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The other day I was listening to an album of "British Invasion" hits while taking a walk. They sounded quaint and ephemeral, existing only in that era. If any of those groups never existed but appeared today, I think they would have zero impact.

Will people listen to Jimi Hendrix 50 years from now? Probably not. I think he was one of the most amazing guitarists of all time, but he was of that time. No one will listen to Genesis or Yes. The Beatles? Maybe, from an historical perspective. But Mountain, Zappa, the Doobie Brothers, Michael Jackson, Adele, James Taylor...nope. And selling a zillion albums won't help either. Consider Alanis Morissette, Guns 'n Roses, Britney Spears, Meat Loaf, or Steve Miller...all those artists had albums that were among the 35 best-selling albums of all time.

Bob Dylan just sold his back catalog for huge bucks. I predict within 10 years, we'll be hearing "Grandpa, turn that off! Jeez, his lyrics sound like he cut and pasted random words from a dictionary...and did people seriously consider him a singer?"

I have a theory that music lasts only as long as the people who listened to it at the time are still alive. Think about it...when was the last time you listened to Chick Webb, Benny Goodman, Cab Calloway, Artie Shaw, or Fats Waller - all huge artists from the 1930s (and some even had careers that persisted well into the 40s)? What about Willy "the Lion" Smith, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Bix Beiderbecke, Eddie Lang, or Jack Teagarden, who ruled the world of music in the 20s? At the time, they were superstars.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't find this depressing. In fact, quite the opposite! It means we're free to do anything we want, because we will have no long-term impact. We can embrace our time, do what we want, and never have to worry about making a grand statement.

Already, Elvis Presley and the artists of the 50s are fading in the rear-view mirror. The 60s are next. There are still people alive who grew up with 70s music, so Journey can still sell tickets. But when those people are gone, 70s music will be gone as well.

It's kind of liberating, actually smile Just one more reason to live for today.

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Grains of sand on a huge beach, the tide coming in and going out.

In many ways, music has never been more democratized than now, we can buy Squier and other knockoff guitars (including acoustic instruments) that play and sound great. With MIDI, a massive library of unimaginable sounds can be conjured with a cheap Billy G Box, a 25 note MIDI controller and a few cheap plugins. There are lots of not so great cheap mics but quite a few very good ones and used prices have never been better.

You want the world to have access to your music - the interwebz beckons.

Music is in the hands of the people at a level that has never existed before. And you can't name culture or time period that we have any record of that did not have music. Humans ARE music, in a profound way.

There are certainly worse things than being inundated by music to the point that it becomes of the moment, that moment is now and when it's gone, it's gone in the air.
Bye Bye, Miss American Pie...

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The question is not whether any of Today's music will be heard in a hundred years' time; the question is WHICH of Today's music will be heard in a hundred years' time.

We can assume The Beatles will be a permanent mark, Elvis, Zep, Floyd, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Bowie, Zappa — but who's to say what will last of today?

A pretty good indicator is likely a long-lived career. So Gaga is a good bet. Some of the hip-hop (which I know far too little about). Maybe Beck.

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Originally Posted by analogika
The question is not whether any of Today's music will be heard in a hundred years' time; the question is WHICH of Today's music will be heard in a hundred years' time.

We can assume The Beatles will be a permanent mark, Elvis, Zep, Floyd, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Bowie, Zappa — but who's to say what will last of today?

I'm really not sure if any of the ones you mentioned will be listened to 100 years from now, given that I don't think very many people are listening to the superstars I listed from the 20s and 30s smile

I guess there's always a chance that some of the music being made today will have the same status as classical music does now, but that's hard to say. Perhaps one reason why classical music continues to be heard is that it was traditionally part of music education to teach harmony, counterpoint, orchestration, etc., which kept it alive. I'm not sure how many Elvis Presley records are going to be analyzed in the same way...but you never know. For example, I think one reason why Buddy Holly has remained semi-well-known is because so many people have covered his songs, which gives them new life. And maybe the Beatles will be studied in the future, because there's a lot to chew on with their songwriting.

