Why Music Has Lost it’s Charms (Article)

I found this article while surfing the web tonight. If it’s already been posted I apologize.



I do not think the corporate aspect of music is that much different today. I just think that music is no longer a driving engine in culture. Which means less really talented people trying to make a career in music.


There is a way in which everything has sped up -- due to pressure for profit and the increasingly metrical way in which life is now timed to fit with an intricate webs of devices. There is an attention economy in place that was not there before. Things are different. Read this book to really understand why.

Everything feels rushed, including music, movies, meals, etc.

Thoreau complained about this and saw it as the zeitgeist (alas). Thoreau was right.

I find the rather myopic perspective quite comical:  the author acts as if music quality has only been dropping for the past generation due to some of his opinions of what good music is. . . why start in the 1960's; couldn't you say the same about music since the 1600's?  A longer perspective could rather argue that musical quality has been dropping for 300 years, and we have only been alive to see the past 50 years of deterioration. 

I tend to agree with article as it pertains to 'commercial' music, however, I assume much prejudice from certain cohorts. The music of our youth and adolescence is often perceived as best since it elicits fond memories of those discovery years. So, at least some of these judgments are clouded by bias.


In favor of yesterday's commercial music being superior to today's is the idea that the cohesiveness of society was much stronger then. In general terms, individual lives were far more similar in past years, Virtually everyone experienced the same culture since we were all informed by similar limited media.


I suppose much greater individual variability is a natural evolving phenomenon, but certainly the IT revolution accelerated that variability. Based on my observations, individual alienation,increased number of out groups, and generally smaller numbers of cohorts within highly variable groups is symptom of increased societal fragmentation. In fragmented societies, entire lives can be lived devoid of contact or empathy for other individual lives and groups.  Not difficult to understand some can't  appreciate music coming from those individuals and groups!


Today's music reflects that fragmentation, I have absolutely no sense of familiarity with many forms of music. I've not paid any attention to 'commercial' music for decades, I have no idea of any songs from Top 40, So, for me, today's  'commercial' music is rather alien, I haven't a clue as to the culture it represents. I can relate to 'commercial' music made from anytime in past and into the 80's, as it came from times when society was far more cohesive, and I have either lived in those times or can at least understand the group think of the eras I wasn't alive in.


As for more recent decade's music, I've continued to listen to music I can relate to. Its just not the 'commercial' music, I've discovered a great variety of genres that represent much smaller cohort groups. Popular and/or mass culture holds nothing for me, tons of out groups is where I find the culture I can relate to. May seem rather strange, but I can even relate to 'world' music far more than mass market American music.

Another old guy complaining that "todays music isn't as good as the music I grew up with".  Every generation says the same thing.  I think we all have a time in our lives, 18 - 30 (?) that becomes the music we love.  Because the boomer generation is so large, and wealthy, it stands to reason our music will rule the airwaves for some time to come.  At 67, I still try to listen to newer artist but must confess I find it very difficult to engage.  I turn on the local University station and find myslef wondering why anyone would listen to that crap.  Oh no, I've become my father.  

As Bob Seger would say, the music today just doesn't have the same old soul. 

Bob Seger did say it, and he said it about 70's music, as that's when he put that out. Was he talking about his own 'today's music', too, or did he just mean everybody else's?

I disagreed 100% with that sentiment then, and I still do today. Just goes to show that people have been complaining about 'today's music' for a lot of decades now. 

There is plenty of great new music being created constantly; just takes a little longer to find what you like. I agree that the business is totally different from what it was - I used to work in the retail and wholesale end of the biz from '74 - '84 - it was a lot more fun then, and the execs could often be as loony as the artists. 

Well the good news is with streaming now especially there is way more good music already out there and accessible to anyone who cares already than I will ever be able to listen to. It would take me 98 days and 19 hours to just listen to all 30 some thousand tracks in my digital library once. Then there is the 100s of albums on the shelf. Then there is qbuz Spotify, internet radio and such. I better get busy! Then, I might have time left to watch a movie or two.

Shazam,  streaming is the key, so much good music made in recent decades, just not in commercial releases. I'm sure at least 25% of listening 2010-now releases.

At  17  years i knew that rock was garbage and killing the Big Band that was at the height of American Music .

