• Noble Dust
    6.3k
    t's also interesting to me that most people's taste in music, film, clothing seems to ossify at a particular point in time.Tom Storm

    YES, that's exactly what I'm trying to illustrate. Myself included, the only difference being that I'm (hopefully) aware of the phenomenon happening to me.

    the 28 year-olds are laughing at the 22 year-old's musical taste, muttering about how music isn't what it used to be.Tom Storm

    Haha, my work experience is similar, but with different ages. I hadn't realized how "weird" my taste in music was until this 24 (?) year old guy got hired and my other co-worker informed me that my musical choices "gave him anxiety".
  • Tom Storm
    5.8k
    YES, that's exactly what I'm trying to illustrate. Myself included, the only difference being that I'm (hopefully) aware of the phenomenon happening to me.Noble Dust

    Yes, I have gone with that too. I rarely wear anything but black so I kind of opted out of fashion 25 years ago.

    24 (?) year old guy got hired and my other co-worker informed me that my musical choices "gave him anxiety".Noble Dust

    I hope it was something profoundly unsettling, but I'm worried you're going to say Steely Dan... :wink:
  • Noble Dust
    6.3k
    but I'm worried you're going to say Steely Dan... :wink:Tom Storm

    I don't remember exactly, but it was probably something along the lines of Massive Attack or Portishead.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    To answer the OP, pageantry was always part of the act; it just wasn't as spectacular as it's now. I believe it's called presentation, in this case the musical counterpart of rhetoric. The reason why music concerts are sold out events is that it's full-options car that every family dreams of. There's talent and it comes with bells 'n' whistles. It must come as a relief though, to music aficionados, that the glitz is secondary to talent. If you simply can't carry a tune, you're not gonna please the crowd no matter how you present yourself. A monkey is a monkey even if you dress it up in a Tux.
  • Benj96
    1.5k
    That's fair. You're probably right. I'm sure music will be very different in 100 years
  • Benj96
    1.5k
    Your music will only become "a formula/algorithm" if you are a lazy sponge.Banno

    That's true Banno. Can't expect unique products if I go to the most mainstream marketplace
  • Tom Storm
    5.8k
    What music do you enjoy out of interest?
  • Benj96
    1.5k
    hard to pinpoint any one specific genre to be honest. Music is often functional for me depending on my activities: if I'm out with friends at a dance venue or doing work, meditating or at the gym. The rhythm and pace needs to be appropriate: calm, classical, emotive for contemplation or upbeat, powerful, with a nice drop if out partying.

    I have mostly mainstream pop, alternative, 80s and 90s, rock, classical, a few from different cultures: spanish and French mostly, and even a lot of scores from films. Jazz and metal are the only genres I haven't really resonated with and so only have 2 or three songs that could be categorised as such and even then they would be "light jazz" or the mildest of metal, or fusions with other genres.

    What about you?
  • Tom Storm
    5.8k
    :up: Mainly classical, jazz and old school blues. By blues I mean Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, Memphis Slim, Lighting Hopkins.
  • Mww
    3.7k
    a market that demands what it has become accustomed toJanus

    Gotta admit to that myself. Band comes along, love their music for three or four albums….then they change style.

    For re-inventing, probably can’t top the Beatles. Drippy girly AM pop in ‘63 to FM album Sgt Pepper in ‘67….massive musical offset.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.8k
    I'm just curious about a fact that's obvious given but a moment's reflection - why are there no aesthetically-challenged female singers?Agent Smith

    No challenge is too great for the cosmetic industry, so there is no such thing as "aesthetically-challenged".
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    No challenge is too great for the cosmetic industry, so there is no such thing as "aesthetically-challenged"Metaphysician Undercover

    How true! I've seen some pretty ugly male singers though. I guess males have other things on their mind, like e.g. pretty women.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.8k

