Music in Recent Times

Music is a rather delicate issue to many people. Some are very passionate about what they listen to and in some cases go as far as fiery debates with the closest of friends just to prove a point. Younger people in particular tend to spend a lot of time listening to music and talking to their friends about it. In most cases, they are drawn to the music of their time, as it is widely available on TV, radio and promoted at various events. So what happens as the older generation, that of the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix is replaced by Tokio Hotel, 30 Seconds To Mars, Rihanna and Christina Aguilera?

The answer is pretty straight-forward: to the young generation, it’s a natural step forward; after all, their parents talked about Hendrix when they were young, so why wouldn’t they talk about Rihanna in a similar fashion? To the older generation, the question is much more complicated. They argue that while Hendrix actually brought something new to music (for example, he is widely credited with pushing the boundaries of guitar playing to new heights, such that many consider him to be the greatest guitarist of all time and one of the first guitar virtuosos ever), Rihanna did nothing but recycle existing ideas.

Nowadays the content of the music – the ideas, feelings and sensations that artists attempted to convey to their audience – is widely discredited in favor of technological advances, such as making the music as loud as possible, or polishing it to an extreme. In many cases it is difficult for the listener to identify the natural human voice in a song; it could just as well be Auto-tune, “doing its thing” over someone’s voice who can’t actually sing. But most importantly, the creative spirit that drove countless artists to create musical gems has been replaced by a materialistic approach. Composers and producers look for catchy tunes rather than concept albums similar to those of Genesis or King Crimson. Unless a song draws the listener in a superficial manner, it’s no good. So music is no longer made to stand the test of time, but rather to explode like a super-nova and then fade away just as quickly.

The conclusion is simple: music, like many other things in today’s society, is a valuable commodity rather than something creative. And as long as it is driven by economics, it won’t stand. In order to create something truly revolutionary and special, people need to let go of the material and embrace only their creativity.