Music of romance died for "music"  of lust and dope which has done much evil 

to our society  , been there KNOW  that !

Meh? Music is so varied and diverse that if you’re glued into a specific genre it might be hard to find “new” bands that are becoming modern standards. But there is no shortage of great music being produced.

I discover a lot of music through NPR Tiny Desk, So Far sessions and KEXP. 
There is a bit of something for everyone there. That said this is my main issue with “audiophiles”. I love listening to stuff that makes me feel something. Something that is fun. With all due respect to the fantastic Miss Krall, it would bother me a bit if I never heard her stuff on a reference system ever again. 


Although this isn’t 96khz/24bit skookum-ness, I’d rather listen to these ladies on a reference system because it makes me feel something. There is plenty out there……





There is plenty of good new music out there, but I listen to my old favorites 90% of the time.

An angry old, likely white, guy kvetching about the music of today, how unenlighting. He lost me at "stupid liberal suburban parents".

It’s all Elvis’ fault for making the post WWII crew aware that in many cases they in fact had the blues. Actually maybe it was the Colonel’s fault for helping Elvis hit it big? Or maybe it was just inevitable and The Beatles just happened to be the catalyst to free music from its former bonds? The rest is history.

Some say that it's the music you hear in your teens that has the most lasting effect.

Iny case I was into the Beatles whilst everyone else was into disco and ELO.

Even if new music as an art form is reaching the end of new combinations/permutations of notes and chords, there's the still the bewildering back catalogue of stuff that has never been so readily available.

Just then you think you've heard it all, you'll hear something new for the first time. I only recently found this gem on a Peter Sellers LP of all things. I now hear it's all over social media.



You can go back and revisit music from any year since 1950 via Tick Tock Internet Radio stations. Very cool!



There are a few big problems with a lot of what currently passes for popular music.

1. Too many "musicians" prefer to copy, rather than create. The plagiarism laws that surrounded George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" have disappeared to the point that every "hook" or bass line is fair game.

2. Musicianship is almost nonexistent. When was the last time you heard a song with a great bass line or a killer guitar solo? One can argue its value, but remember when they used to do actual polls about who was the best guitarist or drummer? Whether it was Rolling Stone or Playboy. Today we would be polling to see with company makes the best drum machine.

3. Literacy has deteriorated to a point that many people do not possess a vocabulary that contains enough words to create engaging lyrics. "Like I met this girl and like I think she's hot and like I want to bounce her booty." 

4. Basic song structure consists of an intro, verse, pre-chorus, chorus and bridge. Song structure has now been supplanted by repetitive crap. Songs used to be like musical movies. Like poetry set to music. The Beatles "A Day in a Life". Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". Bob Dylan's "A Simple Twist of Fate". Al Stewart's "Road to Moscow". Songs should take you on an emotional or intellectual journey. 

5. Finally. Music has become all about how you look and act, instead of the quality of the music you make. I am old enough to remember a time when you could go weeks before you saw a picture of the band who's song you loved. Would Taylor Swift, Beyonce or Katy Perry be recording stars if they looked like Janis Joplin or Geddy Lee?  

Music of romance died for "music"  of lust and dope which has done much evil to our society  , been there KNOW  that !


Not LUST!  No.......  Cats and Dogs living together!


This concludes your anti puritanical laugh fest. We now return to your regular ranting.


P.s. ... We live longer, we have less violent crime, we steal less,  we have less war, and we are more altruistic as a society than those "romance" times.

I'm not sure exactly when that article was written and I'm not so sure it even matters. Not only does today's music suck, but today sucks. And yes, I've finally morphed into my father.

Personally, I couldn't care less if some muso is a virtuoso or not - all I care about is they play well enough to serve the song. If they can't write good songs, they're worthless to me. If I never hear another drum solo/bass solo again, I'll be very happy. And electronic instrumentation is every bit as valid as "real" instruments. 

And more lust and more dope, PLEASE!!!

For those who believe contemporary music and artists suck, give us a list of the all the artists who suck.

I never listened to popular music even young...

I listened mainly choral music spanning centuries in European tradition, and Bach andother composers.....

And there is indeed good popular music for sure i listened too .... I like Bob Dylan or Leonard Vohen or Leo Ferré for example till today ...I listen Elena Frolova nowadays for example....Pure poetry...

