Classical Music Forum banner
21 - 40 of 75 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,843 Posts
You're entitled to your opinion of course, but I'm not the only one to notice this trend. You might be the only one who HASN'T.
People have posted these links (and those like them) several times before, and this subject has been (is currently being) discussed on this forum to death. I get tired of debunking this stuff. Most of these videos are from people who seem completely ignorant of the fact that musical cliches propagate in all genres at all time and that there is cross-pollination of influences happening all the time too. The claims of the decline of harmony stem from the selection bias of comparing cherry-picked examples of harmonically complex songs from the past and comparing them exclusively to modern top 40, which is a tiny, tiny portion of all the modern pop music out there today. Further, the current top 40 is reflective of trends and genres that deemphasize harmony in favor of focusing on other musical elements. There is already a long thread discussing this so I don't feel I need to try to summarize/reiterate everything here when you can go read through it instead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,425 Posts
I think we ascribe more virtue and prominence to that era because it was such a tumultuous time and presented such a clear delineation between generations.

The cultural gap between the great generation and the boomers we did not see pervious or since. I think this helps to cloud an objective perception.
The mid- to late-60s saw the appearance of a new kind of Pop from what existed during the late 50s and early 60s. With bands like The Beatles, The Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones, The Animals, Them, and to some extent The Beach Boys, several strains of American music coalesced: early Rock & Roll (Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly), R&B (Fats Domino, Earl King, Sam Cooke), Blues (Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Big Bill Bronzy), Country (Everly Brothers, George Jones, Buck Owens), and Folk (Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Peter Paul & Mary) into a hybrid music that sounded utterly new.

Also self-contained bands began to write their own songs, as opposed to relying on the work of the Brill Building writers as had been common. Just the idea of "a band" was somewhat new, or it became so pervasive that it eclipsed what had been the norm of girl or boy singers.

For all these reasons the 60s take on an innovative spirit which set the tone for Rock and Pop for decades to come, even unto today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,705 Posts
The first generation of serious popular music writers grew up, and focused on the music that they experienced in their formative years as critics and listeners. Since those writers stayed on top of the industry for a long time, it created some sort of self-perpetuating mythology of the 60s canon to an extent and resulted in that generation of critics being completely blind to some of the developments past that - bands like Black Sabbath were completely mocked during their early years, Kraftwerk, possibly the most important post-Beatles group, was mocked or ignored until the 80s when they became too successful to ignore (and younger writers started to come into the picture), and most developments in black music apart from the big R+B artists like Otis Redding and Al Green were ignored.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,705 Posts
With the perspective of fifty years' distance, yes I basically agree with the statement by AndorFoldes. Here's why.

1. There was the usual level of pap in pop, with bland melodies, vapid lyrics, boring structures and poor performances.

2. Unlike the '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s and '20s however, there was also music with intelligent lyrics, with innovative song structures, with unusual instrumentation, with hybrids of styles and cultures, with truly unique sounds. And there was A LOT of it!

3. The reference to '40s & '50s swing music is apt; it's the only other era in American popular music where the art of songwriting superseded catering to the lowest common denominator of public taste.

4. If you talk to any Gen-X or Gen-Y or newer music fan, they will INEVITABLY tell you that "classic rock" of their parents' (grandparents') generation is more interesting, more diverse and more immediately attractive than their own generation's music.

5. "Music" today (and I use the term reservedly) is a product of producers at their digital work stations. There is no artistry in importing loops.
This is impressive as none of these are remotely true except the first statement.

There are always developments in popular music. Some of these may be welcome, and some may be unwelcome, depending on taste or perspective. There's nothing wrong with liking a certain style of music and disliking developments which move away from that style- but that's just taste.
 

·
Registered
Sibelius, Beethoven, Satie, Debussy
Joined
·
1,505 Posts
I don't buy into any kind of monolithic view of generations, music periods, genres, or people.
This.

However, if Andorfoldes has identified a thing evident here, perhaps it's that certain threads attract older members who have acquired preferences from longer ago than the younger members and they also reflect that one's musical choices say something about their personalities.

