My brother is so cool! He has done some research on music and the stock market: specifically does the volatility in the stock market react to beat-variance? Beat-variance is how much the beat in a specific song varies – are there slow parts and then fast part and differently paced parts?

He has made the most amazing music video ever:

I watched this ten times in a row. My two favorite videos on YouTube now are this Music and the Market and the Evolution of Dance. Enjoy!

Phil Maymin is a finance professor at NYU, and here is what SmartMoney had to say about this research:

Phil Maymin, an assistant professor of finance and risk engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, has crunched 50 years worth of stock-market data — along with more than 5,000 hit songs. And he says he’s found an inverse correlation between stock-market volatility and whether the hot music of the moment is frenetic or steady.

… What’s more, Maymin says that it appears as if musical tastes can predict future market volatility. A strategy based on predicting market volatility from past beat variance appears profitable, on average. “The model predicts that realized volatility next year will be lower than it was this year,” he says. Read more here.


  1. Nick
    Posted Friday December 12, 2008 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    This is one of the coolest studies I’ve seen with the economy and stock market! That is so NEAT! I love associating the economy to social behavior. Cool.

  2. Posted Sunday December 14, 2008 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Wow, loved it. Not only is the research fascinating, but it was also an awesome trip down a musical memory lane! Did your brother email the Freakonomics guys about this? I think they’d be interested.

  3. Posted Wednesday December 17, 2008 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    That’s such a fun, cool idea. I think you’re right on. This is so similar to the freakonomics connections that those guys make!
    Thanks much!

    Nick,I seriously feel the same way!