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Originally Posted by Anderton
For example, I think one reason why Buddy Holly has remained semi-well-known is because so many people have covered his songs, which gives them new life.

We recently visited the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock when we took our vacation trip to Texas late Dec/early Jan. I believe it was a Tuesday and we were lucky to have the place to ourselves. I also finally made it to the Surf Ballroom which is a lot closer for me. That's all 100% history for me because he died before I was born.

On another note we went to see a Buddy Holly/Roy Orbison hologram show, may have been in '19. It was actually really good with a great production and excellent backup musicians.

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Robert Johnson's music was forgotten for decades until Clapton and the Rolling Stones cited him as a major influence.
Scott Joplin's ragtime music was forgotten for decades until Marvin Hamlisch's work on The Sting made it popular again..
JS Bach's music was not known to the public for decades until Mendelssohn's performance renewed interest.

If you asked back then if their music would last, frankly that was unpredictable. Most composers who are famous today did not find their legacy until well after their deaths.

I keep an open mind on music and enjoy many genres. But I grow tired of formulaic music designed to fit the three minute radio format with little more than three chords and the standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-glorified-chorus then interrupted by ads. Even smooth jazz musicians are guilty of formulaic songs. I'm forever seeking music that is not played on broadcast radio or TV. I do that through peer recommendations or from searching influences cited by artists. So yes I do listen to music of the 1930s to 1950s like Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, The Carter Family, and there's even some old blues "race records" (that's what it was called back then, I don't endorse that label so spare me the racist demonizing) back in the 1930s that will blow your mind. There's a LOT of good music out there that isn't getting airplay.

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Originally Posted by Greg Mein
We recently visited the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock when we took our vacation trip to Texas late Dec/early Jan. I believe it was a Tuesday and we were lucky to have the place to ourselves. I also finally made it to the Surf Ballroom which is a lot closer for me. That's all 100% history for me because he died before I was born.

I did a seminar swing for Peavey at one point, I called it the "Buddy Holly Tour" because it started in Lubbock, TX and ended in Clovis, NM. One of my biggest thrills was being in the studio where Buddy Holly recorded, and seeing the keyboard used on "Everyday." Your trivia for today: I was told Buddy's father wore the watch that Buddy Holly wore on the day the plane crashed.

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Originally Posted by Anderton
Will people listen to Jimi Hendrix 50 years from now? Probably not.

I've taught plenty of kids that listen to Jimi Hendrix. I see no reason for people to stop listening to suddenly Jimi Hendrix in 49 years.


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No one will listen to Genesis or Yes.

... I teach a 20 year old guy that is a big Genesis fan -and he's presently learning to play the melody to "Solsbury Hill" on guitar. Yes has plenty of fans in the prog community.

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The Beatles? Maybe, from an historical perspective.

Maybe?

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But Mountain, Zappa, the Doobie Brothers, Michael Jackson, Adele, James Taylor...nope.


Did you mean 50 years or 500 years?

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And selling a zillion albums won't help either. Consider Alanis Morissette, Guns 'n Roses, Britney Spears, Meat Loaf, or Steve Miller...all those artists had albums that were among the 35 best-selling albums of all time.


Sales =/= talent or quality. Alanis, Britney, G&R, Meat Loaf, Steve Miller.... Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, Michael Jackon... those are not equivalents.

Their hit songs will still be discovered and listened to. Plenty of people listen to classical music from a century before they were born; most people can identify "Pachelbel's canon", "Cantata and Fugue in Em", "Claire de Lune"... a great song will always be a great song.


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Bob Dylan just sold his back catalog for huge bucks.


That has to do with oppressive oligarch business practices in streaming; whether he's at peak profitability for his catalog now - at his age - versus the long tail doesn't indicate anything about his popularity or whether someone is going to listen to his music 50 or 100 years from now. Again,
in 2019 I had 2 students in their early 20's that were totally into Dylan - that's not going to change.


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I predict within 10 years, we'll be hearing "Grandpa, turn that off! Jeez, his lyrics sound like he cut and pasted random words from a dictionary...and did people seriously consider him a singer?"