It's not just about the music.

In my case, my two favourite bands are from opposite ends of my life: The Beatles and Radiohead. I'm pretty sure one reason I love them and their works is to do with who I was, what I was doing, how I was living and who the people around me were at the time. The Beatles were a constant presence when I was growing up (age 4-11) and Radiohead were a constant presence when I was raising my teenage sons.

I carry a lot of baggage with my music.!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,379 Posts
This is impressive as none of these are remotely true except the first statement.

There's nothing wrong with liking a certain style of music and disliking developments which move away from that style- but that's just taste.
True. There's a market for bland pap, always has been.

Doesn't give it appeal to anybody outside the 16-19-year olds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,711 Posts
Interesting:

"Is Old Music Killing New Music?"

Old songs now represent 70 percent of the U.S. music market, according to the latest numbers from MRC Data, a music-analytics firm. Those who make a living from new music-especially that endangered species known as the working musician-should look at these figures with fear and trembling. But the news gets worse: The new-music market is actually shrinking. All the growth in the market is coming from old songs.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/old-music-killing-new-music/621339/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,114 Posts
I’m late to the the thread so a few observations here
1) There is some irony to having this discussion on a Classical Music site. Everyone here has Musical Tastes that are more developed than about 95% of the rest of the world. Yes, we listen to other forms of music, but we have been conditioned to enjoy music that does things that would turn most listeners off in seconds.
2) The Music of the Sixties, from the British Invasion on, represented a fundamental break with the popular music that preceded it. Yes, Elvis, Chuck Berry and others were their progenitors, but when sixties rock/pop got rolling it crushed the previous forms of music, relegating previous headliners to the hinterlands or involuntary retirement. It was louder, brasher, rebellious, and claimed a social consciousness that popular entertainment previously lacked. Now, whether or not it was better than what preceded it is up to you.
3) After a decade or so we begin to see the rise of the Genre, where Pop, Country, Hip Hop, R/B, and all the different forms of Rock (Glam, Prog, Metal), and what many Rock Fans regarded as the Anti Christ—Disco- came to the fore. The audience was split in a way that it hadn’t been before. Personal portable players (a.k.a “The Walkman”) and car cassette, later CD players and now streaming devices, meant that the fractured listeners could take their music on the go and not be tied to a choice of a few radio stations at work or on the road. The fracturing of the listenership then makes it difficult to agree on quality. Metallica fans might be induced to stick their fingers down their throat than spend 5 minutes listening to Adele. In those bygone years, you frequently didn’t have a choice, and to a large extent, I remember to my horror as a teenager starting to like songs that I initially despised because you just heard them everywhere you went. We lack that today, which I think is a good thing, but it does tend to make consensus less likely. Thus many boomers are able to avoid anything after the Eagles and be content, and ossified in our tastes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,705 Posts
That Gioia article is the second or third thing I've seen that's brought up Pharrell Williams v. Bridgeport Music lately. Music lawsuit rulings have been going more and more in favor of the rightsholders, and I'm starting to hear people like Gioia cautioning that this is having significant knock-on effects where it becomes far more safe to invest in old licensed catalogs of music than potentially open yourself up to legal action by investing in new artists.


Possible that Pharrell v. Bridgeport ends up even worse for music than the Grand Upright Music v. Warner Bros lawsuit which highly restricted the use of samplers.

As always, never get lawyers involved in art.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,425 Posts
I'm late to the the thread so a few observations here
1) There is some irony to having this discussion on a Classical Music site. Everyone here has Musical Tastes that are more developed than about 95% of the rest of the world.
How modest of you to think that. :rolleyes:

I certainly don't think people who prefer Classical music have more developed taste than people who prefer a different kind of music.

You should check out the thread on elitism.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,705 Posts
to be fair, being interested in any music will probably make you have more developed tastes than the general population, just because a large amount of the population is simply not interested in music at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,149 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,149 Posts
to be fair, being interested in any music will probably make you have more developed tastes than the general population, just because a large amount of the population is simply not interested in music at all.
Do you have any numbers for us to ponder?

