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Customer Discussions > Music forum

It's Official: Music today is worse than in the 50's/60's


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Showing 26-38 of 38 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jul 28, 2012 8:30:02 PM PDT
A customer says:
No, D. Mok is right. "Rap" is only used as a means of genre nomenclature colloquially.

Posted on Jul 28, 2012 9:11:12 PM PDT
D. Mok says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jul 28, 2012 9:24:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 28, 2012 9:25:56 PM PDT
@Sweets To The Sweet: in the 80s, the "colloquial term" was the *only* term for it. *Now* it's been reduced to a colloquial term, a holdover from the 80s that took a backseat when the term "hip-hop" replaced it.

@D.Mok: The term "hip-hop" was a slang term used since the 70s but was NOT the name of a genre until the turn of the 90s, late 80s at best (hip-hop, of course, also refers to the general subculture around hip-hop music). "Rap music" was what the music was called in the 80s--I was there. I'm supposing you were there, too, but now I'm starting to doubt it. Listen, I'm not going to argue this with you since I've learned that arguing with you is pointless. It wasn't just "unfamiliar" listeners in the 80s who called it "rap", the *rap artists* called it "rap music". *Everyone* called it "rap". It was the only term in use to describe the music until "hip-hop" took its place a decade later. That's the way it was referred to by the artists, in movies, by fans, even in *textbooks* on music written back then. Get a clue.

Posted on Jul 28, 2012 11:48:47 PM PDT
Bob Bykowski says:
Rock has been essentially dead since the mid-'80's. Yeah, there's still good music out there if you look hard enough. But rock ceases to exist as a cultural force anymore. It has indeed been replaced by rap and hip-hop, and anyone who denies this is kidding themselves. However, as much as I love blues, Motown, soul and funk, I have to be honest in my opinion -- I can't see how anyone who is not African-American and/or living in an urban environment can relate to rap and hip-hop, mainly due to its usual lyrical subject matter and references. It is the one and only type of music that I feel speaks out to a specific racial or ethnic group. Yes, it is popular with many different people. But it is music that really was created and devised to speak out to the concerns and culture of a significant portion of black people. Some may disagree, but this is my opinion.

Posted on Jul 28, 2012 11:52:04 PM PDT
For those interested in the actual methodology etc.
here's the link to the actual full article, as published by Scientific Reports
(as opposed to the simple summary reproted by Reuters and other news sources)

http://www.nature.com/srep/2012/120726/srep00521/full/srep00521.html

Posted on Jul 29, 2012 4:56:33 AM PDT
D. Mok says:
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Posted on Jul 29, 2012 5:04:51 AM PDT
A customer says:
That album did get rave reviews.

Posted on Jul 29, 2012 5:19:56 AM PDT
D. Mok says:
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Posted on Jul 29, 2012 5:59:15 AM PDT
E. Dill says:
Don't believe it for a minute.

Scientists cannot tell you what is worth listening to. Scientists cannot tell you what YOU will like or what you SHOULD like. Scientists cannot even tell you what the word "pop" means. Neither can I. (Does it REALLY mean "popular" or is there a sense of structure, style, etc.?)

In some ways, the music of today is actually more inventive, all-inclusive, "original" than it was 50 years ago. But much of it would not be considered "pop" to those scientists or to the general public. People who think of pop music as bad music will call anything they don't like as pop. I'll fall back to my usual example. Is Matthew Sweet pop? To me he is. Is he popular? Not really.

To me, what has expanded our musical universe in the past 20+ years has been the use of musical styles/sounds/instrumentation from places other than the US and the UK. Sometimes these "foreign" sounds are truly integrated into the mainstream of pop music, giving it a flavor that is quite original sounding to those of us not familiar with that region's music. Also, since the 60's, styles of music have blended together, taking elements of rock, pop, country, jazz, folk and classical and mixing them up to create, sometimes, an entirely new sounding hybrid.

You (they) can intellectualize about pop music or ANY music all you want. For me, it's all in the sound and how that sound affects ME. I'm selfish that way. I'm excited about yesterday's music, today's music and tommorrow's music. I always have been (even before rock) and always will be, I'm sure.

ed.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2012 6:32:30 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 29, 2012 2:24:49 PM PDT
@Michael Trooper

I'm an 80s child. I remember it being called rap then too. I remember lots of people calling it that - the fans, the non-fans, the record labels, the media, radio, the artists.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2012 11:08:41 AM PDT
@D.Mok: "Rave reviews don't make a blockbuster".

According to you, selling four million copies domestically doesn't make a blockbuster. OK.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2012 11:29:23 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 29, 2012 5:34:00 PM PDT
Grandpa Tom says:
E. Dill:

VERY, VERY, VERY well stated.

