bill roy’s other comment on jenn lena’s book

Previous discussion of Banding Together: Part 1, Part 2, Bill Roy’s comments, Brayden’s comments

Bill Roy gave me permission to post this comment and illustration: ” Trajectories, of course, apply to individuals as well as genres.  The comparison of musical trajectories to other artistic trajectories is very promising.  I have played around with trajectories of musical careers in the 78 rpm era (before 1950).  Career trajectories also include output—how many songs a performer records.  If you examine the number of songs performers record relative to their first recording, the overall picture is one of decline.  The great majority of musicians record only once. Year 1=2 (A and B sides of a record), and all subsequent years=0.  Artists who record more than once peak early, then decline.  What is especially interesting is that those who eventually record many songs (hundreds) look no different in their second or third year.  They peak later, then decline at a slower rate.  If you compare groups with different levels of life-time productivity, the initial curves are nearly identical.  This is illustrated in this figure:  The x axis is the number of years relative to an artist’s first record.  The y axis is the average number of songs in that year (a different metric should be used because the distribution approximates a pareto distribution, but I’m just beginning the analysis).  The different lines are different levels of life time productivity.  Of course, there is right censoring.”

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Written by fabiorojas

April 25, 2012 at 12:02 am

2 Responses

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  1. Thanks for share



    May 4, 2012 at 3:12 am

  2. […] age of sociology of culture. We have the works of Richard Petersen. We have the works of Jenn Lena, whose book we discussed in detail last Spring. Now, we have Climbing the Charts is a new book by guest blogger and UCLA sociologist Gabriel […]


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