    It's not really a matter of what's on the mind of the singer, but more the image that they want to conjure up in the minds of the audience. So you might consider Kiss, Alice Cooper, Ozzy, etc.. On the female side, there seems to be pressure from the machine (industry leaders), to present the women as desirable in some way, and this does not really exist on the male side.
  • coolazice
    59
    As a musician, whenever I am lulled into feelings that I was "born in the wrong era" or some such belief that things really used to be better and they really are worse now, I just remember some words of wisdom from my avatar, Orson Welles, in the form of a mantra:

    Nothing has ever been too good for the public.
    Nothing has ever been good enough for the public.
  • Joshs
    4.2k
    think our perception of originality in music (or whatever art form) is often just a projection unto the external world of our own experience of being exposed to new music. As we age, new music or art seems less original because it doesn't match our past seminal experiences of newness. We tend to chase that first "hit" of a perception-altering musical or artistic experience in the same way an addict chases that first high. This leads to this sense of disillusionment that characterizes your commentary, I think.Noble Dust

    This is certainly true, but let me make some arguments in favor of something else at work these days as well. In my own case , I keep coming back to music that was written between 1965 and 1973. Is this because this is what I was listening to during that key period of my adolescence? Yes and no. At age 18, when all my peers were playing disco, punk or proto-New Wave, I was starting to go back in time to the heart of the folk-rock and psychedelic eras. This was music I couldn’t tolerate when it first came out. I was too young and it was too strange for me. 90% of the music from that period I discovered for the first time decades after it was recorded, and half of that in the last few years thanks to the Psychedelic Jukebox online station.

    I have plenty of favorites in rock, and some hip hop, from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s,( Radiohead, Modest Mouse, Amy Winehouse, Neutral Milk Motel) but to my ears they haven’t departed radically enough from the music that created the rock genre in the 60’s.
    ( I knew we were in trouble when Nirvana released their cover of ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ in 1994, which I initially assumed they wrote, and then heard how close it was to David Bowie’s original version from 1970, 24 years earlier. Know any 1970 rock songs that duplicate the sounds of 1946?)

    This is the opposite complaint about new music than what one typically hears from people that can’t relate to it. My parents were a perfect example. They never got rock music, not from Elvis up through the Beatles and beyond. To them it was all noise , as prominent critics of their generation would say ( like comedian Steve Allen). They literally couldn’t hear any structure , melody or complexity in any of it. It was like a foreign language they couldn’t translate. Critics of hip hop also claim it ‘isn’t real music.’( Keith Richards said that, and he should know better).

    It’s obvious that the rock music of 1969 , especially the most edgy and challenging, when compared to music from 20 years earlier, is strikingly different. And compared with music from 50 years earlier, it sounds like from a different planet. But let’s compare the edgiest music from 1969 with 2019, 50 years later. I wager that I can find some relatively obscure rock from 1969 that a young listener today may think was written in 2019( the music of the art band The United States of America comes to mind).

    How many of the multiple comments on youtube 1960’s songs saying they wish they were alive in that era, that the music was much better then, come from people younger than 30? An awful lot I think. Can you imagine any teens in 1969 pining for the music of 1919, or even 1949? Maybe a tiny handful of eccentrics.

    Can you imagine a movie like Yesterday being made in 1969? What band from 1919 would the main character be able to channel that would create a sensation in 1969, as the Beatles did in that movie? Why could
    Ed Sheehan’s character so easily admit the superiority of that music over his own, 50 years later? Its not that the Beatles were some freakish anomaly that only comes along once a century. Those of us who know the music of that era can come up with a dozen bands equally as good as the Beatles. It was not the Beatles that were great, it was the era, the environment of frenetic experimentation, that produced greatness.

    I have 2 nieces in their teens and both of them told me that a lot of their favorite music is from the 1970’s and ‘80’s ( Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel. Yech), and they are far from alone in their generation.

    No, something else is going on here beside the rootedness of old-timers to what they grew up with.
  • Janus
    13.2k
    I probably should have used the word 'innovation' instead of 'originality'. What I was trying to highlight is the difference between finding your own vision or voice and being formally innovative. The 20th Century enjoyed a tremendous flurry of formal innovation in the arts. Compare this with the history of Chinese or Japanese art, for example. The lack of great formal innovation in the latter does nothing to diminish the quality and vision of the work.

