I hate falsetto. That doesn’t mean I hate you unless you also hate falsetto. De gustibus. But to me it sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard. So naturally I was curious when Vox put up a video claiming to chart the popularity of falsetto in pop music over the years.

You’ll have to watch the video if you want the whole story, including the difference between falsetto and a naturally high voice, but in the end they came through. They used Pandora metadata to score all the Top 10 songs since 1958, and then tossed out everything (mostly hip hop) that didn’t include any singing. Once that was done, here’s what they came up with:

I was born in an unusually falsetto-less year, but since then there’s no real trend to speak of. The ’70s were a strong decade for falsetto and the aughts were a weak decade, but that’s about it.

Unfortunately for me, they also discovered that falsetto songs charted better and longer than other songs, so it’s here to stay. Oh well.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up to $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate