Lyric Analysis with NLP and Machine Learning using R: Part One – Text Mining

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June 22
By Debbie Liske

This is Part One of a three part tutorial series originally published on the DataCamp online learning platform in which you will use R to perform a variety of analytic tasks on a case study of musical lyrics by the legendary artist, Prince. The three tutorials cover the following:

  • Part One: Text Mining and Exploratory Analysis (beginner)
  • Part Two: Sentiment Analysis and Topic Modeling with NLP (intermediate)
  • Part Three: Predictive Analytics using Machine Learning (intermediate -advanced)

Musical lyrics may represent an artist’s perspective, but popular songs reveal what society wants to hear. Lyric analysis is no easy task. Because it is often structured so differently than prose, it requires caution with assumptions and a uniquely discriminant choice of analytic techniques. Musical lyrics permeate our lives and influence our thoughts with subtle ubiquity. The concept of Predictive Lyrics is beginning to buzz and is more prevalent as a subject of research papers and graduate theses. This case study will just touch on a few pieces of this emerging subject.

Prince: The Artist

To celebrate the inspiring and diverse body of work left behind by Prince, you will explore the sometimes obvious, but often hidden, messages in his lyrics. However, you don’t have to like Prince’s music to appreciate the influence he had on the development of many genres globally. Rolling Stone magazine listed Prince as the 18th best songwriter of all time, just behind the likes of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder. Lyric analysis is slowly finding its way into data science communities as the possibility of predicting “Hit Songs” approaches reality.

Prince was a man bursting with music – a wildly prolific songwriter, a virtuoso on guitars, keyboards and drums and a master architect of funk, rock, R&B and pop, even as his music defied genres. – Jon Pareles (NY Times)

In this tutorial, Part One of the series, you’ll utilize text mining techniques on a set of lyrics using the tidy text framework. Tidy datasets have a specific structure in which each variable is a column, each observation is a row, and each type of observational unit is a table. After cleaning and conditioning the dataset, you will create descriptive statistics and exploratory visualizations while looking at different aspects of Prince’s lyrics.

Check out the article here!

(reprint by permission of DataCamp online learning platform)

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