..... hmm.


Post Napster/IPod ageism in music went away completely. Yesterday I have a father and son I teach. The father wants to learn what he liked from the 90 's/2000s, 3rd Eye Blind, etc..


This is what his 13 year old son has picked on his own to learn so far:

Jambalaya - Hank Williams Sr.
Jerry Reed - Amos Moses
Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen
Steeler's Wheel - Stuck in the Middle With You
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John


Another 12 year old bass player I teach:

Good Times - Chic
The Chicken (both James Brown and Jaco versions)
Holiday in Cambodia - Dead Kennedys
Spain - Chick Corea

You shouldn't think centric to what the "record industry" wants to present as the illusion of reality. They threw that away when they gave in to streaming. If they were smart they'd recognize *genres* sell; if they'd re-institute the process of having quality people vet talented people, they'd find their profits reinvigorated and reality might match what they pretend to be doing.


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Chick Webb, Benny Goodman, Cab Calloway, Artie Shaw, or Fats Waller - all huge artists from the 1930s

Well, Calloway is immortalized in _the Blues Brothers_. Benny Goodman somewhat as well.

But here's a thought: what if "rock music" is simply more potent? Just because a teen doesn't want to listen to Artie Shaw 100 years later I don't think has anything to do with choices that will be made 100 years from now. That presumes all music is a flat plane, from the standpoint of being catchy and listenable. I'm very, very sure there are teens into Goodman, and maybe even Calloway.


*If the industry recognized the value of keeping *all* genres invigorated, the overall value of music would go up, as would the popularity of "music" as a part of life.


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(and some even had careers that persisted well into the 40s)? What about Willy "the Lion" Smith, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Bix Beiderbecke, Eddie Lang, or Jack Teagarden, who ruled the world of music in the 20s? At the time, they were superstars.


I'm also quite sure there are teens that are aware of them. But - the "aware" point is a mistake of the music industry. Again: post-Napster/IPod, people's bias towards having "new" music has been cut in half. The only reason the other half still thinks they've got to listen to "new" music is because they have a shallow upbringing, combined with the industry always pushing a gimmick as "this is the Big Deal Right Now".



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Already, Elvis Presley and the artists of the 50s are fading in the rear-view mirror. The 60s are next. There are still people alive who grew up with 70s music, so Journey can still sell tickets. But when those people are gone, 70s music will be gone as well.

It's kind of liberating, actually smile Just one more reason to live for today.


Hate to say it Craig, but you're really off base on this one. If anything, you're diametrically wrong: I say "new music" is dying. The premise that there will always be "new" music made that is "popular" and subsumes the past is not predicated on any actual rule. I think just 20 years from now it will become obvious that "most of the best" music has already been made and recorded, and people will merely have a genre preference and learn what they like of music that already exists today. Unless the industry goes back to trying to discover real, hardcore talent, there won't be any "new" music created that will be listened to in 50 years - but Hendrix, the Beatles, Dylan, without a doubt will be listened to and recognized by the majority of the western population.

Also , the premise that music we listen to today from the classical/baroque era has "faded" in part has to do with a lack of a visual video record to associate with the artist. If there was video of a Paganini or Mozart concert this dialogue may not be happening.


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You'll get no argument from me about kids listening to classic rock and such, I've pointed this out many times. But that's kind of my point - you're talking about music that isn't that old. Their parents still listen to it, it hasn't been pushed off totally by more current music yet, some of the artists are still touring, etc. It's not a question of ageism, it's a question of whether the music is current, and fits with the times. However, there may be a reason why the relatively recent batch of music you're mentioning could last, which I hadn't considered. Due to economic power of the baby boomer generation, popular music was aimed squarely at people who were coming of age (and had disposable income). 100 years from now, people will still be coming of age, and the Who singing "My Generation" might still be perceived as relevant.

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what if "rock music" is simply more potent? Just because a teen doesn't want to listen to Artie Shaw 100 years later I don't think has anything to do with choices that will be made 100 years from now. That presumes all music is a flat plane, from the standpoint of being catchy and listenable. I'm very, very sure there are teens into Goodman, and maybe even Calloway.

