Skip to content
Music's role in the...
 
Notifications
Clear all

Music's role in the future

22 Posts
11 Users
0 Likes
2,999 Views
Oenyaw
(@oenyaw)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 395
Topic starter  

Here's one I've been contemplating lately. What will be the role of music in the future? Not, what will music be like, or what is the next trend, but the actual place music occupies in society. I have been observing the music business for years, I mean many years. It seems to me that the role of music is approaching a change. Here's a theory. Bat it around if you like. The more arguments, the merrier. Pre-20th century, music was a personal level. Entertainment at home was restricted to if someone played an instrument. Or, if you had the money, you had a mechanical device that played. (There's a fantastic collection of mechanical musical instruments at the Flager Museum in St. Augustine if you are ever interested.) Then came the recording, victrolla's, tape recording, records, and it all changed quite quickly. All the sudden, there were stars. Popular singers and popular musicians, not just popular songs. Musicians became professionals, and the business of music took off. It's interesting how the changes took place over the years. I've read that The Beatles "Rubber Soul" was the first album where the artist a) picked the songs b) the album name and c) the cover. After the 1960's, there has been a constant drive on the part of the music business to find the next pop star. I think that the problem lies in the fact that our society has become so diverse, that no one person can symbolize what the population desires. The search for the next popular singer has been reduced to a pathetic game show.

CD sales have plumited over the past few years, and some say the music industry itself is on the verge of colapse. The music coming out on the pop front is just stolen from the past, beats, melodies, riffs all colleged together with someone running their mouth over the top end. Some wish the music industry would face the fact that if music sales are dwindling and that the only thing the industry is pushing is sampled theivery, and then maybe they'll realize that it's not what people want. Also, how can an industry complain about people stealing music over the internet and by home recording when most of the music coming out as products of that industry is stolen from past recordings.

BUT... there are more independent musicians releasing music now than ever before. There is so much music available as band samples on Myspace pages, that no one need buy anymore cds. Just surf, click and listen. The technology has brought us to a time that it is easy and cheap to record music that approaches the quality of any studio. Does anyone care about record deals, airplay, or big tours at all anymore? It's becoming personal again.

So, after such a rant, the question returns. What will the role of music be in the future? What do people want? Not, what do they want to hear, but what do they expect from the music itself? Entertainment, physical satisfaction and exhertion through dancing, relaxation, healing, background for the day?

Just a thought......

Brain-cleansing music for brain-numbing times in a brain dead world
http://www.oenyaw.com


   
Quote
Ignar Hillström
(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

Music isn't 'more stolen' then it was before. People have been ripping off previous generations for as long as written history goes back. Also note that most 'stolen' music is actually not stolen at all but licensed. I doubt that the fact ArtistA gives ArtistB a melody for a certain ammount of money we suddenly get the right to nick it. Indie music doesn't even begin to approach professional quality, not even by a long shot. The big labels are all reporting very nice profits and do not appear to be on the brink of destruction any time soon. The drive to find new stars have been around since atleast the renaissance.

It's a nice subject to discuss but I sometimes get the impression a chance of a musical revolution is more wished for then actually perceived.

In the end it doesn't matter. People will always make music, people will always listen to music. Musicians will always be complete morons when it comes to financial matters and there will always be parasites ready to take advantage of them. There will always be people who believe it will soon end.


   
ReplyQuote
Kevin72790
(@kevin72790)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 837
 

Will music ever die? No.

Will the music industry? Well, no, never completely. There will always be plenty of people who buy CDs or itunes which means it won't die. Plus they don't make money from JUST selling a CD. They make money from selling a bands logo or name, and that's not something you can download off the internet.


   
ReplyQuote
Steve-0
(@steve-0)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1162
 

CD sales have plumited over the past few years, and some say the music industry itself is on the verge of colapse.

Is it really? I keep hearing that sentence (or something similar) said by many people but I rarely see any real numbers/proof. Sure, I bet file sharing put the music industry into a panic, but for some reason I see it as only making a small dent into the already enormous income of the industry, especially after all those lawsuits that the industry handed out to some of those file sharers.

Anyways, just an opinion.

As far as music not being original, I agree with that somewhat, except that every so often an artist or band comes out like Primus, Tool, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc that are really quite original, maybe not everyone thinks so but I'm sure everyone on here has a list of bands they think are really original.