    Every time I write a poem or draw or paint a landscape I experience seeing and feeling something new; something I "have not already experienced elsewhere". Every moment I experience something I have not already experienced elsewhere unless I am drowning in an internal dialogue that constantly regurgitates common cliches That is authenticity, and it is of course, in the particular, if not the general sense, innovative.

    This is why the endless recycling of a style of painting produces increasingly weary, played-out emotions. The works become more and more mannered, self-conscious, calculated.Joshs

    It depends on what you mean by "style". If you mean 'genre' then I disagree. Landscape and figure as genres, for example, despite their prior formal evolution into the so-called "abstract" are still alive and full of potential as ever. Works become "mannered" when the signature styles of well-known artists are slavishly imitated.

    Know any 1970 rock songs that duplicate the sounds of 1946?

    Crawling King Snake first recorded in 1941 by Big Joe Williams in 1941, and by the Doors in 1971. I believe many other examples can be found. I think you are over-simplifying and ignoring the revolution in innovative possibilities brought about by the electrification of instruments and the invention of the synthesizer.

    Gotta admit to that myself. Band comes along, love their music for three or four albums….then they change style.

    For re-inventing, probably can’t top the Beatles. Drippy girly AM pop in ‘63 to FM album Sgt Pepper in ‘67….massive musical offset.
    Mww

    Yes, sometimes changes are not for the better. I know people who can't stand the post OK Computer Radiohead (a band I think have been at least as innovative as the Beatles). For me, though, the quality of music is not measured in units of innovation. As it is said, there's no accounting for taste.

    I think our perception of originality in music (or whatever art form) is often just a projection unto the external world of our own experience of being exposed to new music. As we age, new music or art seems less original because it doesn't match our past seminal experiences of newness. We tend to chase that first "hit" of a perception-altering musical or artistic experience in the same way an addict chases that first high. This leads to this sense of disillusionment that characterizes your commentary, I think.Noble Dust

    :100:
  • Mww
    3.7k
    As it is said, there's no accounting for taste.Janus

    And yet, all there ever is, with respect to quality, is aesthetic judgements. Which reduces to…..there’s no accounting for each other’s tastes. Which is probably what you meant.
  • Janus
    13.2k

    Yea, aesthetic judgement...which raises an interesting question: could novelty, a novelty inherent in the object itself, ever be considered to be a coherent aspect of aesthetic judgement. The beautiful mountain, for example: it's been there for millions of years, so there is no inherent novelty there, but perhaps to see its beauty is to see it anew each time; the singularity of each aesthetic experience.
  • Joshs
    4.2k
    “Know any 1970 rock songs that duplicate the sounds
    of 1946?”

    Crawling King Snake first recorded in 1941 by Big Joe Williams in 1941, and by the Doors in 1971. I believe many other examples can be found. I think you are over-simplifying and ignoring the revolution in innovative possibilities brought about by the electrification of instruments and the invention of the synthesizer.
    Janus

    Good point . Early 20th century Delta blues is an important influence for much late 60’s rock(Led Zeppelin, the Stones, Mayall’s Blues Breakers, Electric Flag, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, Jethro Tull, 10 Years After), so they did plenty of covers of old blues songs. But the blues is just one influence in rock, alongside jazz, folk , country , gospel, Indian raga and classical.
    What made this era of rock music so innovative was the way it synthesized all these elements together. The result was something quite new, even when the music was unplugged.One can hear all these influences swirling around an unelectrified Joni Mitchell or Bob Dylan song. On the same Doors album with Crawling King Snake was the song L.A. woman. How many styles of music can you recognize squeezed into this tune, and how unlike anything from the 40’s or 50’s?