Based on nothing, I tend to think more music is consumed today than ever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,705 Posts
Isn't this to be expected? Isn't this normal?

There is far more old music than new music, there is an emotional attachment to old music that takes time to form with new music.

I see nothing here but what I would expect. Thoughts?
the Pharrell Williams lawsuit is certainly not normal. For context, this was an extremely costly lawsuit which resulted in a million dollar copyright infringement settlement in favor of a song from, guess when, the 1970s.

How many great artists do you know who started out sounding just like another artist? Would the Beatles or Stones have ever gotten big if modern lawyers had gone around suing every Skiffle and British white blues/rock artist under the sun? If Radiohead had gotten sued because "Creep" is too structurally similar to "Jeremy"?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,149 Posts
the Pharrell Williams lawsuit is certainly not normal. For context, this was an extremely costly lawsuit which resulted in a million dollar copyright infringement settlement in favor of a song from, guess when, the 1970s.

How many great artists do you know who started out sounding just like another artist? Would the Beatles or Stones have ever gotten big if modern lawyers had gone around suing every Skiffle and British white blues/rock artist under the sun? If Radiohead had gotten sued because "Creep" is too structurally similar to "Jeremy"?
I do not see how your reply speaks to my post. (sorry)

What correlation am I missing?

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,705 Posts
the difference is the financial investment in new music versus old music. More and more money is now going toward securing the licensing for old catalogs of highly regarded artists - as Gioia says here and otherwise, this trend started around the 2010s, right when the Williams/Bridgeport (the "Blurred Lines" lawsuit he mentions) lawsuit hit.

There's always been more old music than new music (well, maybe not when the second song ever written was made). but the financial peril of potential legal liability that new music brings to labels versus the stability of old catalogs isn't something that's always existed. This was something that happened when lawyers and suits get involved with art.

Gioia's thesis goes further than this, and touches on more elements, but he isn't the only one I've seen saying that the current state of copyright law has potentially reached a breaking point where new music is simply too risky in terms of liability to financially invest in.

I listen to new music a lot, but the vast majority of it is self-released, many without real copyright, many by artists who don't make a living from their art and are doing so as amateurs and enthusiasts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,425 Posts
Isn't this to be expected? Isn't this normal?

There is far more old music than new music, there is an emotional attachment to old music that takes time to form with new music.

I see nothing here but what I would expect. Thoughts?
One would think that after more than 100 years of recorded music there is a large backlog of "old music" that is greater than the sum total of "new music" (what is new? the last ten years? last 20 years?).

I generally feel most magazine articles are more about clicks, shares, and boosting traffic, than offering anything of true substance. IOW more melodramatic and exaggerated than truly alarming.

I certainly don't get the feeling of a dearth of new music, in fact, I'd say there is more than there ever has been what with all the new ways artists can get their music to the public that didn't exist in previous eras.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,711 Posts
Isn't this to be expected? Isn't this normal?

There is far more old music than new music, there is an emotional attachment to old music that takes time to form with new music.

I see nothing here but what I would expect. Thoughts?
Well, how were Rudy Vallee, Bing Crosby, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and Frank Sinatra doing in the 60s and 70s as opposed to Elvis, the Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Hendrix, Smokey Robinson, the Supremes etc etc?
fbjim said:
the difference is the financial investment in new music versus old music. More and more money is now going toward securing the licensing for old catalogs of highly regarded artists - as Gioia says here and otherwise, this trend started around the 2010s, right when the Williams/Bridgeport (the "Blurred Lines" lawsuit he mentions) lawsuit hit.
Well my question about Gioia's conclusion in that article has to do with whether that's a chicken-and-egg problem. Is there little investment in new music due to lack of interest, or is there lack of interest due to little investment and "nurturing"? I don't claim to be an expert on the music business and have no experience with it, but it *appears* to me that execs might have lack of prescience when it comes to what the public might like, but they rarely knowingly pass up an opportunity to make a buck.
 
21 - 40 of 75 Posts
Top