Steve-0


   
ReplyQuote
Kevin72790
(@kevin72790)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 837
 

Primus, Tool are orginal (I don't listen to either that often though, but they are good). But the RHCP...ehh, all they have are catchy riffs nowadays. Stadium Arcadium is probably the most overrated album since 2000. Just because there are two great songs off that album, people automatically think the entire thing is awesome. But it's not, really. The lyrics are trash.

I do respect the RHCP though, for what they did before. I don't like much of their new stuff. Same with Green Day.

It's tough to be original nowadays. You could argue Wolfmother is one of the most original bands out there right now. A lot will say, "well, they copy Led Zeppelin." Not really, I don't think so. The entire album is original in todays music industry and the there is no copying going on with that band. It's obvious Zeppelin is a major influence though.

In fact, I think there will be eventually be a trend where the music industry kind of 'falls back' into a 60s-70s-80s type sound. Then history will repeat itself.


   
ReplyQuote
Taso
 Taso
(@taso)
Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 2811
 

Yeah, but since when are great lyrics the sign of a great band. "Who are you, who? who?...who? who?" ring a bell?

http://taso.dmusic.com/music/


   
ReplyQuote
ballybiker
(@ballybiker)
Honorable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 493
 

sample,sample,sample = recycle,recycle,recycle........at least it brings to the kids the kind of stuff 'we' used to listen to,stuff they would dismiss as too old and boring...so into the melting pot it all goes and eventually out will come some great stuff :roll: hopefully :?

synths,CD,video,electric guitar and now the computer...all at our fingertips...bring it on!! Power to the people :P

the music 'industry' will always survive.....as was pointed out before it has 'brands' not bands...it always has had...it always will..let em play thier own game and the masses can enjoy the real stuff for free...

what did the drummer get on his I.Q. test?....

Drool

http://www.myspace.com/ballybiker


   
ReplyQuote
Ignar Hillström
(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

You know Kevin, you would make a whole lot more sense if you'd stop assuming that your taste is the decisive factor. I happen to like Stadium Arcadium. I think there are more then two great songs on there. The lyrics are atleast as good as the lyrics from the Good Old Days. Plus you still fail to come up with any actual data on atleast one of your claims. But hey, you don't like it so it must be bad, right? Besides, if you think Wolfmother is one of the more original bands out there it is clear you like classic rock and thing associated with it. bands like Radiohead, lamb and you name it are much, much more original in every aspect (from song structure, progressions, instrumentation, sound design, production, whatever). Ofcourse, it's not always traditional rock so let's ignore it. By the way, Led Zep were the greatest rippers of their time, they practically stole their entire first album together. Which, ofcourse, doesn't fit in with yoru theory so it gets ignored.

In short, and I hope I don't sound too offensive, it would greatly seem as though you have an opinion (labels suck, modern music sucks, classic rock rules, indie rules) and you start gathering random ideas to 'proof' it. Whether it is the truth or not seems not so important.

As for sampling: I'm willing to bet 95% of people here doesn't have the faintest idea what sampling is and how it could be used. But apparantly that lack of knowledge doesn't seem to stop people from usingit as an argument against, well, against what exactly?

-
and if this is too harsh I'll fall back into the more accepted 'yeah ... but' kind of posts.


   
ReplyQuote
pearlthekat
(@pearlthekat)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1468
 

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are my FAVORITE band and I'll defend them to the end. they don't have even one bad song as far as I'm concerned.

It's hard to be original at any period of time. that's why when someone comes around who is, it's a big deal. I think the reason for the lack of originality is that people just don't want to do what it takes, which is to totally break it down and remake it. it's easier to just put out something more or less pleasant sounding that people recognize because it sounds familiar.


   
ReplyQuote
Kevin72790
(@kevin72790)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 837
 