I think "catchiness" may also depend on the times. Big bands were before Marshall amps - they were loud, they were big, they were iconoclastic and they pushed dynamics to the max. They came on strong, and people needed a jolt after the depression. For that era, they were probably very catchy. Hendrix was also right place, right time: Superb musicianship and creativity, but also, it was one black guy and two white guys, marrying psychedelia and R&B, acting outrageous on stage by the standards of that time...society might not be at that locus in the future. If Hendrix had been only about musicianship, there were a lot of jazz guitarists around at that time who could really play. Hendrix was a complete package, but also, a product of those times.

I hope you're right, but I think that as society changes, time changes, and people change, music that resonated at one particular point in time will have a hard time resonating under completely different circumstances. Music is a language. Maybe the situation is analogous to when there are no more native speakers, and languages become mostly of historical interest.

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A few years ago, there was a Crankie revival.

If you don't know what that is, it's a form of entertainment that was popular in the 1800s!!!

There's no telling what thing from the past will fascinate some young person in the future.




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Originally Posted by Chip McDonald
Yesterday I have a father and son I teach. The father wants to learn what he liked from the 90 's/2000s, 3rd Eye Blind, etc..


This is what his 13 year old son has picked on his own to learn so far:

Jambalaya - Hank Williams Sr.
Jerry Reed - Amos Moses
Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen
Steeler's Wheel - Stuck in the Middle With You
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John


Another 12 year old bass player I teach:

Good Times - Chic
The Chicken (both James Brown and Jaco versions)
Holiday in Cambodia - Dead Kennedys
Spain - Chick Corea

And they probably picked those artists up from their parents. The son of the lead signer in one of my bands is 21 and all he listens to is classic rock...because that's all that his parents listen to. He joins us at gigs on sax on occasion and he's very familiar with the 70's and 80's rock songs that have saxophone. How many 21-year old kids do you know who ask you at a rehearsal if we know how to play "Shine on you Crazy Diamond"?

He wants to join a band of people his age but he doesn't like "their" music laugh

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Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
A few years ago, there was a Crankie revival.

If you don't know what that is, it's a form of entertainment that was popular in the 1800s!!!

There's no telling what thing from the past will fascinate some young person in the future.

Like vinyl? smile Interestingly, vinyl sales continue to grow. I wonder what vinyl sales will be like in 20 years.

But I do think that some things from the past are just fads, like when a song gets picked up in a movie, becomes a big deal, then disappears. Remember, I'm thinking about what will be happening 100 years ahead, not 40 or 50.

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Good music will survive. What will happen sometime in the future, someone will create a period piece set in the 1950's, but the music will be from the 1970's, and no one will know that the music is wrong.


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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
A few years ago, there was a Crankie revival.

If you don't know what that is, it's a form of entertainment that was popular in the 1800s!!!

There's no telling what thing from the past will fascinate some young person in the future.

Like vinyl? smile Interestingly, vinyl sales continue to grow. I wonder what vinyl sales will be like in 20 years.

But I do think that some things from the past are just fads, like when a song gets picked up in a movie, becomes a big deal, then disappears. Remember, I'm thinking about what will be happening 100 years ahead, not 40 or 50.

The vinyl revival was not that hard to predict, given there have been so many records still lying around in various homes.

But not crankie scrolls.

Come one, who would have predicted some millennials would become obsessed with some freaking paper scrolls that weren't used since the 1800s?

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Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
Come one, who would have predicted some millennials would become obsessed with some freaking paper scrolls that weren't used since the 1800s?

Certainly not I!

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I predict that in 10 years, I won't be here to debate the point. deadhorse

I also allow myself the luxury of being partially jaded. I've been amply exposed to music across the board, but I'm more interested in my own compositions these days. My buffers are full of several decades' worth of Good Stuff. Listening to a lot of it makes me feel restless now and I itch to get back to my own synthesis of it all. All of that input now = fuel for my output.