But commercial music had never any appeal for me.... I never own one single commercial album i can listen to 2 times...( i forgot the one i ever bought, it was the third purchase and i was 13 years old, it was so bad i never bought any other commercial album for all my life ) I bought one Rolling Stone album....I listen to it 2 or 3 times and i discard it... 😁😊

Then commercial music of today for me is pure noise it is worst than Rolling Stone for example....I know i look like a "snub"...I am not, music for me is and has been always a spiritual or poetical event... If not, it is animal disturbing noise for me sorry...

I listen nowadays great actual musicians in jazz and classical, in India or Persia... And some others...

Then music has not lost his charms for me at all...

Commercial music had lost it for me long ago....

Who who read a bad novel Harlequin instead of Charles Dickens or Mark Twain?

And try Dostoievsky and call it a day.... 😁😊


Nevermind tastes, crocodiles had theirs too , music is an education first not a taste....

We take education to learn and develop  "new" tastes.... If not like crocodile we will stay with rotten corpses, they are meattier...  😁😊


Operas and classical was the commercial music of it’s time.

Not true...

Projecting our actual economical categories on the past is not very useful...

First Vivaldi, Haendel and Bach were paid by some Religious or Noble elites not by a general popular market in the modern sense at all...

Second put the word "popular" instead of "commercial" word if you want to be truthful ... Why?

Because the tradition was not about economical consumerism but about learning cultural and spiritual activities, religious or secular, but NEVER based on pure mercantilism but on transmission of cultural values mainly....

Third, music was mainly a spiritual event paid by church for centuries...And with no recording, playing musicians were mostly artists or learning families playings, nothing commercial ...

But you can abuse the word and concept and claim that standing in a hall after buying a ticket to listen Liszt was a "commercial" event...But it will be completely beside the point of whatmusic was meaning at this modern time period...

Commercial music is an invention of this last industrial century mainly....

Then Operas and classical was the popular music of it’s time...Not the "commercial" affair it is today....

And a commercial publicity for an opera in Italy in the 19 century, has not much to do with consumerism marketing strategies of today....Puccini was popular yes, but not a consumers objetc, he was idolized because he was a true artist....This is not commerce, even if there is commercial aspect, the singers must be paid etc, this is culture event first and last ....

Modern pop industry can even create temporary idols who dont have almost no talent at all , one after the others...I will not name one...But they all know how to walk and dance for sure... They are sold with visuals...


I feel the current model potentially can yield a further “democratization” of music commerce.  I’m not sad to see the old model (get signed by a major label, hopefully become famous) die.  The improvement to the current model would be to more fairly compensate the artists that are on streaming platforms.

The doom-and-gloom take is more applicable to film, in my opinion.  It’s easier for artists to get their music “out there” these days.  Artists in film seem to be toast.  No one wants to fund interesting films.  There’s no corollary to modern music distribution in modern film that I can see.  Unless you are lucky to live somewhere where you can hound art house theaters or have access to modern independent films, you’re stuck with the contemporary drivel that passes for cinema.

They made music because they were paid to whether by church or as often nobility. For money, the definition of commercial. No one else could afford such frivolities to commission work. However, it was also consumed by the masses .. so popular and commercial though of what competition I can't speak. 

They made music because they were paid to whether by church or as often nobility. For money, the definition of commercial. No one else could afford such frivolities to commission work. However, it was also consumed by the masses .. so popular and commercial though of what competition I can’t speak.

You are beside the main point...

There ALWAYS existed commercial aspect to any activities in all centuries..It is a common place fact...

But my point was that commercial music consumerism is a late affair... It is born AFTER playback system of Charles Cros and Edison...

Popular music of the past is not commercial music in the modern sense of the word...

Popular dont equal commercial in music culture....

In the past music was an education toward spirit and religious matter or toward beauty and superior values... This word "beauty" is cancelled today....

This dont exist no more in commercial music...

Nowadays Bob Dylan is a popular poet for example not a commercial object first and last...

If you say to Dylan that he is  merely a commercial product , he will be insulted...

If you say that to some commercial artists they will be glad and will try to improve their packaging and they will ask you how to do it better....


Then saying that Vivaldi one hundred operas were "commercial" music is not true...

