I'm quite a newb when it comes to anything audio-related but am playing with programming a spectrum-visualiser.

I chunked the signal into 50 bars, each representing another frequency-band.

One thing I noticed is that lower frequencys tend to be used muuch more often in pop-music then higher ones.

Is there a word / are there graphs describing 'common' distribution-patterns per genre?

I'd like to derive a function from that, that 'normalizes' the drawn spectrum a little bit

  • Are you chunking linearly or exponentially? Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 17:42

1 Answer 1


There are definitely tendencies - and these mainly appear through the use of the same types of instruments in a genre, some more explicit than others, e.g. Drum and bass, Funk and A capella.

Almost all modern electronic dance music uses a steady repeating kick drum and bass pattern - and as you note, this defines a good portion of the frequency characteristics of that genre.

However I believe looking at how we perceive different frequencies will give a much more fundamental explanation as to why music with broad frequency material seem to be more active in the low and high ends of the spectrum. The average human hearing is far from linear in perceived loudness at different frequencies:

Equal Loudness Contour

As you see - the pressure required for the same perceived loudness is much higher in the low end. As this is a general tendency with human hearing, you'd expect a general tendency in popular music to reflect this.

I am not aware of anyone publishing genre specific curves - but you can easily analyze that yourself using a tool such as Har-Bal or Ozones EQ snapshot functionality. Just compile a wave of popular songs within the genre you want to analyze. You will probably see something that averages out toward the curves above as you add more samples of the genre (keeping in mind that the genre itself must use instruments prominently that covers most of the range).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.