Salvador SobralPicture copyright

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Portugal’s Salvador Sobral seemed decidedly cheerful after his tune gained final 12 months

Eurovision could have a status for being up-tempo and sprinkled with sequins, however the secret to a profitable tune may very well be its gloom issue.

We have unpicked the sound waves of each tune entered since 2006 to attempt to reply this burning query: Is there a recipe for a profitable Eurovision tune?

Unexpectedly, maybe, melancholia sells: in eight of the final 12 contests, winners have been sadder than the typical tune.

And sure, in case you are questioning, final 12 months’s winner Salvador Sobral’s Amar Pelos Dois is the saddest-sounding profitable tune – though you most likely did not want knowledge to let you know that.

Eurovision songs have been persistently getting extra melancholy, and this 12 months’s entries are a full 30% sadder than in 2006.

Guess they bought the memo about disappointment profitable votes.

However hey, for those who really feel firmly that Eurovision ought to simply be about cheery tunes all hope is not misplaced.

Some winners have caught to a contented sound and nonetheless gone dwelling with the massive prize, most notably Lena with Satellite tv for pc in 2010, and Lordi’s Exhausting Rock Hallelujah in 2006.

We have labored out if a tune sounds glad or not through the use of a measure of musical positivity referred to as valence, utilized by streaming websites to auto-recommend new music.

The place are the glad songs?

Valence relies on songs’ key, concord and beats – and ignores the lyrics altogether.

“It is all from the waveform,” stated Eliot Van Buskirk, knowledge storyteller at Spotify.

“The tune Comfortable by Pharrell Williams has an unimaginable excessive valence score, as one would count on, although the valence attribute has no concept that the tune is actually referred to as Comfortable.”

There is a clear Eurovision gloom belt chopping throughout central and japanese Europe, however issues perk up considerably for those who look additional east and to Scandinavia.

Azerbaijan, Slovenia and Slovakia have entered the saddest songs.

Andorra’s entries are the happiest of all – however then the nation has solely participated 4 instances within the time interval. Turkey and Ukraine may also be relied upon to enter persistently cheerful songs, though Turkey hasn’t participated since 2012.

The UK usually submits songs on the sadder finish of the dimensions, however the happiest tune of all additionally comes from the UK.

Andy Abraham holds the document for perkiest tune, with Even If from 2008.

However cheerful tunes could not assist Andy win the judges over: the tune ended final.


The commonest Eurovision secret’s C main. An entire 30 of the 456 entries we analysed opted for it.

However for a profitable tune, chances are you’ll be higher off selecting D minor – the “saddest of all keys” if Spinal Faucet is to be believed.

Three of the final 12 winners have opted for it: Molitva (2007), Fairytale (2009) and Rise Like a Phoenix (2014).

Eurovision winners are twice as more likely to be in a minor key. Eight of the final 12 winners have been in a minor key.

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Conchita Wurst’s Rise Like a Phoenix is only one of three profitable songs in D minor

Additionally, a key change shouldn’t be almost as efficient a profitable tactic as you may suppose, so cross it off your Eurovision consuming sport now.

As soon as as quintessential part of a Eurovision present as wind machines and costume modifications, climactic finishes in the next key could also be on the way in which out.

Profitable songs are much less probably than different entries to include a key change. And tune writers are catching on: key modifications have turn into more and more much less widespread during the last decade.


What about velocity?

Winners are all over on this one: from Molitva’s stately 77bpm to Operating Scared’s 172bpm.

Andorra averages the best tempo by far at 177bpm, whereas Montenegro’s entries hover round a extra leisurely 100bpm.

There is probably not a transparent beat that may lead you to Eurovision fame – however there does appear to be a velocity that kills. 4 entries within the final decade have used 128bpm and are available final or second-to-last.

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