of the six songs that were in the top three in the last two rounds of the Eurovision Song Contest had the mood of the third sentiment category “dangerous, dark, disturbing”. In this year’s competition, 3 songs reflect that mood.
Eurovision Songs MoodEurovision Song Mood – Press Material

Gracenote’s analysis of the first Eurovision Awards shows that the songs that won were generally calm, but in a positive mood. The main winning vibe was “Romantyczny” – it dominated as many as 6 of the first 11 European song competitions. The songs “The Easy”, which are light and uncomplicated, were also famous during this period.

The early winners of the competition used to refer to earlier periods of music and in terms of mood they were similar to the works of Lily Marlene Marlena Dietrich or La Vie en Rose Edith Piaf, published in the 1940s.

The first artists to win the Eurovision Song Contest with songs in the “optimistic” category are Maciel the Spaniard with “La La La” in 1968, British singer Lulu with “Boom Bang A Bang” and the Spanish singer. Salome with the song “Vivo Cantando” that won in 1969.

Five more optimistic songs won the following 15 competitions. Both the 1974-1976 winners and the 1981 Bucks Fizz category were “Carefree Pop” with 100 different moods of music. The mood of these songs was somewhat reminiscent of 1960s pop music – Dusty Springfield’s “I Only Want To Be With You,” released in 1964, fits that mood well according to Gracenote’s analysis.

Before 1982, only one song won the Eurovision Song Contest, which was dominated by the mood “give strength”. In the competitions that took place between 1982 and 1993, there were as many as five of them. This mood also featured prominently on the pop charts in the ’80s with songs such as Jennifer Rush’s 1984 hit “The Power of Love.”

There were big changes between 1994 and 1997. Mostly the quieter pieces were successful. 1994 winners Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan also first hit the ground running in the 1960s. Two years later, the first (and only so far) winner appeared to compose a song with a “sad” mood. 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 usually distinguished by an above average positive mood. 32 of the 45 winning songs featured a dominant mood such as “joyful”, “easy to take”, “romantic”, “strengthening”, “energetic” or “excited”. Starting in 1996, the percentage of winning works with this type of positive sentiment began to decline.

This century has seen a drastic change, with more than half of the 20 winning songs between 2001 and 2021 featuring an exuberant mood.

Last year’s winning song, “Zitti E Buoni”, brought an “adventurous” atmosphere to the stage. Interestingly enough, it was the only song that was presented in 2021 with such a musical mood. The song “Toy” that won the competition in 2018, had the mood of “Energizing” which has happened twice in the competition’s history – in 1978 and 2012.

Winning songs with a positive mood are less popular these days – only 40% in the last 25 years. I went first places to this type of business.

Of the 40 songs represented in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, 15 different moods were featured in the Gracenote First Category, more than any of the last three competitions. In more than half of the songs, an energetic mood prevails, only four songs express a calmer mood.

Among the songs in this year’s competition in Turin, Italy, the mood of “Longing” appears in nine songs, and “Energizing” of seven, making it the most popular. She closed the top five with the moods of “sensual” (five songs), “urgent” (four) and “burning” (three).

Audio mixes for Eurovision songsEurovision Audio Mixes – Press Kit

Armenia, Greece, Azerbaijan, North Macedonia, Poland, the Netherlands, Australia, Iceland and the United Kingdom have all reported songs that fit the definition of “scorching” mood, referring to previous winners 2019 (Netherlands), 2011 (Azerbaijan), 2007 (Serbia), 1997 (UK), 1986 (Belgium), 1971 (Monaco).

Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Norway, Romania, Serbia and Spain performed “revitalizing” songs. Soon we will see if they repeat the success of the previous three winners whose songs were in this climate (Israel 1978, Sweden 2012 and again Israel 2018).

Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania and Portugal will perform in the ‘sensual’ atmosphere that has yet to win the Eurovision Song Contest.

The song with the mood “Urgent” won twice, in 1990 and 2013. As for this year’s competition, this mood is popular with the Scandinavian national team – Denmark, Finland and Sweden, the song Urgent Mood was also presented by Malta.

In the past 25 years, songs with a “warm” mood have won four times – in 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2016. At the Eurovision Song Contest in 2022, Israel, Latvia and Ukraine will present songs in this atmosphere.

More specifically, the “serious, dark, and disturbing” sentiment category is one of the more detailed third-level categories to reach the top five tracks in the last three Eurovision Song Contest. In 2018, with songs in this mood, Italy took fifth place, the Netherlands won in 2019, Russia ranked third, and the song of the Swiss team a year ago took third place.

This year’s songs from Holland, Australia and Iceland were considered songs in the “Longing” mood, that is, in the mood of the sentiment category “Serious, Dark, Natarczywe”.

Diversity has been flavoring all Eurovision and its winners for some time now – just as the entire world of pop music is becoming more global and diverse than ever.

* blessing note

Gracenote is a pillar of Nielsen’s content solutions that provides entertainment metadata, content identifiers, and related offerings to the world’s leading creators, distributors, and platforms. Gracenote technology enables advanced navigation and content discovery, giving consumers easy access to the music, TV shows, movies and sports they love, while delivering powerful content analytics that simplify complex business decision-making.

* Nielsen

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