Any indications of where music is heading? Impossible to predict?

Black Coffee

Member
Messages
990
I admit to not being too educated in music history. Yet, I presume that the music purveyed by the earliest Rock & Roll artists wasn't too alien to most people - in that it was a sum of many parts that had been around for decades.

Elvis just didn't appear out of nowhere with a sound and instrumentation arrangement that was unheard of - it was an evolution.(?) An evolution of music inspired by "common folk" more or less. What was before Jazz and Blues? Stuff like Strauss? Ragtime? I'm sure anyone would agree that the difference between those forms of music compared to Rock & Roll are quite disparate.

So knowing what we know about current music, can we predict what the music of 2050 will sound like? Will it continue to evolve from past ideas, or be as distinctly different as Wagner was to the Sex Pistols?
 

stevel

Member
Messages
15,803
Before Elvis, "rock and roll" was a "race" style of music - made by blacks. You can listen to Jazz and "jump blues" and boogie woogie and things like that and start hearing the origins of "rock and roll" as most white people are familiar with it. In fact, "Hound Dog" is a cover of a "race record" by "Big Mama" Thornton.

Simply put, white artists who started playing music by blacks opened up the style we now know as "rock and roll" to a much broader audience (because at that time it would have been slightly more acceptable to listen to a white person singing the music than a black person, although there was still plenty of prejudice against the style in general).

I would say though that "rock and roll" was shocking to parents of teenagers who were listening to it. But if you remember being a teenager, or have any (I'm currently guilty of both) anything they can do to upset their parents is a worthwhile endeavor, whether they themselves like it or not :)

There's a great set of quotes in a music book I've seen - I can't remember what it was but basically each quote boils down to "this new music sucks, past music is best" and then it goes on to list the dates from each quote, driving home the point that in every single century, in ever single stylistic change, there are those that thing new music sucks, and old music is better, and in every single case, the new music becomes the old music for the next generation.

There are some "leaps and bounds" in music.

Wagner was decidedly different (especially with the Prelude to Tristan und Isolde) in style than his predecessors and actually sort of ushers in the 20th century.

Jazz seems to pop out of nowhere (but does stem from Ragtime, Barbershop, and Salon music) and then Rock and Roll is an "about face".

But yes, generally speaking, music "evolves" slowly, over time.

In fact, composers like Schoenberg, who came along writing what was essentially "anti-music" to many, had only a slight impact on the gradual evolution.

So John Williams composes much more like a Brahms to maybe Stravinsky than he does like a Schoenberg to Stockhausen.

Things are also somewhat cyclical:

In the 16th Century, there is a great flourishing of Counterpoint in the likes of Josquin, and culminating with Palestrina Monteverdi (and being taken to the extreme by Gesualdo).

Then there is a period of what we call "Monody" which is "a single melody line with accompaniment" which we see from later Monteverdi (who himself stated he composed in two different styles and was aware of it) through Purcell and the early Baroque composers.

Then there is another great flourishing of Counterpoint in the 18th century, with Bach and Handel, et all.

This then gives way to "Homophony" which is "melody and accompaniment" and is still the predominant style we have today - but "classical music" - Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven

Counterpoint did "return" for a bit (never really left, but was always just a tool rather than a major style but Haydn Mozart and Beethoven all used it well and were masters) with Wagner, then the "second Viennese school" which was Schoenberg and his students Berg and Webern.

What's interesting is there are two periods in the 20th century (or they might be considered "phases" for certain composers) called "Neo-Classicism" and "Neo-Romanticism" which I guess in modern terms would be called "Post Avant Gardsism" or something as they rejected much of the avant garde experimentation and returned to - in a sense - "where we left off" before Schoeberg happened. Stravinsky's works after Rite of Spring are considered "Neo Classic" though still modern, return to more traditional forms and structures, and Howard Hanson (see his "Romantic" Symphony) was a neo-Romanticist (Samual Barber is lumped in there too a lot) at least in portions of his career.

Certainly, the Stray Cats hearken back to Rockabilly, Green Day to Punk, there are plenty of "Nu-Metal" bands, and of course every kid wants to call some genre "post-something". "Stoner" and "Doom" is simply Black Sabbath metal (by and large). There are bands out there doing the whole 70s Pink Floyd thing.

"Ambient" actually comes from Brian Eno's "Music for Airports" and a lot of EDM owes a lot to older styles with filter sweeps and cliched patterns added.

It's always sort of pained me to hear music from India, or Cambodia, or Korea, or whatever that sounds like American Rap with foreign language words and maybe a sitar or kyoto or something. Our capitalized commercialized industry is sort of overtaking their native musics and for some reason they're attracted to the things we do and it seems like their cultural heritage is "westernizing" (and not necessarily in a good way). Then I see the Japanese Django society...

The absolute biggest influence on musical evolution right now is money.

It has been for a while, and it generally tends to keep things stagnant rather than evolving.

