If you were around at the time just before the punk explosion you would have heard that mantra a million times
Is Old Music Killing New Music?
I ran across this Atlantic magazine article on another music forum. It asks the question if old music is killing new music. I didn't realize that older music represents 70% of the music market according to this article. I know I use Qobuz and Tidal to find new music and new artists for my collection, but I don't know how common that actually is for most people. I think that a lot of people that listen to services like Spotify and Apple Music probably don't keep track of what the algorithms are queuing up in their playlists. Perhaps it's all becoming elevator music.
I am not sure I agree with the main premise of the article. It is an interesting question though. I worked in a record store for years after high school to pay for college. I saw trends ebb and flow constantly. I do think it's easier for record companies to push a known commodity rather than market new music. Maybe they've gotten lazy?
My two cents: It is pretty clear that the same generation using up the planet's resources, spreading consumerism everywhere, and keeping housing and healthcare unaffordable for younger generations is also quite ok with keeping the airwaves to themselves. The lack of oxygen -- that is, viable ways to make a living for artists -- started with Album Oriented Rock, and has continued to this day. Boomers and the generations they trained (in business school, law school, and with conventional "wisdom") have been amassing cultural and financial resources at an increasing pace, and young people have gotten the shaft.
@hilde45 - " young people have gotten the shaft. "
It is not the whole boom generation doing the things you complain about. All that is necessary is that some very wealthy ones are allowed to do as they please and influence many others. A great deal of money can be made by riling up stupid people.
It is indeed to younger persons that the results of elections, and corresponding policy decisions, will be most important. At least in the US, if young people voted at a higher rate, they easily could change the course of the theocratic plutocracy that is arising. However, many don’t use the power they have. This makes it grating when they stereotype others and blame them for societal ills.
Materialism didn’t begin in 1945. The long history of war, conquest, and enslavement in the world shows that the lust for money and power is as old as mankind.
As a boomer, I’ve devoted considerable resources (time and money) to voter registration drives, primarily among the young or disadvantaged.
Going back to music, studies have shown that one’s musical tastes are fixed by age 30. I think that with effort, one can expand them, but it’s not always easy. Still, I feel sad when I see an educated person listening only to the pop music of their youth. Me? I am worse: I listen mainly to Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and also Max Richter and other modernists.
Neither of my 20 something kids are big fans of new music only. My daughter likes the 80s in particular and both mix it up quite a bit. I’ve always exposed them both to all kinds of music growing up both at home and about. Streaming services change the game. They emphasize the new but it is all out there at ones fingertips. A far cry from when I was a kid with only a handful of decent broadcast radio stations to choose from and everything to come in the future not even there yet.
THere is a composer/conductor named Steve Hackman who is taking new music like Rap, Radiohead, Coldplay, and others and mixing it with the classics to form new hybrid versions of the older classic standards that might appeal to a wider modern audience. So using newer music to freshen up the old. I saw his Radiohead versus Brahms show at the Meyerhoff in Baltimore the other weekend and it was very well done and most enjoyable, mixing in parts of OK Computer with Brahms 1st Symphony to create something new and similar but different. It featured three lead vocalists to-boot so the Radiohead lyrics were part of the new thing, no editing for parental approval either... The younger generations represented a good portion of the crowd (mostly full house) and a long standing O closed things out. The show opened with a rousing version of "Creep", followed by the new hybrid Symphony.
Steve Hackman's symphony shows are a must hear for music lovers if the show comes your way. Most highly recommended!
Interesting article - pretty long, I'll read the whole thing later. I used to work in retail and wholesale record business from '74 - '84, and the record business today is nothing like it was back then; the business is different, the model is different, the consumer is different. But I notice he brings up the Grammies - are they really significant anymore? I don't know, maybe they are, but I never cared one bit about them and never watched them. And to me, there is no 'good music' or 'bad music' - there's music I like and music I don't like, but I try to make no value judgements.
"Going back to music, studies have shown that one’s musical tastes are fixed by age 30. I think that with effort, one can expand them, but it’s not always easy. Still, I feel sad when I see an educated person listening only to the pop music of their youth".
In my twenties I grew bored with Rock and began a still--ongoing exploration of Jazz. Now in my late 60's, I've been compelled to recognize that my capacity for appreciating unfamiliar music is inherently limited by deeply-ingrained subjective preferences. Now, I spend more time than ever searching for music to buy and I buy less and less. Perhaps this is inevitable. It is also disappointing.
I'm not sure where to look it up but my guess is that current artists rake in a lot more money than older artists. Record companies are not in the business of supporting new artists, they are in the business of selling product. Nothing has changed except the delivery system and huge social media platforms.
Why is rock and roll dead? Almost all the rock stations went Class Rock and new rock artists no longer found an audience.
I actually listen to a FM station that is incredible for new music of almost all genres. However, I think most people want to hear what is old and comfortable to them.
I bike almost everywhere these days and the thing that has got me hopefully is all the people cranking tunes on their cars.