Popular yes... Commercial not....We cannot read the past projecting onto it retrospectively our own categories sorry...Historians wrote entire  books about this error only....




Forrest for the trees.

Commerical music now and then ... Has always been commercial (sellable) because it was what people wanted to listen to of what was available.

@tylermunns  Couldn't agree more! I've given up on major film releases. The best movies are now on various streaming services in the form of the mini series, you get some damn character development. I much prefer the classic movies/film on TCM, I guess people don't care about story lines anymore, action and escape from reality is what they seek. I don't care about the tenth remake of some lame movie which seems to be profit model for theatrical releases these days.


Contemporary music nothing like this, major studios don't control the music business like they did back in the bad old days. There is so much obscure never heard of artists out there via streaming services, how one couldn't find some wonderful music is beyond me

Commerical music now and then ... Has always been commercial (sellable) because it was what people wanted to listen to of what was available.

For sure you can repeat fact that are not even wrong... And call that the truth...

Or you can try to understand what i spoke about....

When Josquin Des Prez was dead, all Europe was sad....Not because they lost a commercial artist.... Guess why they were sad?

When Scriabin died in Russia it was the same lost all across Russia...

it was the lost of a popular artist idolized for his non economical value...

But you can call the deal with the devil also a "commercial" affair because the soul is sellable...A popular deal in some circle dont make it a commercial affair though ...

Anyway the devil dont consumate souls , he is very picky... Very educated ...He choose...

By definition,commercial culture is the death of culture... Consumerism created by Freud nephew is destruction of human soul and spirit...It was anticipated by Bernard Mandeville, before Marx and Freud , "the master of us all" said the austrian economist Hayek ...

Unlike the WEF said, conditioning of mind by consumerism is not education...

Commercial music is not first and last thought about to be a musical fact and to be produced like one ....It is something created to be sell...It is not created to be "art"....

It is the reason why i distinguish popular music and commercial music...It is not a clear cut absolute distinction for sure but this dont invalidate my point... Bob Dylan is a popular true artist.... Not primarily a commercial product...


I couldn't agree more. I've always loved CCR, Chicago, B,S&T etc.

Now it's time to accept those days are well and truly behind us. To be honest they are dead and gone; never to return. In part you can blame the proliferation of the so called Talent shows; Talent-less might be more appropriate.

There's still excellent music being recorded, but not what might be classified as popular.

@sns Yeah, I agree.  The access we have today to music from any era is amazing.  It’s awesome.  I wish I had it in my 20s.

I agree with those that find the popular mode of modern music consumption unceremonious and utilitarian, just an endless, homogeneous matrix of files.

However, no one twists our arm to only stream and only listen to digital files.  One can still listen to music in any format.  I would just like to see something where this more immediate, fluid music commerce of today could also provide artists with better pay!

There is an incredible variety of great music still being created all the time. One just has to keep an open mind and be curious and willing to put the time in to search it out. I find great new music literally almost every day. I also don’t limit myself to a narrow scope of genres. For me there is truly only two types of music - good and bad. I just saw Damien Jurado (incredible acoustic show in a small converted church in Fayetteville, AR), saw Jimmy Buffet in Rogers, AR recently, I’m seeing Ray Wylie Hubbard at Cains Ballroom in Tulsa this Friday, Kaleo in Tulsa soon, followed by Marty Stuart and Junior Brown in Eureka Springs, then War on Drugs again here in Bentonville, followed by Dave Mason & Saucerful of Secrets at The Tulsa Theater in October. May even see Boz Scaggs in VA in early August. I’m all over the place in terms of genres because there is great music to be found all over the map. There are older musicians in the concert mix for me currently, but it’s not always this way for me. I’m just not interested in the mainstream corporate music, but that’s not a new phenomenon. There will always be the Budweiser of music playing in arenas and stadium with crappy acoustics (although I have to say I enjoyed Garth Brooks at Razorback Stadium earlier this year). Anyone that says there is no good music any more isn’t making the effort.


"You haven't become your father"

I am 67 as well and when I was in my teens, I not only listened to popular music, but also to old blues guys like Howlin' Wolf, Otis Spann and John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers. I listened to the Mills Brothers, Al Jolson and Patsy Cline.

You know why I listened to them. Because they were great artists and what made them popular in their day, still resonated with me. Good music lasts.