Your wise and thoughtful posts are truly appreciated by many, (at least myself), and am grateful you invest time and resources to research information and share with us through these discussions.

A different direction is occurring to me. Lets consider some of our favorite artists that have been active for at least, for this discussion, 20 years. I have many examples, but since I'm in such a Pat Metheny zone for the past 2 months or so, I'll use him as an example.

Most long-term successful artists have morphed if they are innovative at all. I own about 20 of Pat's CD's, and an additional dozen albums, add to that about a dozen that other ECM and other artists are the Front-Men (like Gary Burton, Charlie Haden, etc.).

Starting with Bright Size Life, released in 1976, through Burton's Quartet Live released in 2010, Pat has changed his style in every aspect: sound, writing, production, fellow musicians, labels, etc. He has done solo work, orchestral work, vocal, duets, live, international, soundtracks.....ALL retaining exceptional quality. Just as with every artist, we may not care for every note our favorites lay down on vinyl or aluminum, we appreciate his or her efforts.

As hooked as I am on Bright Size Life (album and track), his MIDWESTERN NIGHTS DREAM on that album (which is great, BTW), became B+G (MIDWESTERN NIGHTS DREAM), on Gary Burton Quartet's PASSENGERS album, through new arranging, instrumentation, and was made about 2 and a half minutes longer. The Burton track became much more compelling.

I'm spinning Pat's 1995 great album WE LIVE HERE as I post. It sounds NOTHING like my favorite ECM period of the 1970's, nor the Jim Hall or Charlie Haden duet albums, but I am VERY thankful for the morphing and continued work. TOKYO DAY TRIP is another example, and is an amazing ep worth scoring.

We will always have the music of the 50's, 60's and 1600's, and 1928, and 1800's.....It's just harder to innovate as time moves forward, and with literally THOUSANDS of new releases globally each year, it's harder to get discovered and marketed. I don't know how artists can keep from sounding somewhat like something created prior.

There's good talent today, however, innovation and competition are just too difficult for most to dedicate themselves full-time to the art, so I guess most work on their music part-time.

Soooo, as a fan, in this context, I disagree with the premise. The science may be accurate, but as you state, E.Dill, we listen and appreciate music with our ears and hearts....

All the best to you and everyone this Sunday,

GT

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2012 12:02:43 PM PDT
@E.Dill: "(Does it REALLY mean "popular" or is there a sense of structure, style, etc.?)"

There are several different meanings of the term "pop music" and those are two of them, so it's both, plus one other meaning I can think of. Although I think we've had this discussion before. If I remember, you were somewhat bemused by my definitions, although I didn't just pull them up out of thin air.

"But much of it would not be considered "pop" to those scientists or to the general public."

I still agree with you though, that the confusion over what counts as "pop" is going to affect a 'scientific' survey like this, which is why in my first reply on this thread I wanted to know what music the scientists were using to represent today's "popular music".

"Scientists cannot tell you what is worth listening to. Scientists cannot tell you what YOU will like or what you SHOULD like."

None of these things were a conclusion of the experiment, at least not in the description of it given by the OP. The conclusions were that music is louder, uses less variety of timbre, and a more restrictive range of melodies/chords than it did decades ago. That's not necessarily a judgement call, although it was used by the OP that way, and I'm sure it will be used by others that way.

"Sometimes these "foreign" sounds are truly integrated into the mainstream of pop music, giving it a flavor that is quite original sounding to those of us not familiar with that region's music. Also, since the 60's, styles of music have blended together, taking elements of rock, pop, country, jazz, folk and classical and mixing them up to create, sometimes, an entirely new sounding hybrid."

This is true, but it was mostly true as a leading indicator of pop music from the mid-60s into the mid-70s. After the mid-70s, there were of course still many artists dealing with interesting genre fusions and all kinds of expanded musical vocabulary, but even if you can name hundreds of these artists (and I know you can, and you have many times before), I would say this is still a small and relatively uncommercial percentage of the total amount of popular music being made since that time. Your average Joe American listener does not groove to Sufjan Stevens and the Fleet Foxes, they listen to Katy Perry, Lil' Wayne, and Lady Gaga.

So sure, there's plenty of harmonically/melodically/timbrally diverse music still being made out there, enough to keep one occupied for a lifetime, if you dig even just a *tiny* bit deeper. I will always be on your side on that point. But I think a case can be made that what's played in the forms of mass media that still distribute music is pretty limited compared to what it was in the 60s or even the 50s. Even what counted as simplistic swill back in the day, was more sonically and melodically sophisticated than the simplistic swill we have now. ;)
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  19
Total posts:  38
Initial post:  Jul 27, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 29, 2012

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