Is There a Difference Between Pop Music and Classical ?

There was a TV programme called Seven Up which began in the 1960s and followed a generation of 7 year old children interviewing them at 7 year intervals. It continued into their middle age and provided a fascinating insight into the different stages of life and how their development progressed. It seemed to reinforce the strongly held idea that a 7 year cycle was of great importance.

When interviewed at the age of 7, all of the subjects were delightful and full of exciting ideas about life and their own plans for the future. In many cases something rather weird happened for the age 14 and 21 interviews only for most of them to emerge as relatively normal at the age of 28. Let’s face it, this is fairly normal experience. Capricorn Research can clearly remember his father’s comment ” When a young man is 14, he thinks his dad is a complete idiot, when he’s 21 he’s amazed how much the old man’s learnt in such a short time “.

Astrology is all about cycles, but perhaps none are so influential as the 7 year one. There are 3 planets responsible for this Saturn, Uranus and the Moon. Saturn travels round the Zodiac in roughly 29 years, accounting for the much dreaded but misunderstood Saturn Return, and so every seven years it makes an important aspect to its natal position. Uranus has an orbit of 84 years, so every 7 it changes signs and every 21 it will aspect its birth place. The Moon has a 28 year cycle by Progression.

In Astrology, there are two methods of looking at how a birth chart develops over a lifetime, transits and progressions. Transits are more to do with external events, whereas progressions are just as important but they tend to deal with inward personality changes. Capricorn Research’s remit is to stick to verifiable events rather than subjective changes so transits are used and even then mainly only those of Pluto.

The idea of progressions is a symbolic one which is based on the two movements of the Earth, around its own axis in one day and around the Sun in a year. So to progress a chart the astrologer would look at the positions of the planets one day after birth to understand the experience of that child at one year old. An interpretation for a 7 year old would be found by looking at the positions 7 days after birth etc.

Using progressions, the first 30 years of life would not have many major aspects for most of the planets but it would for the Moon. As the Moon travels round the Zodiac in 28 days, it would return to its natal position by progression in 28 years time. The Moon would therefore make major aspects to its birth place every 7 years and it is this more than anything that gives us the 7 year phenomena.

The Moon rules the feelings, emotions, habits and responses of the person but it also rules the bodily rhythms and changes to them. At the age of 14, the Moon would be opposite its place in the chart and its emotional and physical pull would be in a very different direction to that normally experienced.  No wonder so many parents report tremendous changes in their children’s behaviour and life generally in adolescence.

At the age of 21, the Moon creates a square aspect to its natal position, which is also one of change although not as powerful as the opposition at 14. At 28, the Moon returns to its natal position which inevitably provides more security as if we have come back to our reinforce our emotional orientation. Its as if normal service has been resumed.

The next opposition would be at age 42, the classic mid life crisis time when everything is questioned once again and many people respond with behaviour that appears quite out of character. The next conjunction would be 56 when most are looking to settle down again.

The Moon’s path by progression is mirrored by Saturn’s route by transit. So the Saturn Return of 28 – 29  and late 50s is all about ageing and narrowing one’s focus onto the more important things in life.

So the progressed Moon makes people behave apparently out of character at age 14 to 21.

Capricorn Research has come up with a test to find a person’s musical preferences. The principle is that the sounds first aired between the 2nd and 3rd quarters of the progressed Moon cycle ( ages 14 to 21 ) will be that preferred throughout the life. This is based on his own typical Capricorn old fogey view that there’s been no really good music since 1975.

This principle does seem to work with many people but not everyone as there are a significant number who believe there’s been nothing worth listening to since 1750 !

The debate between classical and pop / rock music has been going on for many decades and it is a case of different strokes of the strings for different folks. Of course what we now call classical was the popular sounds of its day but its interesting to look at how the two different genres appear astrologically.

Singers have a particular role but do opera singers have different astrological features than those in the pop world ? Capricorn Research has a collection of 1120 singers of which 170 are classical and 680 pop / rock.

The sign most associated with singing is Taurus as it rules the throat and as expected is by far the most common Sun sign in the 1120 group with a score of 130% of the average figure. As this is quite a large sample we are looking at a Chi Square score of 0.0147, which is the kind of figure that statisticians might start to get interested by.

In the Pop singers group the Sun in Taurus score is 141% with Pisces coming 2nd with 129%, this also having a Chi Square of 0.0175.