But, the "underground" in evolution is Technology. Because it allows people to experiment without being bound by money, and now, they can actually get their music heard.

It's also always going to be driven by youth.

I'm hoping to see more "global" music, but in reality, the American capitalist music industry machine is going to continue to put out things that get people to view commercials between show segments. I don't see that changing any time soon, other than what keeps people tuned in. Which most likely is just going to get more outrageous.

FWIW, I think it's harder to see broad genres the closer to the present you get - each stylistic period in history gets shorter - and while there can be subdivisions, it's kind of like

500 - 1300 = "early music"
1400 - 1600 = Renaissance
1650 - 1750 = Baroque
1750 - 1820 = Classical
1820 - 1870 - Romantic (carries over longer for some composers though)
Then we get "Nationalism"
Impressionism
Expressionism
Experimentalism
Minimalism

and then those "Neo-" ones are in there and really our current period in "art" music is "eclecticism".

Look at the genres people use on the internet now "neo lounge chill" - they're just making up names that often only one band is in for a week.

But at some point, people are going to link "House, Trance, Dubstep, and EDM" into one big category because defining them individually will make as much sense as my talking about the Trecento or Rococo periods. Even now most people just use "Classical" to refer to Barouque, Classical, and Romantic music, and even anything up through current orchestral scores.

See "Star Trek Beyond" for the "is this classical music" quote :)

I'm not going to predict the future, but I see technology opening the boundaries of sonic exploration into things beyond melodies and harmonies - they'll still be important but music may be "about" more peripheral things such as "timbre morphing" or "pitch shifting" and so on - auto tune has started some of that, and 70s synthesis techniques are now starting to be appreciated.

But we haven't gotten our hoverboards yet have way. Things don't evolve THAT quickly :)
 

ksandvik

Member
Messages
6,328
Alas, I see music taking a back seat and mostly becoming an annotation for more visual art forms and entertainment. At some point it even becomes like muzak with no tangible substance. EDM kind of pointed out the future show set with lots of laser and props and some music here and there. There will always be sub-music forms available for enthusiasts, similar to ragtime piano music available today.
 

Pedal Dan

The Island of Misfit Pedals
Messages
11,772
Before Elvis, "rock and roll" was a "race" style of music - made by blacks. You can listen to Jazz and "jump blues" and boogie woogie and things like that and start hearing the origins of "rock and roll" as most white people are familiar with it. In fact, "Hound Dog" is a cover of a "race record" by "Big Mama" Thornton.

Simply put, white artists who started playing music by blacks opened up the style we now know as "rock and roll" to a much broader audience (because at that time it would have been slightly more acceptable to listen to a white person singing the music than a black person, although there was still plenty of prejudice against the style in general).

I would say though that "rock and roll" was shocking to parents of teenagers who were listening to it. But if you remember being a teenager, or have any (I'm currently guilty of both) anything they can do to upset their parents is a worthwhile endeavor, whether they themselves like it or not :)

There's a great set of quotes in a music book I've seen - I can't remember what it was but basically each quote boils down to "this new music sucks, past music is best" and then it goes on to list the dates from each quote, driving home the point that in every single century, in ever single stylistic change, there are those that thing new music sucks, and old music is better, and in every single case, the new music becomes the old music for the next generation.

There are some "leaps and bounds" in music.

Wagner was decidedly different (especially with the Prelude to Tristan und Isolde) in style than his predecessors and actually sort of ushers in the 20th century.

Jazz seems to pop out of nowhere (but does stem from Ragtime, Barbershop, and Salon music) and then Rock and Roll is an "about face".

But yes, generally speaking, music "evolves" slowly, over time.

In fact, composers like Schoenberg, who came along writing what was essentially "anti-music" to many, had only a slight impact on the gradual evolution.

So John Williams composes much more like a Brahms to maybe Stravinsky than he does like a Schoenberg to Stockhausen.

Things are also somewhat cyclical:

In the 16th Century, there is a great flourishing of Counterpoint in the likes of Josquin, and culminating with Palestrina Monteverdi (and being taken to the extreme by Gesualdo).

Then there is a period of what we call "Monody" which is "a single melody line with accompaniment" which we see from later Monteverdi (who himself stated he composed in two different styles and was aware of it) through Purcell and the early Baroque composers.

Then there is another great flourishing of Counterpoint in the 18th century, with Bach and Handel, et all.

This then gives way to "Homophony" which is "melody and accompaniment" and is still the predominant style we have today - but "classical music" - Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven

Counterpoint did "return" for a bit (never really left, but was always just a tool rather than a major style but Haydn Mozart and Beethoven all used it well and were masters) with Wagner, then the "second Viennese school" which was Schoenberg and his students Berg and Webern.