    Yes, sometimes changes are not for the better. I know people who can't stand the post OK Computer Radiohead (a band I think have been at least as innovative as the Beatles).Janus

    You think there was as much change in song structure over the course of Radiohead’s career as there was from Love Me Do to I Am The Walrus? Alrighty.
  • Noble Dust
    6.3k
    How many of the multiple comments on youtube 1960’s songs saying they wish they were alive in that era, that the music was much better then, come from people younger than 30?Joshs

    How would you or I know? Youtube has been around for over 14 years; it's used by people of all ages.

    It was not the Beatles that were great, it was the era, the environment of frenetic experimentation, that produced greatness.Joshs

    I will acquiesce to this.

    I have 2 nieces in their teens and both of them told me that a lot of their favorite music is from the 1970’s and ‘80’s ( Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel. Yech), and they are far from alone in their generation.

    No, something else is going on here beside the rootedness of old-timers to what they grew up with.
    Joshs

    I'm a millennial, but the sense I have is that Gen Z is obsessed with the 90's. Grunge is back, 90's clothes are back. To me that smacks of my assessment of different art forms having arcs that eventually come to an end; specifically, if the 90's are now retro, music truly is on the decline.

    If anything, maybe we're kind of in agreement here; just that my idea of art form arcs doesn't seem to have taken hold with you or others (maybe it's crap, or maybe others haven't seen it yet).
  • Jamal
    5.6k
    With the amount of data being provided by apps like Spotify and iTunes, along with the development of auto tune, it seems these days that song writing has become ever more of a formula/algorithm and singers are more often selected based on their physical attraction/charm or social standing rather than their raw singing ability.

    Does this erode the natural basis for musical talent and authenticity? If anyone can now sing like a professional die to technology, and highly likeable songs are being mass produced like a high volume factory output, do we not see a diminishing impact for those that write songs from the soul, and sing because it's what they were born to do?

    Is musical originality dying? Artists certainly are not as rare as they used to be.
    Benj96

    To me the problem here is that "raw singing ability" is overvalued, such that the unique voices of people who are technically not very good singers become less acceptable to the mainstream. The technology reinforces this. I'm thinking Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed.

    So there's more to being a good singer than being a good singer. On top of that, there's more to music than the mainstream. I've noticed that when people say music isn't as good as it used to be (including knowledgeable curmudgeons like Rick Beato), they often mean the music in the pop charts. But as @Banno and @Noble Dust implied, music is more than the music industry. The industry, starting with recordings, was built on three-minute songs and, in the seventies and eighties, on albums. That's all more or less moribund, but music will continue. It doesn't make much sense to me to say that music in general gets better or worse.

    That said, having been born in the early seventies I sympathize with those who lament the album's decline. Vinyl albums, along with the lore and the mystery (because no internet) were special and wonderful things, and they stimulated many great creative achievements.

    But I don't know if we ought to want to get that back again. Things like YouTube seem to have enabled the growth or re-growth of musical community, where there is less distance between performer and audience. In that context, it's good that artists are not as rare as they used to be. So long as they're not slaves to industry, the more musicians the better.

    How all these musicians can dedicate themselves to music and still make a living, and whether they should expect to, is another matter.
  • Tom Storm
    5.8k
    How many of the multiple comments on youtube 1960’s songs saying they wish they were alive in that era, that the music was much better then, come from people younger than 30?
    — Joshs

    How would you or I know? Youtube has been around for over 14 years; it's used by people of all ages.
    Noble Dust

    I read a lot of Youtube comments and this is a popular observation, but not just about music, it touches everything - sitcoms, tonight shows, buildings, any shit from the 50's to the 80's. "I'm 20 but I wish I was around when Bewitched was on TV every night. Imagine how cool to watch it live on the air. Nothing today comes close.' and other gems.

    For all the recent slandering of "boomers", Youtube is abounds with young folk filled with reverence to the boomer past, in almost every way, from cars to presidents. I think this is just a trope probably absorbed through all those nostalgia movies (like the recent Elvis) which fetishises the past as an era of golden greatness and 'when it was done first'.
  • Tom Storm
    5.8k
    I'm thinking Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed.Jamal

    Probably Bowie, Tom Waits and Nick Cave too. With such characterful voices, it is obvious they would not make it on American Idol...