The classical group have a merely average score for Taurus, however, with the strongest being Pisces at 141%. Perhaps this could be explained by saying the pop stars sing with their throat whereas the opera stars with their whole body, not least their feet ( Pisces ) !

The remarkable thing is that whereas classical singers do not have an emphasis on the Sun in the 2nd sign, Taurus, they do very powerfully on the 2nd house with a score of 226%. This is an unprecedented result which produces a Chi square figure of  0.0019, almost unheard of in a relatively small sample.

Often with performers or artists its not so much the Sun sign as those of the Moon and particularly Venus and Mars that impact most strongly.

The Moon in classical charts scores highest in the 3 Fire signs, particularly Aries and Leo with 148%. Mars occurs most frequently in Scorpio at 155% with a statistically significant Chi Square figure of 0.0063. So the image of the passionate diva commanding the stage is alive and well.

Technique is obviously important as well as passion and this is demonstrated by Venus top scoring in Virgo with 141%.

The pop singers have a different emphasis here with Venus in the rebellious sign Aquarius  at 148% and Mars this time in Virgo at 141. Both have strong statistical significance with Chi Square scores of 0.00021 and 0.0013 respectively.

Planets close to the Ascendant impact strongly on the way a person expresses themselves and its interesting that classical singers have the passionate and explosive Pluto in the 1st house at 167% whereas pop singers have the non conformist Uranus in the 12th house 141%.

The most marked differences between the two groups are seen in the aspects particularly those to Saturn. The ringed planet rules convention, tradition and the past, in music it would be naturally linked to the classical genre.

The scores of classical singers aspects of major planets to Saturn are staggering. The Sun conjunct Saturn occurs at 159 %. The Moon is the planet that rules cultural heritage and it is conjunct Saturn an enormous 180% of the expected figure and opposite at 148%. This is a particularly strong finding because if one aspect between two planets scores highly you would expect the others to be weak. To cap all this the Ascendant is conjunct Saturn at an even stronger 185% score.

So Saturn occurs very strongly by conjunction to the three main personality significators, the Sun, Moon and Ascendant.

The pop singers have nothing like this kind of connection, and the scores for the three are below average. The Moon conjunct Saturn which is so high in the classical group scores at a mere 66% in the pop sample.

Interestingly pop singers do have a high score for Mars conjunction with Saturn at 146%. This might be explained by the fact that whereas the Sun, Moon and Ascendant are so much to do with the basic personality and inclination, Mars is to do with the person’s actions. Mars and Saturn are opposites, one wants to assert the self and the other to restrain it. Saturn will often signify authority figures and their reaction to the individual, so in conjunction with Mars could be suggesting that many pop singers attract disapproval from this direction.

Pop singers have a much higher score for aspects to Jupiter, the desirable and beneficial Sun / Jupiter conjunction occurs at 143% with Venus conjunct the largest planet at 139%.

The most frequent of all pop singers aspects is the opposition between Mars and Jupiter which occurs at an incredible 172% of the expected figure. For such a large sample group of 680, this is a scarcely believable figure. Mars aspects with Jupiter are generally to do with physical appetites and the opposition is known for extravagance and indulgence and generally doing everything in a big way.

Whereas the classical singers Saturn aspects are all about self control, the pop singers Mars / Jupiter opposition is exactly the opposite.

Another very big score for pop singers is Mars opposition to Uranus which occurs at 159%. This aspect is perhaps the most rebellious of all, it has no time for conventional behaviour and delights in being disruptive for its own sake.

In the Capricorn Research Project of over 20,000 Public figures it has been statistically proven that famous people are more likely to be born around sunrise than at any other time of day. Successful singers generally have a high concentration of their Suns in the 1st house, which is what would be expected of such performers. The group of 1120 Singers has the Sun in the first at 129% with pop singers leading the way with 132 but classical not that different at 127.

The Sun rising together with the emphasis on the 2nd sign ( Taurus ) or house is clearly something that both groups of singers share but their differences are most starkly drawn by their aspects to Jupiter and Saturn.

Jupiter is a planet that dishes out rewards both financially and status wise. Saturn will only reluctantly hand out anything after a long period of hard work and suffering. This is probably why pop stars earn so much more money than their operatic counterparts.

It could also be why many of us are so absorbed by pop and rock up until our 2nd Jupiter Return at the age of 24, but by our 2nd Saturn one at the end of our 50s, we all find ourselves humming along to Classic FM.


The Turning Point in Your Life ?

Astrology and Celebrity – all in the timing



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