Ultimate gratification: Not feeling bad that I don't recognize any "Weird" Al parodies of the last decade plus. I'm too busy getting my big brass epic's intonations right.

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I've been here almost 20 years. What is ten more?


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Don't think I can venture to say what will happen 50-100 years from now. But I suspect it will be a matter of "more and more" rather than "less and less" when it comes to old music showing up again.

Music gets recycled all the time for a variety of reasons and purposes. And now that the storage media for music has allowed for inconceivably huge archives of streamable sounds from any era you like since recording music started....and written music currently performable...the whole shebang is just beyond imagining as to what's been captured and made available. And it's growing all the time.

Style is style, and as such goes through a life cycle where it's first hot, then not, then forgotten, then revived. Once it's old enough, it's fresh again and ripe for recycling. As I mentioned already - the storage mediums make musical dumpster diving a real attraction for those so attracted.

Scott Joplin wrote, "The Entertainer" in 1902 so says Wiki - and that song became a thing in 1973, remember? I do! And people were buying ragtime sheet music there for a while.

Nostalgia is a strong drug, even nostalgia for places and times you've never experienced!

Early Music became a thing in the, what, 80s, 90s? Tons of early music ensembles were formed and got busy plucking and sackbutting and chanting and falsetto-ing out this and that from the early music revival.

I really, really love the Early Music ensembles, instruments, and weird tones and modes and tunings. I try to work some of that vibe into what I'm producing with the latest VST synths and such.

I've come to love all sorts of music from my parent's generation, long after they've been gone - 30s, 40s, 50s stuff. Wouldn't touch any of it when a teen, but give me a few decades and I'll come around to just about any kind of reasonable music.

In addition to nostalgia, real and imaginary, one should also not underestimate the appeal of the obscure. Among musicians, it's another very powerful auditory drug - just watch a bunch of the "What's In My Bag" YTubes from Amoeba records and see just how obsessive musicians can get about getting their hands on the most obscure, tiny corner of oddball or intense material they can find. Great, great fun.

Culture doesn't move on any longer like it used to - technology does move on - but it's a bit of a pet theory of mine that all the change that technology keeps driving into the middle of our lives has created a deep deep need for roots and familiarity and comfort and firm identity, and the old music seems to be one of many things that helps meet those deep needs.

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It's impossible to guess what future people / society will be listening to in 100 years. Look at Pachelbel's Canon in D, written in the 17th century, it was basically lost/forgotten until it was published in the early 20th century, and even then it didn't become popular until the late 20th century. Everybody in my circle knows it well - but I remember my grandma just thought is was a "nice song".
Originally Posted by Anderton
It's kind of liberating, actually smile Just one more reason to live for today.
Yes, this is the best part of all this. Live for today, love the ones you're with. It's such a waste to worry about what people are going to be doing 100 years from now, they won't care. It's not for us to wonder why, it's just for us to .... yup ... live for today.

I think the 60s generation will be the last one to have a sense of a "single" voice/narrative in general culture. In reality, it wasn't even a "single" narrative, it was just an American narrative that the mainstream media regurgitated back to a small part of that generation, but so much more happened under the radar / outside of the 60s generation US media narrative.

Today with billions of people going every which way, there are tons of things happening culturally that are under the radar of the increasingly irrelevant mono-face of the mainstream media. Look at the phenomenon of "League of Legends". To the older generation it's "just a game", but they're filling stadiums with Beatles/Rolling Stones level crowds - we're talking 50-80k people per event, with millions in sponsorships and prize money and NFL owners ponying up money to buy-in. - just to cheer on and watch people playing computer games?!?! And it's been going on for 10 years. If that had happened in the 60/70s it would have been the "next big fad" or "shaping culture". Today, those millions of people, barely make a blip in the narrative. Same for Heavy Metal J-Pop huge crowds, not a blip on the main stream radar.

You don't even need to be separated by decades of time - all the under the radar cultural happenings have huge media gaps between the living people of different ages, cultures, interests and locations. I think that's what the future is going to be - more incredible things happening in this world than a single person or the monolithic culture face will ever be able to get their heads wrapped around. It's getting wilder and woolier out there than we can possibly imagine - we just can't see it because we keep trying to fit everything into the "traditional media" way of packaging everything.