It's hard to be original at any period of time. that's why when someone comes around who is, it's a big deal. I think the reason for the lack of originality is that people just don't want to do what it takes, which is to totally break it down and remake it. it's easier to just put out something more or less pleasant sounding that people recognize because it sounds familiar.
Well, I understand having a hard time breaking down the sound of rock. But nowadays you can combine so many elements and create something new. I've seen nobody do that. And another step a band can take towards being original is actually writing some deeeeeeep, deeeeeep lyrics, that need to be broken down to understand. Maybe then, the emo kids will turn towards that to see what truly deep lyrics are. And yes, I do realize emo is specifically a music genre in the early 90s. But it's also a type of 'click' in the 2000s.
You know Kevin, you would make a whole lot more sense if you'd stop assuming that your taste is the decisive factor. I happen to like Stadium Arcadium. I think there are more then two great songs on there. The lyrics are atleast as good as the lyrics from the Good Old Days. Plus you still fail to come up with any actual data on atleast one of your claims. But hey, you don't like it so it must be bad, right?
Talk about contradictory here, right? So you like the band, therefore they were good? I think they are a good band, they are talented. Flea is an amazing bass player, and the guitarist is damn good too. I just don't like their new stuff. I don't think it's as original as their old stuff. And I think people are overrating the album without giving it a whole listen a few times. Actually, I WANTED to like this band since it seems like a lot of people do. I wanted to be able to listen to all the songs I hear.
Besides, if you think Wolfmother is one of the more original bands out there it is clear you like classic rock and thing associated with it. bands like Radiohead, lamb and you name it are much, much more original in every aspect (from song structure, progressions, instrumentation, sound design, production, whatever). Ofcourse, it's not always traditional rock so let's ignore it. By the way, Led Zep were the greatest rippers of their time, they practically stole their entire first album together. Which, ofcourse, doesn't fit in with yoru theory so it gets ignored.
Obviously Zeppelin did that. Page stole riffs left and right. I was just making an example there. Because there seems like there are a lot of people who think Wolfmother is bad because they are similar to Led Zeppelin. There are a lot of 'kids' nowadays who don't like Led Zeppelin, but they like Wolfmother. And that really makes no sense to me at all.
In short, and I hope I don't sound too offensive, it would greatly seem as though you have an opinion (labels suck, modern music sucks, classic rock rules, indie rules) and you start gathering random ideas to 'proof' it. Whether it is the truth or not seems not so important.
I think modern music, for the MOST part isn't very good. I like a lot of modern music, I just don't think it's nearly as good as it used to be. A lot of it isn't from the heart anymore and a lot of bands care about money. A lot of the bands you see on MTV don't deserve to be on MTV. BTW when I said "that electronic shit", I was pretty much refering to the looping beats in rap, unless you put some damn good lyrics over it (Eminem, Tupac, Dr. Dre, Nas).
As for sampling: I'm willing to bet 95% of people here doesn't have the faintest idea what sampling is and how it could be used. But apparantly that lack of knowledge doesn't seem to stop people from usingit as an argument against, well, against what exactly?

and if this is too harsh I'll fall back into the more accepted 'yeah ... but' kind of posts.
lol at assuming we don't know what sampling is. It's pretty much just taking a small part of a song and using it. it could be a drum beat, and intro to a song. And it's taking it directly from the actual song, not re-recording it like youtself.


   
ReplyQuote
Nick Torres
(@nicktorres)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 5381
 

Arjen Astronaut I love reading your posts. Subtle and to the point, like a hammer, and yet I don't think I've ever seen you mount a personal attack.

I'm not so sure a revolution isn't in the offing. I didn't think LPs would go out of style. That was right after I was forced to admit the superiority of cassette over 8-track. By the way, this downloading of music from the internet is cooler than I thought it would be.

Anyone want to buy a used betamax? It's got the long corded remote.

Sure those are all delivery mechanisms, but eventually the industry and musicians alike will have to do a dramatic catch up.


   
ReplyQuote
Alan Green
(@alangreen)
Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5342
 

Here's one I've been contemplating lately. ... . Pre-20th century, music was a personal level. Entertainment at home was restricted to if someone played an instrument. ..

Well, considering the "alternative" is TV, I think the definition of entertainment hasn't changed. Right now, my cable TV provider (Virgin) is in a big row with Sky about the cost of the Sky One channel, and that gets me to thinking about what "entertainment" really is. IMO, it's something I choose to make me "feel good." It can be a film at the cinema, a channel or a show on the telly, or a band playing down the local boozer. In short, it's something I choose, not something that's decided for me and pumped down my throat by the TV companies; and so long as that works for me, then music will always have a major role to play. So will "The Simpsons," but that's because I choose it to be so.

Music will always be at a personal level, agreed. My youngest son likes Girl Pop, my eldest son likes Manson and Slipknot, their mother likes Westlife (pah spit), my girlfriend likes soft rock, I like Rush and play Classical Guitar - how much more personal can it get

Music is the highest of the "Arts," I don't think anyone will argue with that (certainly not on this site). By definition, it must always be there and must always have a role to play in our existence.