Why are there so many "oldies" stations these days? Because the 60's and 70's were the golden age of popular music. It's not nostalgia, it's that the music was just that great.



@tylermunns While I understand the attachment to physical media, I have well over 3500 vinyl. Isn't the true intrinsic value of recordings the music itself?


As far as the business model of streaming, don't blame it on streaming, nothing inherent to streaming that makes it unfair to artist's renumeration. Blame this on a society/culture that doesn't value artists in general, mass taste means only a few artist reap vast majority of rewards, the rest are lucky to make a living salary or do it expecting little or no income.


For those who think the golden age of music all in the past, music business models existent in those days were far worse for vast majority of artists. Extremely limited number of labels controlled entire music business, percentage of artists getting studio time for recording miniscule. I often think about how many great artists were never recorded, what a waste. Funny how people often remember things with rose colored glasses.

He's wrong, same old garbage that was said about music in the 1920's, 1940's and then the 50's , 60's , 60's , 70's etc. And as for RAP, I heard the same complaints about Bob Dylan lyrics back int he 70's, the older folks thought he was deranged talking about laying across my big brass bed (Sex!), act just like a little girl (underage sex!), blowing in the wind (drugs of course!), Weathermen, a name taken later by a terrorist group (See! He wants to kill cops!), crazy and disgusting music, never last they said.....

My older sister and brother-in-law hate any music that isn't 1950's type rock and roll. Which means many of the artists this author points out in the article that he says are great and classic, they can't stand listening to and think of it as garbage. It's tan opinion not fact. So just because he doesn't like Rap, it's not good music. That's an opinion, not fact. Hell, Bach would have hated Tchaikovsky. My Dad was in WWII listening to 40's music and couldn't stand 1950's or later music. And made fun of music from the 1920's as "My Dad's type of music. Horrible." 

What will be classic and still listened to in 50, 100, 500 years? Who knows. Especially this guy. '

Because you may not like what some music says or is about, or understand what it's actually trying to say, doesn't make it bad, it means you don't like it, Which is fine.  

Which is why I listen to every type of music and consider value in all of it. I obviously have favorites and ones I don't listen to often, but I'll try and understand any music. And I'll try more then once also. 


(...rather than waste space:  The Hives, Hate to Say I Told You So)

@mahgister ...If ever in your company, I will happily listen to your setup and your music.  Even if it happens to be here than there....

Just made a typo, 'hear' for 'here'....interesting, that... ;)

Classical forms were supported by the 1%'ers of those times and places.
They were also subject to rude crowds and fistfights post-debut....
Pardon if I don't see much differences, other than the centuries between. 😏

I listen to what sounds good to me, and repeat and mark what and where it is.

Sofar reminds me of the Roches...who reminded me of the Andrews Sisters, the Everly Bros., and other harmonic groups even back into classics...

Big Band I grew up to, along with polkas (which remind me of mariachi ), the crooners Crosby, Sinatra, Spike Jones....

I found the 'bubble gum music' of the white guys kept me initially from the Beatles...Fortunately.  The later stuff had some intelligence behind it... ;)

Jazz for awhile....listened to the LA stations, too early to own my own at the time.
A good move, overall.  Most, if not nearly all, were terrible to listen to then.

That changed, didn't it...the late 60's > 90's gear was a blizzard of available means to make music sound 'real'...more or less, just like now.


Currently: Classics thru NOW.

EDM, Trance, Chemical Bros.(The Test), Prodigy (Narayan), Sound Cloud, Spotify, and billiard balling through YT following my eyes for the ears.

Hi, @mapman ....Down with you on it....following my arc... ;)


It's either where music goes, or it's back to the logs 'n rocks by the fire... *L* ;)



This is relative recent and nice to my ears....


...but nice to work to as well.

My Walsh eat this up with room for dessert.... ;)

A good week to y’all, J

A long time ago, music was very simple; then it became more complex (and therefore more expressive). Now it’s become less expressive again, which some interpret as "it sucks."

