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The rise of collaborative Music

Music, like other creative artistic domains, is generally associated with virtuosi – extraordinary individuals gifted with mystic genius to enthrall our hearts. Like Beethoven, Mozart, Snoop Dogg!

Not anymore (for reasons I explain in another upcoming post). Music is becoming collaborative. It is no longer a solitary enterprise, but teamwork where more and more artists are pooling their creative genius to create something that dazzles? (Do they really dazzle? This is yet another topic I deal with in yet another upcoming post). For the time being, let’s look at and explore the data.

I use data from top 10 thousand most streamed tracks on Spotify from 1960s onwards to show (1) an increasing trend of collaboration in the music industry, and present (2) an interactive network of (i) all artists, and what I call (ii) serial collaborators i.e., artists who frequently collaborate so much so that they form a large connected component in the graph. Find your favorite in there!

First of all, the figure below shows an increasing collaboration trend over years. It also suggests that recent and relatively popular songs (recall the dataset) are being produced by more than one artists.

Well, who are these artists? You can find them in the following graph.

This graph, however, contains the the largest connected component. There are other smaller components as well as isolated artists who produce popular songs. I will deal with them i.e., sparsely connected and isolated artists in yet another post. But, here is the graph to find your favorites among the haystack!

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