Topic Modelling in the Lyrics Database, Part Two: Finding Trends

A bit of a mess of a visualization, but here’s if we put all the different topics against each other. Using tooltips, we can figure out the most common throughout – and turn them on and off.

In yesterday’s post, I introduced some of the work I’ve been doing with MALLET and provided a list of topics, sparklines, etc. I wanted today to pull some of that data out and see what trends we could find in the database. Many of the topics found had simple little spikes: a single year where the topic was significant, but not part of a broader trend. Twenty, however, had either raises or falls, and looked like they were worth more investigation.

I divide them into four groups: (1) those who became more prominent since 1964 until 1989; (2) those who became less prominent; (3) those that were always prominent; and (4) those who displayed other sorts of statistical behaviour. Let’s take a closer look.

In a future post, I will be going into detail with individual songs to find exemplars of these topics. This topic is more speculation about what might be happening, and helping us think about how these topics could help us in our scholarship… Read more