Best,

Philosophic-Al :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


   
ReplyQuote
Ignar Hillström
(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

Talk about contradictory here, right? So you like the band, therefore they were good?

No. What I'm saying is that what you or I think of a band has nothing to do with being 'overrated'. You don't like their new stuff, fine. But saying it IS worse or it IS overrated basically implies that you value it correctly and the rest of the world got it wrong. That's kinda odd. I'm allergic to the word 'overrated', I've never seen it used for anything but objectivation of subjective opinions. Just stick with 'I don't like their new stuff as much as the old stuff' without judging other people's ability to 'rate music'.
But nowadays you can combine so many elements and create something new. I've seen nobody do that.

The fact that you never heared it hardly means anything I'm afraid. Good bands do not dissapear when you don't listen to them. Again, Radiohead writes 'deep' lyrics and combines electric guitars with all kinds of sounds for a completely new kind of music. Whether you like it or not, or know them or not. Another example would be Muse, by the way. Or Lamb. These are all mainstream acts, if you want really new stuff you can as for other examples. The problem is that new stuff sounds different, and when it comes down to it many people don't really like different. We still want the basic drums/bass/guitar/vocals setup, with intro/verse/verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus/outro structure. We want the solo to be pentatonic, and the ending of the song to be V-I. It has to be 'deep' but not so deep as that you actually have to think about. If people wanted that they would get some poetry and nobody cares about poetry. We want 'emotional' songs on a personal level. If possible about relations breaking up or starting one. We really like it when there seems to be a problem in the verses which is solved in the chori. You explain the hows in the bridge, preferably with the melody line being higher then the rest of the song. The solo should have big bends going to the fifth of the current chord, with a slow wide vibrato over it. Because that's emotional. Ofcourse the chord progression must be completely diationic, with the exception of the fifth degree in a minor key, which may be played as major or dominant. Heaven forbid the use of diminished or augmented chords, unless you play them on a piano, slowly, and use the conflicting notes in the melody.

So yeah, there's loads of interested, original and new music. People just don't want it. So people turn to new bands that sound kinda like their old stars and call them 'the most original' while, in fact, it would probably qualify for the 'least original' award. But ofcourse originality doesn't mean crap when a song meets the above criteria, originality only counts for genres we don't like anyway. Like rap. "Bah, rappers are so unoriginal." Not that they really would care about original rap, they don't like the general sound of it and need some word to explain why it IS bad. So on guitar forums rap music is unoriginal and overrated. On rap fora the classic rocks songs are unoriginal and overrated. Same guys, same beards, same chords, same scales. On classical forums modern music is bad etc etc etc.
It's pretty much just taking a small part of a song and using it. it could be a drum beat, and intro to a song. And it's taking it directly from the actual song, not re-recording it like youtself.

That's what I mean. That's an introduction to sampling and doesn't even begin to describe what you can use it for. Sampling doesn't require another song, nor does it have to be the finished processed sounds. It doesn't even have to be an actual instrument. You can sample original instruments and turn it into different sounds. You can build whole new soundscapes from sampling.

Nick: In a sense things will always change. New instruments, new music styles, new recording techniques, new ways to sell music. It'll all change. But I don't see the general structure change. Labels can't make their own discs, artists can't sell their music. Artists can't cough up the money for a proper studio and producer. It's not just about technology: put me in a topclass studio and it still won't sound excellent because I'm not a sound engineer. Most artists aren't. Most sound engineers need some kind of salary. So if an artists wants to work music full-time money needs to come from somewhere. I just don't see the whole 'let's all share and be happy' revolution happening just as much as I doubt the local baker will start handing out free bread...

But I've a habit of being wrong about things so take anything I say and revert it 180 degrees to get close to the truth. :D


   
ReplyQuote
kingpatzer
(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2171
 

Pre-20th century, music was a personal level.

Kind of hard to explain all the taverns with troubadours in them and all the opera houses and orchestra halls and dance halls if that's true.
Entertainment at home was restricted to if someone played an instrument. Or, if you had the money, you had a mechanical device that played.

True, but also largely immaterial as the role of music was primarily a social one.
Then came the recording, victrolla's, tape recording, records, and it all changed quite quickly. All the sudden, there were stars.

Not so. There have been stars for as long as there's been music. Go read about the lives of some of the great composers. They had their share of groupies back then too.
Popular singers and popular musicians, not just popular songs. Musicians became professionals, and the business of music took off.

