Friday, April 26, 2013

Stats for the Top 100 2012

The Top 100 2012 is all but wrapped up and what's left for me to do is a bunch of busy work. Update the archives, create wall labels for each painting (for the exhibition starting May 25th), and things like that. I've been collecting some data from the 100 entries in the list that I plotted into some graphs. Not that it proves anything like serious statistics would, it's just indulgence. First I collected, as well as I could, geographical data. There are a remarkable 43 countries represented in the list, the same amount as last year but more than ever before that. The percentage originating in the United States is at an all time low, at exactly 25%, but still by far outnumbering any other country. Here's the top 10 countries represented in a bar chart:

There were eight countries with two representatives: Albania, Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Italy, Japan, Niger, Peru, and Romania.
The remaining 25 countries had one recording in the list: Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Sweden, Thailand, and Venezuela.

The chart would look a little different if I change the country of origin to the country the recordings were actually made in. The United States gains 9 more to count to 34%. England drops out of the top 10 altogether with only one of the six recordings originating in England actually recorded in England. It should be noted that 4 of the top 5 in the list are from England, and that New York is the most often occurring state and city with quite some distance.

This is what the graph looks like when the numbers are plotted to represent the continents (numbers total 100):

The next graph then is the years the 100 recordings were made in, plotted to their corresponding decades (numbers total again to 100) 2012 is the single year that yields the most (9) recordings.

Here's an example of what kind of data I collected. For Macedonski Narodni Ora by the Maliot Radio Orchestra at #92 (I haven't posted this one yet):

Country of origin: Yugoslavia (Macedonia)
Ethnic group: Rom (? and/or Slavic)
Recorded in: Skopje, Macedonia
Year of recording: 1951 (or earlier)
Source: blog –Excavated Shellac
Performers: Maliot Radio Orchestra (Two zurlas players, tapan, and double headed drum)

Skopje Radio and Television Orchestra
8.5" x 11"
watercolor, pencil on paper, 2013
So that one (like many others) came courtesy of the blog Excavated Shellac. Jon Ward, Shellac's writer, goes two steps beyond the sort of data collecting I've been doing. This is what he had to say about this tune:
"The Sperry label, based at 10625 Shoemaker Street in Detroit, Michigan, was run by Sperry Boge and issued a number of recordings originating from tape, and all from Macedonian groups sponsored by Radio Skopje. Radio Skopje began broadcasting in 1944. I know very little information on Sperry, however, they were in operation for a number of years in the early 1950s, issuing approximately 120 selections on 78 and 33rpm. All of their records were RCA Custom pressings. RCA had three custom pressing plants in the United States including one located in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the pressing number on this disc indicates that this Sperry record was pressed in 1951 – though finding an actual recording date might be more difficult."

This then brings us to the last category: What were the sources for the recordings? Over the years, with the shifting towards the digital, the whole concept of collecting records has changed. For the first time in the 30 years of the Top 100, with 49 provided, my own collection as the source for music has fallen below 50%. In the following pie chart music from my own collection are in blueish colors while the reddish colors represent music I picked up elsewhere (all but one from the web): Read clockwise from 12:00.

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