"One of the nice things about streaming is it enables exploring music that otherwise might go unheard. You don't have to buy to listen and you can let the service decide what to play next that you might like....you don't have to even know about it prior. Try it you'll like it!"
Thanks for the suggestion. My recently acquired Hegel H390 has streaming capability. I have no idea how to use it but I don't imagine it would be difficult to find out. I do make use of features on Spotify and allmusic.com and I read reviews of Jazz and Americana new releases but given the poor results, I might very well have better luck following your advice.
It started with Napster ~20 yrs ago
Record companies lost control over the product
and the loss of money followed.
Now there is a mountain of garbage that nobody has time to sift through.
Similar to what’s been happening to the US over the last 20 years, further catalyzed by those currently in control.
If you were around at the time just before the punk explosion you would have heard that mantra a million times
That was understandable considering just how much had happened in the previous 2 decades - rock and roll, skiffle, folk, protest, beat bands, psychedelia, heavy rock/blues etc.
By the mid 70s popular music seemed to be in a lull and no seemed to no longer have its finger on the teenage pulse.
Prog rock was not for everyone.
Then along came punk, a rehash of early rock and roll and underground US garage bands of the late 60s.
New wave and rap followed as the teenage rebellion continued.
Then all of sudden it seemed to implode once more as musicians seemed to either lose interest in current world affairs or were driven underground once more.
We now find ourselves in a strange retro zeitgeist, where everything seems a rehash/reinterpretation of something familiar, whilst waiting for the next big thing.
So for fans of popular music, what better thing is there to do than to endlessly explore the rich musical history of the past 60 years or so?
Stop whining, get off your butt and take over anytime you want to. No one's stopping you. Although I think it's funny that when I was growing up the Greatest Generation called Boomers lazy, communist, tree-hugging drug-crazed bums. Now people call Boomers greedy capitalists, etc. etc. Can't win. It's all the boomers fault, the world was perfect before 1950, right?
Anyone up for talking audio now?
Some of us were lucky to come up during a period of incredible artistic creation and I suspect younger people are discovering some of those really special tunes and bands as reflected when the author describes his interaction with a server at the restaurant where older tunes were playing:
The author makes valid points about the current industry roadblocks standing in the way of developing new musical talent. The good news is that people are still listening to music and that many of us have found ways to discover the good new artists who are out there.
There is the aspect of music taste that is driven by consumerism exposition and publicity....
I never embarked much into that all my life.... For sure i was listening the Beatles ( a bit) and Bob Dylan when i was young for example, but i was way much into classical and choral music at 20 years old than in rock....
I was interested by Indian and Persian music as soon as the cd creation made it possible and more accessible...
Then there is music as consciousness exploration and commercially driven music....There is very good commercially driven music but much is not very good for me...i am not much in nostalgia because at 20 years old Bach was my God and others classical...
Then is Old music killing new music?
This question make sense only in a COMMERCIAL platform for a commercial platform...Anyway most musicians are not classical one or Jazz one in America...But in commercial music also old past very good singers and musicians make possible the new one...
In classical music Bach make room for Chopin make room for Liszt and Liszt make room for Scriabin ....
But i was never into ONLY popular music...Save the good one.... 😁😊
I prefer Jazz nowadays or world music to popular contemporary music but i am very specifically picky even in my jazz research....
Old music make place for better new music and kill the worst...
"Originality" at all cost kill all arts, a minimal respect for tradition keep it alive...
Money is a poison for many artists and for art in general....Or like any drug, the dose is all that matter, money may be a therapeutical drug also....
«The new must ressuscitate the old, and the old must give birth to the new»- Anonymus Musician
« Art evolution line is a spiral»-Anonymus esthetician
«Art is an inspired habit»- Anonymus artist
«Artists cannot be greater than their own craft save on TV»- Anonymus broadcaster
«Art saved my ass»-Groucho Marx 🤓
Very funny @hilde45! Boomers are keeping younger people away from new music. Accessing a massive amount of music, more than any Boomer could have ever dreamed of having access to, has never been easier. Get off your butt, stop complaining and find some new music. For that matter, you don't even have to get off your butt, just quit complaining and do something. If you ever feel really brave and energetic, go listen to some live music and buy the LP or CD from the artist while you’re there!
"There is a composer/conductor named Steve Hackman who is taking new music like Rap, Radiohead, Coldplay, and others and mixing it with the classics to form new hybrid versions of the older classic standards that might appeal to a wider modern audience. So using newer music to freshen up the old."
More like using old music to prop up the new.
I am sorry. There is lots of good music being produced these days, but it pales in comparison to the vast catalogue of every conceivable music genre produced in the 60's, 70's and 80's. There is also a complete lack of musicianship in modern music that drives me crazy. I may be simplifying things, but back in the day musicians got in to music to make music and to produce their own unique sound. These days there are far too many that make music to become rich and famous and have no problem copying whatever music is making money.
That's my old fart rant for today.