I disagree with this as well. Professional musicians are nothing new. What is new is professional management and marketing firms around music. Which was largely a response to the expense of recording. The cost of producing a record was huge. But with the advances in technology the marginal cost to entry into "professional level" recording is down to the point where home studios can no compete with large businesses.

The result of this change is that Indy artists are back on the assent, and musicians in general are becoming once again more important than their backing corporate contract.
It's interesting how the changes took place over the years. I've read that The Beatles "Rubber Soul" was the first album where the artist a) picked the songs b) the album name and c) the cover. After the 1960's, there has been a constant drive on the part of the music business to find the next pop star.

Yes, but that's because the music "industry" is primarily a marketing industry not a music one. Music is just the thing marketed. The concern is not about the next performer's talent or musical importance, but about the ability to generate revenue from said performer.

The reason record companies could (and did) dictate the songs and cover art and everything else was precisely so they could control the presentation of their product.

But that is a temporary aberration in the history of music's cultural role, not a long term truth that is suddenly under attack. Music is returning to it's culturally normative place, not suddenly changing from what it has always been.
I think that the problem lies in the fact that our society has become so diverse, that no one person can symbolize what the population desires. The search for the next popular singer has been reduced to a pathetic game show.

Diversity is part of it. But the other side of that coin is that the pop star has rarely been the musical force that really mattered. The reduction to game show status is merely yet another marketing ploy, and an effective one at that. And really no different from turning the next pop star into a sit-com.
CD sales have plumited over the past few years,

Actually that's quite hard to establish in a meaningful way . . .

First, plenty of CD sales happen outside of monitored channels. Every band on every stage is selling Cd's out of a shoe-box after the shoe, and those sales are rarely tracked with the industry numbers.

Second, industry sales indicate a drop but fail to include the reality of fewer artists being produced, or the fact that many early CD sales were "replacement sales" of people simply upgrading their vinyl and tape recordings to a new format.

Lastly, the age demographics of the market have changed, the actual per-capita expenditure on Cd's from the target market is the real performance indicator. Not many 65 year olds are buying Justin Timberlake Cd's after all . . .
and some say the music industry itself is on the verge of colapse.

All the indicators are in place that the market has changed and the companies that want to compete in that market space need to adapt or die. It's what economists call "creative destruction," and not only is it a good thing, it's also not about collapse, but expansion!

Change is in the air. Who will evolve and who will go extinct?
The music coming out on the pop front is just stolen from the past, beats, melodies, riffs all colleged together with someone running their mouth over the top end.

The same has been said for centuries. Go read some of the negative reviews of classical composers we now consider to be great artists and see how many of them were condemned for their banal pop productions.

Some wish the music industry would face the fact that if music sales are dwindling and that the only thing the industry is pushing is sampled theivery, and then maybe they'll realize that it's not what people want.

Opinions about corporate strategy and market drivers really have very little to do with the role of music in society.
Also, how can an industry complain about people stealing music over the internet and by home recording when most of the music coming out as products of that industry is stolen from past recordings.

Badly informed opinion of legal questions isn't relevant to your question, either.
BUT... there are more independent musicians releasing music now than ever before. There is so much music available as band samples on Myspace pages, that no one need buy anymore cds. Just surf, click and listen. The technology has brought us to a time that it is easy and cheap to record music that approaches the quality of any studio. Does anyone care about record deals, airplay, or big tours at all anymore? It's becoming personal again.

"Personal" isn't quite the right word. Music will always have a social function, but the space in which that social function is served is now virtualized. This means that if you really dig eastern European folk music, you don't have to travel to eastern Europe to participate in that social environment.

That is the big change, in my view, but it's a change that isn't limited to music.
So, after such a rant, the question returns. What will the role of music be in the future?

The same as it's always been. Don't confuse the role of music with the role of the marketing firms.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
ReplyQuote
Oenyaw
(@oenyaw)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 395
Topic starter  

Thanks to all! This was a subject that I feel not as much an informed opinionated ranter, but more like a confused patron.

It was wrong for me to say such harshness about "stealing." I was attempting to lean more towards sampleing than replaying or writing copped riffs. I actually feel that anyone that writes a song and feels it to be original is just that. It's the blantent sampleing of recorded music that gripes me.

I know I'm wrong in some, if not all of these points. I'm just like anyone else, looking for a direction. I have come here to hopefully find a path.......

Brain-cleansing music for brain-numbing times in a brain dead world
http://www.oenyaw.com


   
ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 2