Jan 2, 2010

[Rant/Music] What is Wrong with Music These Days?

Where to begin.

First, I hate the direction of pop music. It is no longer about the music, people are conditioned to like this over synthesized and heavily edited 'music' which conveys no feelings or even anything resembling creativity. All people do is the same thing because it sells. Most people think "well I like it so who cares?" But I need more and want to explore what else is out there. Culturally there is so much fantastic music that has a HUGE history behind it and the common citizen doesn't care about the emotions and meaning behind the music, just as long as it has the same elements almost EVERY SONG OUT THERE HAS. Part of person growth as a person and as a musician is exploring the world around you, allowing you to understand more of happens around you. Now consumer culture has such a hold on money that any group of person trying to do something different and creative is shot down because their music is not part of 'that magic formula'.

Second, I absolutely despise the 'indie rocker'. Indie rockers don't explore music because it is good, but because they want to be elitist morons. Don't get me wrong, I like many indie bands and I think many of them contribute many new ideas to the development of modern music. However, the people who listen to them don't care about why it's unique, but just as long as they can be elitist to prove that "I'm so cool I know the next big thing". This mindsets discourages people in the first paragraph to explore because they purposely isolate themselves away from everyone else to make a stupid social statement which no one really cares about.

Lastly, I am discouraged by the way contemporary music is going. Beyond the neoclassicism from last century (1900s), orchestral music has become increasingly separated from most people. Part of this is the ultra-formal nature that orchestral music has become due to programme music's popularity when it began with Symphonie Fantastique which used program notes to describe the story, and further when Schoenberg decided to go completely atonal. Now it takes years of training to understand the concept behind the pieces, and then even more time to understand and appreciate the beauty of the music. This leaves forms over 200-300 years old as the still-dominant forms of music, as they are still beautiful and easy to understand. However, because of how society has changed from using orchestras and music as places to gather as things to argue and feign superiority over classical music has been becoming more overlooked.

Classical Music, however, can find ways to evolve into modern forms such as video games. Some composers have great success in finding work, contemporary or neo-classical, and caused people who normally would not explore 'older' forms of music have rediscovered the gorgeousness of orchestral music. Nobuo's work has been sold to complete sellout crowds as shown in the LA concert all those years ago.

Is this truly the next form of music for the next century? Incidental music for movies and game soundtracks? When is music going to become a more meaning force again?

Personally it makes me happy to see classical music continue to thrive, though it annoys me to how it has to thrive. I find that quite frequently most movie music does not have the depth or beauty of a music that is made specifically to listening. I think partially is because listening to music is hard. Now people say they listen to music all the time, but when is the last time you really listened to music, hearing every detail of the piece and hearing how it fits together? This could simply just be an exercise that musicians do, but I think to fully appreciate any music you need to give it time and attention for a piece to come into it's full value. Because music is played incessantly, when they drive, eat, work, play, and sometimes sleep, people rarely give a good piece the attention it deserves.

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