    Slickness has become a value that supersedes the art - movies are the same, thanks to CGI. Almost everything looks a certain way (perfect lighting and colour) and must contain visual hyperbole/stunts to make it in the market place.
  • Jamal
    5.6k
    Probably Bowie, Tom Waits and Nick Cave tooTom Storm

    Indubitably.
  • Mww
    3.7k
    could novelty, a novelty inherent in the object itself, ever be considered to be a coherent aspect of aesthetic judgementJanus

    Whoa! That’s Ken Kesey/ Merry Pransters kinda heavy, right there, insofar as both pro and con are in the same query: con…novelty isn’t in the object at all; pro….novelty is certainly an object of judgement. Boys and girls woulda had a blast with that one, methinks, trippin’ down the highway.

    Still, things change. The hippies then for the rights of free spirit, the woke dipshits now for the pathologically stupid over-sensitivity regarding Ms. Green M&M’s wearin’ thigh-high boots.

    (Sigh)
  • Joshs
    4.2k


    Still, things change. The hippies then for the rights of free spirit, the woke dipshits now for the pathologically stupid over-sensitivity regarding Ms. Green M&M’s wearin’ thigh-high boots.Mww

    Further!
  • Mww
    3.7k


    Not to be confused with, “…c’mon baby take a chance with us, meet me at the back of the blue bus…”

    Ahhhh….those were the days.
  • Janus
    13.2k
    Of course there was the influence of the psychedelic era, which also had its beginnings, along with a culture of other illicit drug use, in the late forties and fifties. The radical shift in the Beatles music (and many others) was arguably due to their encounter with LSD and TM. Of course these influences can be found also in acoustic music, but the very existence of electronic enhancement of instruments was already at work in both electric and acoustic music. .

    The Beatles music and rock and pop music generally was not, and still is not, all that innovative harmonically speaking and most of the songs remain in the four to five minute format. Jazz is far more innovative harmonically as is Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Debussy for a few examples, not to mention Shostakovich, Schoenberg, Bartok, Ives, and many others.

    Whether the Beatles were, over their career, more innovative than Radiohead is hard to measure. What metric would you suggest?

    The Doors first eponymous album was released earlier in 67 than Sgt Peppers, and so was Jefferson Airplane's Surrealistic Pillow. Sure, Rubber Soul and Revolver were earlier still, but I think the greatness of the Beatles lies in their songwriting (which is also arguably in large part down to the "fifth Beatle": George Martin.

    Whoa! That’s Ken Kesey/ Merry Pransters kinda heavy, right there, insofar as both pro and con are in the same query: con…novelty isn’t in the object at all; pro….novelty is certainly an object of judgement.Boys and girls woulda had a blast with that one, methinks, trippin’ down the highway.

    Still, things change. The hippies then for the rights of free spirit, the woke dipshits now for the pathologically stupid over-sensitivity regarding Ms. Green M&M’s wearin’ thigh-high boots.

    (Sigh)
    Mww

    LOL, good point!
  • Joshs
    4.2k
    If anything, maybe we're kind of in agreement here; just that my idea of art form arcs doesn't seem to have taken hold with you or others (maybe it's crap, or maybe others haven't seen it yet).Noble Dust

    I do agree with you about art form arcs. Classical music’s arc can arguably be said to have ended with the experiments of Schoenberg and Cage, and Jazz’s dissolution may have been symbolized by Miles Davis’s embrace of Jame Brown and his move into jazz-rock fusion. The art critic Arthur Danto famously declared that after Warhol’s Brillo box exhibit philosophically interesting art was no longer possible.
  • Janus
    13.2k
    I find the idea that classical music or Jazz have "ended" or that philosophically interesting art is no longer possible simple-minded, presumptuous and absurd.
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