Journal of New Music Research ( IF 0.702 ) Pub Date : 2021-06-04 , DOI: 10.1080/09298215.2021.1936076 Paolo Ammirante, Joseph Rovetti
A previous study showed that ‘bright’ vowels (i.e. front vowels, which have higher second formants) are favoured for on-beat words in hip-hop music. Here we partially replicated these findings in a more diverse sample of pop songs from the Rolling Stone Corpus. Stressed monosyllables were classified by their vowel’s place of articulation and their metric position. Bright vowels were 9–13% more likely on weak (but not strong) beats and metric positions immediately surrounding than other metric positions. Favouring bright vowels on and surrounding weak beats may mitigate masking by the snare drum, which typically plays on weak beats.