If you listen to youtube you'll find covers by 20 and 30 years olds of Blind Faith, Beatles, etc. Dark Side of the Moon was on the charts for 491 weeks. Cat Stevens came out of hibernation and issued a current version of a classic half a century old album.
Think any current group will break the record of Dark Side? How much current music will be around in half a century?
"keeping the airwaves to themselves". My posterior.
I find that a lot of young people are pretty genre agnostic. Back when I was a youngster--which was the prime demographic for buying records after the "youth explosion" in the later '60s (when record companies got on board after Monterrey Pop '67), there was much siloing and rigidity among my peers about "what was cool" and who to listen to. Today, I don't think it is strange for someone in their teens to shift from soul to heavy early psych to whatever.
I do think having Big Data as the gateway does change things in terms of curation. But, the reality as I knew it was, with rare exceptions, the stuff that the record companies pushed and marketed might sell for a while at the expense of other, now forgotten artists on their roster. Now, a fair number of these lesser known artists from the day can be accessed via the Internet (lesser in the sense of commercial impact, not necessarily artistry). Some of that stuff is old but it is good.
My experience as an audiophile also changed my listening habits and not always for the better- looking for sonic spectaculars rather than musically interesting or challenging stuff. And there was a similar "peer" influenced -"oh, you have to get this." Once I dropped out of the audiophile approved stuff, I started to have fun, and that's where the real learning began.
That's why, for me, I'm constantly challenging myself to find new to me, different music of a lot of different types. The genre and marketing classifications often don't hold up-- yeah, there is a difference between classical and rap, but in the pop/jazz/blues/rock arena, there's a lot of good stuff, along with psych folk and variations on all of the above. I mentioned a relatively new artist to @Tomic601 the other day-- Lady Blackbird, who isn't just channeling Nina Simone, but creating a blend of a lot of jazz, psych and blues that is well arranged, performed and produced.
Despite the availability of streaming services as a source for finding music, I still think the onus is on us to seek out and find "new to us" music, whether recently made or dug out from the vast archive of the past. In my case, a lot of those "finds" are older--is it because of my age and interest? Probably. My limited experience with Qobuz was that their catalog of deep groove jazz from the '70s is pretty shallow. I suspect other streaming services are similar.
At the end music like audio is not about "taste" but about education of our own listening habits...
I am not interested by people audio gear taste at all....Nor by their musical taste in itself but by the journey of people, their reason why they like such musician and such other one...
For the gear i dont give a damn..... 😁😊
There is too much basic good gear to chose only one....What i called embeddings working dimensions control in mechanical,electrical ans especially acoustical dimensions is the key...
The problem is how to use and implement the chosen gear in a room with acoustic....
And how to improve my inner working by music....
Sorry but you are already dead perhaps... I am not...I am 70 year old and i NEED new listening experiments...
Discoveries is my bread and wine....Enlarging my soul...
Try erhu chinese music it will help you coming out of your little planet...This music has a heart of his own...
I like new musical instrument...
Try the rudra veena one of the most sacred instrument in India...
Tastes exist, i have my own, but tastes are LIMITED and secondary why?
Because they can be enlarged by listening experiences save for crocodiles and other consumers where they stay fixed till death....
Try a new life....By a Persian master....Instead of a rockstar or instead of Mozart...It is a suggestion for the young soul in this old body....
Stumbled across this ... Breathless - By VeenaSrivani ... What !!! ;-)
For producer Rick Rubin, The Beatles' recorded achievements are akin to a miracle. The most popular bands in the world today typically produce an album every four years, Rubin told a 2009 radio audience. That's two albums as an eight-year cycle. "And think of the growth or change between those two albums. The idea that The Beatles made thirteen albums in seven years and went through that arc of change ... it can't be done. Truthfully, I think of it as proof of God, because it's beyond man's ability."
One thing I know that has changed over the last 30 years here in the US is the reduction of arts programs in public school education. The arts are always the first to get the axe in every school district across America. I have some familiarity with the issues since my wife is a theater director and fine arts director for a school district.
Parents and schools just don't push their kids into the arts (music, theater, art, etc.) like they used to do decades ago. The focus is STEM and athletics. Athletics for college scholarships and STEM for the big engineering payout (🤣). All the people I worked with during my record store days were all art students and almost everyone was in a band. Those stores gave those kids a place to hand out and talk music and who was playing with what group locally. That is gone.
I agree with you on that. Once I started using Qobuz and Tidal I began finding a lot of new music.
What is the FM station you speak of? Are they online? I’d be very interested.
Back in the day bands made their money selling records and did tours mostly to promote as tickets were about $10. Now most of the money is made doing shows and the cost is often about $100. The music industry is so different now it’s hard to compare. My roots are the old stuff but I get sick of it from time to time as I always have. I use SiriusXM and tidal to find new stuff acoustic and indie. I pick up new artists from live acts also like Tyler Bryant when he opened for Jeff Beck a couple years ago. Haven’t killed anyone yet though the article is about getting clicks.