Moving into the 21st century, music has experienced a tremendous amount of change in such a short period of time. Change has been apparent, not only in sound and style, but also in the distribution and availability by which listeners today can acquire music. Youtube, SoundCloud, Spotify and Apple Music are just a few of the platforms one can use to listen to music at almost no cost, and this possibility for people changes the way we listen and attain preferences for songs and artists.
When talking to others about music today, you will more than likely hear individuals constantly making connections between artists in their style and songs. Everyday people critique artists like, “Drake’s new song is garbage. He should have listened to X, Y or Z and what they did.” People today are obsessed with this idea and the tendency to want songs to sound similar to others. This trend only surfaced within the last decade though, because of the ease at which we now obtain music. With virtually everything at one’s fingertips, our musical vocabulary, and the way we respond to the art has expanded to a point both inherently good and bad.
Primarily, many would state that the digital production of music is good for society. One can now listen to any band or production –– even some songs over a hundred years old –– almost anywhere and at any time, and of course, the acquisition of art is always great. On the other hand, the ease at which we obtain this art has also caused music to become less unique and individual.
Because of platforms like Youtube and the ability to listen to millions of songs easily, people are responding to music in a way that takes away from newness and variety. This practice has been a centuries-old mindset. Nobody wants the new, because what’s classic is so great. But consider how many videos are uploaded today with cover songs, original songs and how many get overlooked because people would rather focus on one sound fitting to genre.
What is new music? If everyone has a chance to share their music, is it new because we haven’t heard it, or is it new because someone else wrote it?
Being different in art is great, and society needs to be conscious of how they are responding to new music through such a new medium. We need to focus on what defines new and how we are receiving it, if at all.