As the cogs of the music world continue to grind and propel the industry forward, digital is the name of the game. Revenue streams are increasing for digital music, $4.6 billion in 2011 to be exact. Digital music compromises 29% of record companies global revenue streams. There are over 400 licensed digital music services worldwide.
Beyond the digital revolution in the music industry, there is a secondary digital revolution that directly affects the way music is being created. Artists such as Bassnectar create music that is entirely digital and DJ’s such as David Guetta are now performing at the Grammys. This paramount shift in creating music has some people asking what’s happened to music since the early 60’s? This was the focus of the panel at University of Colorado’s panel entitled Beatles to Bassnectar: The (De)evolution of Music
Here are my thoughts on the article:
I really wish I was back home to attend this panel, seems very intriguing!
Perhaps the more substantial question that should be asked is, how has popular music evolved in relation to cultural change?
Lets face it, anything in the realm of Bassnectar to Rihanna can be considered pop music these days. Then again, anything from the Beatles to Led Zepplin was considered pop music 40 years ago. The most important thing people sometimes forget is that music evolves with culture, and on top of that it constantly adapts over time. You rarely see art, perhaps only immediately, that attempts the same things previous artists have already explored. Creativity constantly seeks to be innovative, which is why we haven’t had a string of bands that sound like Led Zepplin for the past 40 years dominating the charts. When you look at how culture influences music, it is impossible to imagine a band like the Beatles gaining popularity organically in today’s culture. I personally feel it is unfair to even compare Bassnectar to The Beatles.
Each generation gives rise to a slew of artists and music that finds its way into the mainstream consciousness and inevitably keeps their parents at bay with looks of disgust proclaiming how today’s music sounds like shit. Any parent of our generation crying foul at digitally created music has quickly forgotten how their parents thought the same of rock-n-roll 35 years ago. Additionally, we will most likely find ourselves growing into that role in the next 20 years as our kids reach the teenage years. I think we learn much more asking why that music rose to the top during that particular period, than we do asking how has music evolved from this point here to this other point over here?
Sources: IFPI 2011 Digital Music Report