A New Generation of Music

In today’s generation, modern artists don’t have the same musical talent as previous generations artists. The change in society accounts for many of the changes in the music industry.

"JImi Hendrix Burns his Guitar" by JIm Marshall

“JImi Hendrix Burns his Guitar” by JIm Marshall

In the iconic photo above Hendrix Burns his Guitar, taken by Jim Marshall, it is evident how unique someone like Jimi Hendrix was. Jimi Hendrix and many other artists embodied being different and unique. People strived to be independent in their public image, and it translated into their music. Specifically, Jimi Hendrix had a unique and original style of music unlike any other artist. The ability for artists to be individual allowed for some of the most creative, unique and most popular music.

The 1960’s is a generation marked by the Vietnam War and the explosion of Rock and Roll music, providing some of the best music. Rock music embodied the culture of the era, expressing the discontent and rebellion of the youth, and the vast displeasure and American aggression of the Vietnam War. In the article, The Vietnam Conflict: The Rock ‘n’ Roll War, by Paola Sarappa, she expresses that “the rhythms, raw energy, and screaming guitars of rock music perfectly reflected the chaos and confusion of the jungle warfare and fire fight battles” (Sarrapa). Rock music served a purpose aside from entertainment, it was to spark change in the minds of the people and the government.

Artists are no longer relating to the public, but singing about materialistic goods, sex, and crime. Over the generations, Rock music has drastically changed and evolved, eventually turning into Hip-Hop, leading to  Today’s music doesn’t root from the same inspiration that made the 1960’s so musical. The majority of popular artists and lyrics ignore the global events occurring that are shaping our society.

So many world and influential events appear to be ignored by the music industry. Events like the War on Terror, Gay Rights movement, and the tragedies in the Middle East are prominent in our daily lives, yet rarely mentioned in songs. Today’s music is no longer moving and inspiring people. However, much of today’s music is affected by today’s uninformed, anti-news culture is part of the cause to the change of music. People no longer want to hear controversial topics in song, rather search for a more simplistic song.

Artists act more self absorbed and are therefore no longer appealing to the the people by singing about relatable topics. Artists are more outright singing about sex and drugs while objectifying women. According to Tori Ackerman, in the article Popular Song Lyrics Contain Sex, Alcohol and no Regrets, “Studies have shown that references to sex, drugs and alcohol are… becoming more blatant” Furthermore, “references to sexual activity in lyrics are common, and degrading sexual references are more prevalent than non-degrading sexual references” (Ackerman). Many songs have gotten sexually aggressive and are unrelatable to the mass public.

Many current artists, specifically in Hip-Hop, objectify women and sing about drugs. Male artist continue to degrade women by implying women are objects of sex. There are several of female artists who commit to the feminine stereotypes. These artists continue to sex themselves up in order to appeal to the male audience in hopes of selling albums. There is a lack of confidence evident in these artists actions, look and the way they dress.

Advancements in technology have allowed for more diverse genres of music, but it has also allowed artists to rely on special effects to make their sound attractive. Many artists depend on the technology available in recording studios make unappealing sound into popular music. Certain technology effects can lead to new and creative style of music, however many artists rely on Auto-Tuning to enhance the overall vocal quality. Anthony Rocha, in his article How Auto-Tune Is Destroying the Music Business, states that “too many artists today have overused Auto-Tune” (Rocha). Some artists are speaking out of the overuse and abuse of Auto-Tuning, but there are many more who depend on technology to make their music appealing.

Technology has allowed artists to use synthetic beats instead of instruments. There is a wider range of music that can be created with the advancements in technology, but it carries similar negative effects of Auto-Tuning vocals. The synthetic beats make the music sound fake and unnatural. The use of the electronic beats is typically overused and is apparent in many new songs. Many artists rely on the synthetic beats to make music. The song Evolution of Get Lucky by PV NOVA, illustrates change in music over each decade and expresses how technology is becoming more relevant than artists ability to sing and make music. Songs are becoming more instrumental, and electronic with more synthetic beats leading to synthetic sounding music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3r3BOZ6QQtU

A large portion of new songs are using simple and generic sounds to appeal to a more simplistic audience. According to the Telegraph article, Modern Music Really Does Sound the Same, by Nick Collins, “the variety of chords, melodies and types of sound being used by musicians has become ever smaller” (Collins). Songs of this generation lack ingenuity and creativity, with more artist using basic beats. Over the last few years, there has become a large diversity of genres, with an immersion of Techno, Dance, Country and other genres. However, due to the change in the music industry, there is less variety in each genre.

Over time, popular choice for art and music has evolved over time to fit the current generation. It is apparent that each decade, music slightly evolves and has eventually led to what people listen to today. Over the years, technology has changed the mode of listening to music and changed music itself. While it is evident that technology has changed music drastically and not always for the best, it has also is responsible for the best music. Technology is responsible for instruments like the electric guitar, keyboard and synthesizer. However, it is evident that technology in music has been abused in previous generations and especially today.

Works Cited

Ackerman, Tori. “Popular Song Lyrics Contain Sex, Alcohol and No Regrets.” DeseretNews.com. N.p., 5 Apr. 2012. Web. 12 Nov. 2013. <http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865553547/Popular-song-lyrics-contain-sex-alcohol-and-no-regrets.html?pg=all>.

Ackerman, T. (2005, March 12). Popular song lyrics contain sex, alcohol and no regrets. DeseretNews.com. Retrieved November 29, 2013

<http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865553547/Popular-song-lyrics-contain-sex-alcohol-and-no-regrets.html?pg=all>.

Collins, Nick. “Modern Music Really Does Sound the Same.” The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 26 July 2012. Web. 12 Nov. 2013. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/9430338/Modern-music-really-does-sound-the-same.html>.

Collins, N. (2012, July 26). Modern music really does sound the same. The Telegraph. Retrieved December 1, 2013, <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/9430338/Modern-music-really-does-sound-the-same.html>.

Rocha, Anthony. “How Auto-Tune Is Destroying the Music Business.” The Ωmega :. N.p., 5 Nov. 2011. Web. 12 Nov. 2013. <http://www.oratoryprepomega.org/2011/11/05/how-auto-tune-is-destroying-the-music-business/>.

Rocha, A. (2011, November 5). How Auto-Tune Is Destroying the Music Business. The Omega. Retrieved December 1, 2013, http://www.oratoryprepomega.org/2011/11/05/how-auto-tune-is-destroying-the-music-business/

Sarappa, Paola. “Ramble On.” Ramble On. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2013. <http://paolasarappa.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/the-vietnam-conflict-the-rock-‘n’-roll-war/>.

Sarappa, P. (n.d.). Ramble On. Ramble On. Retrieved December 1, 2013, from http://paolasarappa.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/the-vietnam-conflict-the-rock-‘n’-roll-war/

Marshall, Jim. Hendrix Burns his Guitar. March 31, 1967. Photograph. London, Astoria.

<http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2010/06/05/hendrix-burns-his-guitar-jim-marshall/>.

Marshall, Jim. 1967. Hendrix Burns his Guitar. (Photograph)

http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2010/06/05/hendrix-burns-his-guitar-jim-marshall/

PV NOVA. Evolution of Get Lucky. 2013. MP3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3r3BOZ6QQtU

Rodgers, Nile. (2013). Evolution of get lucky,  PV NOVA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3r3BOZ6QQtU

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