What really makes certain music to be termed as ageless?
Universal appeal. Western Composers from the last century that I feel will sustain the test of time include Gershwin, Rodgers, Berlin and Porter. Their music has an undefinable universal appeal. I think much of the Beatles music does as well. I'm not as sure about some of the others you mentioned as much as I like them all. Bob Dylan is more of a poet trubadour than a great song writer, a good story teller definitely. Joni Mitchell the same. Pink Floyd, I doubt it. I think these people defined an era but much of their music is too dated. I'm sure many will feel I'm wrong but I'm sticking to it.
I don't know the answer to your final question. My guess is the composers who will be remembered hundreds of years from now include Vincent Persacheti(spelling),Eliot Carter, Igor Stravinsky,and Duke Ellington.
Dylan not a great songwriter...........I'm going to lie down............
I think it's impossible to tell actually.
It depends whether there are Rock historians,the level they look into it and it's influence on the music of the day.
You can be sure if Rock history is important then Floyd will be remembered,something like DSOM is a s relevant today as it's always been.
They are selling masses of records thirty years on...not sure the Tin Pan Alley guys mentioned above have managed that....
Dylan has already been studied like no other rock musician and this phenomenon will possibly keep him in the historians eye.
I think it depends how music develops but Porter et al may not actually represent much more than an era.
The Beatles were linked more strongly to cultural happenings than any other band and their unique ability to match critical acclaim with massive popularity has secured their place in history as arguably the icons of the 20th century.
Many of the Classical greats were ignored in their lifetime and indeed many of the popular greats from centuries gone by are forgotten by history............
Unlike SACD/DVDA this is one argument we won't live to see the outcome
publishing and licensing rights will determine music for the ages(at least going forward).
From likes of what you mentioned nothing will survive,I think. Elvis has a chance on this continent and beyond; as do Miles Davis,John McLaughlin,Paco De Lucia and Dead Can Dance in Europe and Asia. Flamenco singers El Camaron and Antonio Mairena will live on forever in Spain.
No music is ageless! Your reference to the classical greats presupposes that they will be as popular in 200 years as now.....but, in fact, interest in classical music in general is waning already. Music is a reflection of the society in which it exists - just as any art form. Sooner or later it passes on to become nothing more than an interesting (or not) historical footnote.
I think the only thing that will always be present in music is rhythm, the BEAT!
Yup, whether a piece of music "lives" on or not depends totally on who is around in the future to appreciate it. Any proclamations about a recordings cultural viability (or lack of it) is pretty speculative, but we all have our favorites. Miles Davis, Can, Captain Beefheart, Monk, Hendrix, Stravinsky, Mingus and Ellington all expanded things quite a bit. Can't see their ideas or recordings a evaporating anytime soon.
Yes,Pink Floyd is dated.
Just when we will arive at that date is anyone's quess.
Not much I can add to Tubegroover's excellent post. Gershwin, Rodgers, Berlin, Porter, that's what I'm talking about! Beatles, yes, as far as universal appeal (the tunes, give me the tunes!) if not ultimate quality. I would add Stevie Wonder; song writing genius.
In our current cultural climate, music is primarily considered a commodity for financial gain, and secondly as
a living, valid artform. In the 20th century, radio was the
main medium which delivered live and recorded music to the masses. Repeated listenings ingrained the catchiest tunes
in the minds of millions of listeners. This continued for
several generations through Rock's Golden Era until the advent of visual/audio entertainmentin the early '80s, when MTV started the trend which put visuals first, audio second. The top-selling acts of the last 20 years or so (Madonna, B.Spears, Cher, et al) have been designed mainly to promote the visual qualities of their acts. Music
has become mostly disposable, which does not bode well for the music of the past either, because the inherent cynicysm in today's market dictates that new products must be constantly produced and sold. Our youth-oriented society has no financial motivation to expose our children to musical masterpieces of the past, be they classical, folk, country, Jazz, Rock or otherwise. Traditional radio is dead. The music industry grooms our tots from an early age to respond to the latest musical trends. Art and music are always the first programs to be cut in school. Stores and malls do not play quality music either. I see no reason why they don't. It would certainly enhance the atmosphere, although I'm sure it has been determined that quality music might deter shoppers from spending money. In conclusion I'd have to say my outlook is bleak; while there will always
be afficionados like us on Audiogon, the majority of great
music will fade into oblivion within the next 100 years.
What chance would Ella Fitzgerald have today?
Music that is played often enough to be recognized, yet not played too often to be repulsive.
Very well put!
We need to teach our children (or younger generation in our household) to appreciate good music somehow or the other.
When my kids were growing up I introduced to them "Fantasia". In the last ten years I have changed three formats (VCR to Laser Disk to DVD) but I made sure that I always pick up "Fantasia". One day (that was few years ago) when I was listening to Beethovens 6th Symphony my son and daughter were wondering why I am listening to music from Fantasia just by itself, that is when I decided to explain to them it was not Fantasia first but the music came first and Fantasia was merely an adaptation. Later I bought music books and CD's identifying musical instruments, we had fun going through all that over the years.
My son is now 13 and he has some idea of how to differenciate between good and bad music. He does not get up and leave the room when I am listening to Ella Fitzgerald or Louis Armstrong. He even gets a chuckle when I am listening to the live version of Mack the Knife by Ella in which she copies the voice of Louis Armstrong. He has gone as far as enjoying a session where I was comparing few versions of Cry me a River on the LS3/5a's.
We are wholly responsible to pass on great collection of music so it survives, and there is no better way than through our own children.
While I would agree that 99.9% of popular music that's out today is crap, I tend to wanna be more optimistic. As far as comtemporary music that will survive the ages, I would think that's pretty hard to foresee, seeing as music is so subjective (believe it or not there are those who think Cher as a creative force). Myself, being 39 years old, I could listen to the likes of Miles Davis and The Beatles all nite long (and have)! I firmly believe that the creative fury within the Beatles (especially Lennon/McCartney)in that short time frame, will not be equaled in my lifetime, but who knows. It seems to me that in popular music's recent history, everytime music seems to be in an uninspiring rut, some artist or band breaks through to shake things up. Frank Sinatra, Elvis, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Elvis Costello, The Clash, Prince, Nirvana, etc., to me are all examples of this. More recently, the music of Ryan Adams, Beth Orton, Paul Westerberg, Dave Koz, James Horner, Sade, Diana Krall, etc., keep me inspired and hopeful. Will this music be ageless? Who knows. All I know is I'm not buying and listening to music now in the hopes that my kids or their kids will approve of and say "wow".
I'm with Beatlebum whilst Musicbuff makes some very good points the heratening thing is that if you look at the biggest selling albums of all time,the vast majority are pre-MTV.
That's not totally related to the original query but I think most music historians will discriminate-we might be in a shallow era for music but it will probably regarded as such.
History is full of such moments on many levels.
Scot Joplin's ragtime will still be enjoyed a hundred years from now.
Leroy Anderson combined popular music with classical values in a way that is unique. Many people are (were) familiar with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, but the secret is that all the arrangements were done by Anderson, while Fiedler basked in the glory.
Sousa's contribution will last (but that is going back a few years).