Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The end of Music

We seem to be on the edge of a paradigm shift. Orchestras are struggling to stay alive, rock has been relegated to the underground, jazz has stopped evolving and become a dead art, the music industry itself has been subsumed by corporate culture and composers are at their wit’s end trying to find something that’s hip but still appeals to an audience mired in a 19th-century

For more than half a century we’ve seen incredible advances in sound technology but very little if any advance in the quality of music. In this case the paradigm shift may not be a shift but a dead stop. Is it that people just don’t want to hear anything new? Or is it that composers and musicians have simply swallowed the pomo line that nothing else new can be done, which ironically is really just the “old, old story.”

Certainly music itself is not dead. We’ll continue to hear something approximating it blaring in shopping malls, fast food stops, clothing stores and wherever else it will mesmerize the consumer into excitedly pulling out their credit card or debit card or whatever might be coming.

There’s no question that in music, like politics, the bigger the audience gets the more the “message” has to be watered down. Muzak’s been around for a long time now but maybe people just can’t tell the difference anymore. Maybe even the composers and songwriters can’t tell the difference either. Especially when it’s paying for a beach house in Malibu and a condo in New York.

Of course, we could all just listen to all of our old albums, CD’s and mp3’s. In fact, nowadays that’s where the industry makes most of its money. We could also just watch old movies and old TV shows. There are a lot of them now. Why bother making any new ones? Why bother doing anything new at all? Why bother having any change or progress at all as long as we’ve got “growth”? I’m just wondering if this is in fact the new paradigm. I’m just wondering if in fact the new music is just the old music again. And, if that in fact it would actually just be the end of music.


some comments:

1 .
Scott Nygaard
San Francisco, CA
November 24th, 2009
9:05 pm
Snooze. Curmudgeons are eternal. This could have been written any time in the last 30 (100?) years. The delivery system for music is going through convulsions, but there is plenty of great music out there, even if critics haven't been able to organize the music scene into discernible trends. But don't expect music to show up on your doorstep. Stop whining and go find it.

2 .
d myers
new york, ny
November 24th, 2009
9:31 pm
The end of music? Is that silence? And he the composer Cage is already standing there.

5 .
Juan Martinez
Lorain, OH
November 24th, 2009
9:31 pm
Because music allows humans to share their emotions with others. And darn it! Men want to impress and lure women!!!!

Papacito loves mamacita!!!!

7 .
at home
November 24th, 2009
9:31 pm
Great music is definitely out there waiting for you to listen to it. If you're bored with the music industry, there are always non-traditional sources of composition (such as video games)
Music is Dead. Long live sound.

8 .
Portland, OR
November 24th, 2009
9:31 pm
Music is Dead. Long live sound.
Recommend Recommended by 19 Readers

23 .
November 24th, 2009
9:42 pm
Everyone should be able to express themselves through music.

25 .
Tim Brew
Alameda, CA
November 24th, 2009
9:42 pm
Love the fright wig!

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