Up until the year 1000 AD music was only played with the seven natural notes (e.g., the white keys on a piano). The Bb note was "discovered" in 1025 AD in Italy. By 1450 AD, our 12 note scale was fully available on a piano keyboard and in some church organs. 7 white keys and 5 black keys that could be sharps or flats depending on the song’s musical key. By 1700-ish, Bach was composing all sorts of inventive things in new keys, including resolved dissonant suspensions. Stravinsky and others extended this to use dissonance without resolution. Erik Satie wrote a whole song composed of tritones ("the devil’s interval"). Each generation pushed the envelop.

The music of the 1920’s-1940’s used resolved dissonance, diminished chords to link key changes, etc. Think of anything by Hoagy Carmichael, like "Georgia on My Mind." Jazz just mixed all of this with the blues of Black Americans (which came from African microtonal music, which is why trills are used on the piano to approximate these microtones). Early rock and roll simplified things again, mostly to just three chords. It was considered by many derivative and trite compared to big band music, classical or jazz, but by the 1960’s (Beach Boys "Warmth of the Sun", Beatles "Because") musicians were introducing augmented and diminished chords, and changing keys. Jazz got experimental (Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck), rock got experimental (Yes, ELP); jazz-rock got experimental (Frank Zappa). All this exention of music was "inspired" more than "copied blatantly" (some things crossed the line, like "Here Comes the Sun" vs. "He’s So Fine", even if subconsciously).

There are a number folk-rock songs based on classical songes ("Blackbird" is based on Johann Sebastian Bach’s "Bourrée in E minor", Paul Simon’s "American Tune" based on Christian passion hymm "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded".)

Rap began in the 1970’s and the Sugar Hill Gang got the first #1 single ("Rapper’s Delight") in the genre in 1979. A lot of that music uses samples, which changed what it meant to copy someone’s song. Nowadays, many pop songs are assembled rather than composed. Songs like "Fantasy" by Mariah Carey are just a melody line added to a sample of the Tom Tom Club’s "Genius of Love". The "original" songs of the modern pop genre don’t have more than 3, or at most 4 chords in a song. There’s no tension, no resolution; just the same hook repeating throught the song... Drum samples ensure there is no variation in the beat, also contributing to the monotony.

The ears of 50 and 60-year olds remember that "golden age of rock" where songs were much richer from chord / key change perspective, or jazz. They appreciate that Guitar George knows all the chords. But to hear those strange chords, strange time signatures, etc., you have to go off the beaten track of listening. There are gems to be found, but they’re not in the industry’s factory of 3-note songs, samples, and other rubbish. Luckily, streaming provides access to a good fraction of those people who are just trying to make good music, rather than "be famous."

With so much music out there, I listen to what I like, and I always try to find time to understand some music that’s outside my realm of experience. Sometimes I like the new stuff... a lot of times, I don't...

I’ve been involved in music for many decades as a pro musician and live sound mixer and so much of that article (and the responses here) is such nonsense it makes my head spin. By the way, "commercial" music has been around since way before recorded music in the form of sheet music for the millions of pianos out there. Look it up...and these days you can find singer-songwriters in "folkie" clubs who are astonishingly good and will not likely ever be as famous as Beiber but still get out there, the jazz world that seemingly few around here care about is utterly teeming with brilliant musicians, etc. Pop music has always sucked with a few exceptions, but so what? I listen to exactly zero pop music due to personal taste, and it’s really easy to ignore it these days...my collection of stuff, great streaming services...man...get over it.

Music is fine and more than enough, you choose the genre and era. Whatever pleases you.

What changes is style, labels, musicians, production, media, management.

Still love the music i grew up but anything new is refreshing. Music has not lost its charm but the myths around it (are we growing older?).

The article author is described above as 'myopic'.

That's about right.

All he is saying is that he doesn't 'get' current music.  Nor do I, but that's no reason for spilling ink.  Fact is that current music appears to be just as popular as old music.  The author's opinion is his opinion and I for one found reading his bigoted article a waste of time.

Roll over Beethoven, as has been said.

I think we have heard this lament time and time again, as others have said.

I’m a vinyl guy, but couldn’t live without my Tidal-Roon combination that exposes me to new music daily. There is a constant wave of great new music coming out consistently, and it isn’t on major labels. 

Artists are finding ways to get music into our hands. Smaller labels are promoting newer bands.  Bands themselves have vehicles to get their music into our hands.

There is so much incredible music out there, if only I had the time to listen to it all.