What's interesting is there are two periods in the 20th century (or they might be considered "phases" for certain composers) called "Neo-Classicism" and "Neo-Romanticism" which I guess in modern terms would be called "Post Avant Gardsism" or something as they rejected much of the avant garde experimentation and returned to - in a sense - "where we left off" before Schoeberg happened. Stravinsky's works after Rite of Spring are considered "Neo Classic" though still modern, return to more traditional forms and structures, and Howard Hanson (see his "Romantic" Symphony) was a neo-Romanticist (Samual Barber is lumped in there too a lot) at least in portions of his career.

Certainly, the Stray Cats hearken back to Rockabilly, Green Day to Punk, there are plenty of "Nu-Metal" bands, and of course every kid wants to call some genre "post-something". "Stoner" and "Doom" is simply Black Sabbath metal (by and large). There are bands out there doing the whole 70s Pink Floyd thing.

"Ambient" actually comes from Brian Eno's "Music for Airports" and a lot of EDM owes a lot to older styles with filter sweeps and cliched patterns added.

It's always sort of pained me to hear music from India, or Cambodia, or Korea, or whatever that sounds like American Rap with foreign language words and maybe a sitar or kyoto or something. Our capitalized commercialized industry is sort of overtaking their native musics and for some reason they're attracted to the things we do and it seems like their cultural heritage is "westernizing" (and not necessarily in a good way). Then I see the Japanese Django society...

The absolute biggest influence on musical evolution right now is money.

It has been for a while, and it generally tends to keep things stagnant rather than evolving.

But, the "underground" in evolution is Technology. Because it allows people to experiment without being bound by money, and now, they can actually get their music heard.

It's also always going to be driven by youth.

I'm hoping to see more "global" music, but in reality, the American capitalist music industry machine is going to continue to put out things that get people to view commercials between show segments. I don't see that changing any time soon, other than what keeps people tuned in. Which most likely is just going to get more outrageous.

FWIW, I think it's harder to see broad genres the closer to the present you get - each stylistic period in history gets shorter - and while there can be subdivisions, it's kind of like

500 - 1300 = "early music"
1400 - 1600 = Renaissance
1650 - 1750 = Baroque
1750 - 1820 = Classical
1820 - 1870 - Romantic (carries over longer for some composers though)
Then we get "Nationalism"
Impressionism
Expressionism
Experimentalism
Minimalism

and then those "Neo-" ones are in there and really our current period in "art" music is "eclecticism".

Look at the genres people use on the internet now "neo lounge chill" - they're just making up names that often only one band is in for a week.

But at some point, people are going to link "House, Trance, Dubstep, and EDM" into one big category because defining them individually will make as much sense as my talking about the Trecento or Rococo periods. Even now most people just use "Classical" to refer to Barouque, Classical, and Romantic music, and even anything up through current orchestral scores.

See "Star Trek Beyond" for the "is this classical music" quote :)

I'm not going to predict the future, but I see technology opening the boundaries of sonic exploration into things beyond melodies and harmonies - they'll still be important but music may be "about" more peripheral things such as "timbre morphing" or "pitch shifting" and so on - auto tune has started some of that, and 70s synthesis techniques are now starting to be appreciated.

But we haven't gotten our hoverboards yet have way. Things don't evolve THAT quickly :)
Digital.
 

slybird

Member
Messages
6,463
After the twentieth century I am not convinced there is any new sonic territory that can be explored or mashed up by people. Maybe in the area of completely AI/algorithm created music will new sonic ground be found. Programmers, data scientists, musicologists, engineers, biologists, and psychologists will create next wave of musical experimentation. Human musicians and composers will take parts of those experiments and might merge these sounds with the old sounds.

My predictions:

* I think people will still like to dance.

* Melody and harmony will still be important to most people.

* people will still want to hear songs that sound familiar, yet fresh.

* Songs with a captivating video will have an easier time becoming viral.

* Charisma will still be the most important aspect to being a professional musician. Charismatic entertainers will still dominate the charts.

* Attractive musicians will still have an easier time getting gigs over extremely talented musicians that can play a million notes a second.

* Solo musicians and singers using looping and other technology will become more mainstream as the tech becomes cheaper, easier to use/control, more powerful, and able to predict/read the musicians intent. This will help eliminate the DJ or change the skill set a DJ needs to compete in the market. We will start seeing singers becoming more like conductors. Their voice and movements of their hands and body will conduct the technology that controls the sound.

* online music collaboration will become more common. Musicians will less frequently meet in person until after they know they have a following and product people are willing to pay for. Touring will become a rarity for all but the richest and most popular musicians. Touring will no longer be a vehicle for gaining or earning a fan base.

* The guitar will continue to lose share of the musical pie as other other physical and electronic instruments gain prominence.

* All currently popular genres will still be around, but listening habits of most people will be more fragmented than ever before.

* new artists will continue to have a hard time 'making it'. New music will have an ever growing catalog of old music to compete with. If you think it's hard to find ears now, just wait.
 

Darby Crash

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