Hard to face the fact the type of music we grew up with and love is not the most popular music any more. That does not mean that new music in that genre is no longer created, it just is not the dominant mainstream any more. If you grew up and loved rock, you should at least be able to appreciate the likes of Twenty One Pilots, One Republic, even Imagine Dragons.

People forget that the Beatles came on the scene only 15 year after the release of the LP. Having recorded music in the home was not even common place till well into the 50's.

Great thread!

I think popular music suffers today and has for about 20 years, give or take. One of the problems is barriers to entry. Every artist can make their own album on a laptop. With the increase in artists, it’s harder to find the musical standouts. In the 1930s through 1970s, for instance, the cream easily rose to the top.

Lack of physical media doesn’t help. On the one hand, it’s great to stream and have access to nearly everything. On the other hand, young folks don’t have as many memories about music partly due to quality and the diminishing importance of music in their lives, and partly due to the fact that they listen not even on Spotify/Tidal, etc., but on Youtube. My daughter and her buddies do this. Such a far cry from my collection of 45s, making mix tapes, and collecting albums.

Public taste has changed too. While their are certainly tons of live shows/events, in the "old days" people used to go out to hear music frequently. People used to listen to music more on a regular basis. There was no Netflix, Amazon Prime, binge TV watching, on demand, etc. Who remembers having 3-4 VHF channels and a couple of UHF?

On average, I personally believe people just don’t care or value music in the same way they did 40+ years ago.

What’s interesting to me is that the ability of those who play instruments has increased. I’m leaving creativity aside. Just physical ability. There are so many exceptionally skilled instrumentalists out there. I have personally met a bunch. Most of these folks though aren’t on the radio or playing key roles in major bands.

While I generally agree that the more things change, the more they stay the same, I do think we are in a different popular music landscape than we saw in the 20th century.

Sometimes when I hear someone or a group who I think is pretty talented and has something musical going on I think, Man, I wish T Bone Burnette would produce your next album.

Sorry for the rambling...

Thanks for your always kind words...

Yes there is parallels between popular music now and then...

But "commercial" music exist only with Edison invention...

And popular crowds reaction deont change with time, what changed for the worst in " commercial music" is the diffrence between a "product" to sell, the performer itself, and the artist status and creative talent...

For sure art and beauty is participated by a minority in every ciltures at any times...

But "commercial" music is recent... And most of the time "ugly"...And i speak about commercial music here being ugly,  not popular music... Bob Dylan is a poet and great musician ....So are many others popular artists...A popular artist can be and is also a commercial produt for sure, but not all commercial products are real creative artists...



@mahgister ...If ever in your company, I will happily listen to your setup and your music. Even if it happens to be here than there....Just made a typo, ’hear’ for ’here’....interesting, that... ;) Classical forms were supported by the 1%’ers of those times and places.
They were also subject to rude crowds and fistfights post-debut....
Pardon if I don’t see much differences, other than the centuries between. 😏



"There is an incredible variety of great music still being created all the time. One just has to keep an open mind and be curious and willing to put the time in to search it out." 

The fact that we have to search it out rather than have it presented to us on the radio or some other medium is the problem in a nutshell. It's the people who are choosing what to present to us on the radio or some other medium who are the problem because they aren't willing to expand their searches and fall back on the simplistic, routine, and boring garbage that makes it onto the radio today. I have no problem saying there is likely great music being created today. I also have no problem saying that most of what makes it onto the radio or onto other media today is drivel.

I have no problem saying there is likely great music being created today. I also have no problem saying that most of what makes it onto the radio or onto other media today is drivel.

Great post!

It is this radio or other media most of the times crap i called "commercial" music...

Very good  popular music  all across the world is unknown in traditional media...

Artists are boycotted  .... They are not enough usable "commercial" products..

There is more artist creators in music today than ever, but corporations rules not art...

They made music because they were paid to whether by church or as often nobility. For money, the definition of commercial. No one else could afford such frivolities to commission work. However, it was also consumed by the masses .. so popular and commercial though of what competition I can't speak. 

Best not to post about things you apparently know next to nothing.  Ever heard of patronage and the patron system?  Patronage isn't commerce or commercialism, nothing close.  And to say music for the courts of the nobility was consumed by the masses is so self-evidently wrong it isn't even funny.