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I heard this quote on NPR once, the interviewee was serious, but it still makes me chuckle.

It's terribly difficult to make predictions, [slight pause] especially about the future.

(As if we are going to make predictions about the past)‽

I don't think any of the music of today will ever be mainstream again. Some of todays songs may be recycled but 'modernized' in the style of the day when they resurface.

On the other hand, I do think some will survive as remnants of history. Scott Joplin, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, may be gone, along with the people who enjoyed their music when it was fresh and new, but it hasn't totally disappeared. Some of it still survives, but like I said, it's not mainstream.

Which songs will stand the test of time? I have no idea.

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While artistry never goes out of style, production taste certainly does. Sheet music and no internet didn't keep lots of music alive. Ephemeral sound only recordings aren't going to either. Almost nothing lasts 100 years. People, corporations, art, music.... Most of it is lost. Go 200 years and its even more true - even wildly popular cultural phenomena are washed away and forgotten. And strangely, some things that were not popular or broad survive and end up in museums or have some impact. Its all unknowable.

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Originally Posted by Anderton
- you're talking about music that isn't that old. Their parents still listen to it,

No - in all of the ones I listed their parents definitely don't listen to what their kids do. The kids found it on their own and decided they liked it. And as far as "old" is concerned - to a 12 year old that is some very old music.

Ironically I was in between lessons when I made that post; my next 14 year old student yesterday announced she wanted to learn "swing", having stumbled upon a band called "Swingrowers". Her parents listen to grunge and 90's pop - doesn't have anything to do with what her parents like. She'd also just gone through learning Jimi Hendrix' "Red House" and SRV "Texas Flood", Robert Plant/Krauss' cd before that (and knows who T-Bone Burnett is).

The "it's because it's what their parent's listened to" is a trope not based in reality. I certainly hold no nostalgic fondness for Nat Cole or Pete Fountain. Kids have access to all music today; when left to their own devices (literally) they figure out what they like, and are not biased by whether it's old or new.


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it hasn't been pushed off totally by more current music yet, some of the artists are still touring, etc.

Steeler's Wheel, Jerry Reed, Hank Williams Sr., Dead Kennedys?

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It's not a question of ageism, it's a question of whether the music is current, and fits with the times.

I think you're short changing the youth of today. I saw immediately (probably made a post about it here...) a change when IPods happened. Back in the day - I'd get to rifle through student's IPods while playing back the track on them they were working on. Everybody - *EVERYBODY* - was downloading all genres, all eras. "Metal" students, "country" - if you looked at what was in their "recently played" list, you wouldn't know that. You wouldn't know how old they were, or that they identified as a "Dave Matthews fan".

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popular music was aimed squarely at people who were coming of age (and had disposable income). 100 years from now, people will still be coming of age,

I think you're locked into a way of thinking that is pre-IPod, in that "what is being marketed is what people are listening to".

Look at Spotify's Top 100. Once you get below the top 40, you get anomalies:

Sad - XXXTENACTION - from 2018
Something Just Like This - Chainsmokers/Cold Play, 2017
Bohemian Rhapsody
Take Me to Church - Hozier, 2014

Jason Mraz songs from 2008, lots of Imagine Dragons from 2012, things from years ago.

The list based on releases by year is more revealing. The later releases have more steams, which would naturally follow given Spotify started in 2006. But if you look at the most streams based on releases by year prior to that, you've got the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Eagles, Marvin Gaye, Rolling Stones, the Police, Lynrd Skynrd, et al doing Kanye level numbers - despite being from *half a century ago*. Queen appears to be only topped by Ed Sheeran, but I'll discount that since they had a movie. Hendrix, Aerosmith, for their years have almost similar numbers, and many others are comparable from multiple decades ago.

50 years from now I would bet that the numbers for the aforementioned groups will continue to climb and briskly go past the past 10 years most streamed, as they wane and the "classical music" (as some people are now called classic rock that I'm encountering - literally, with no irony) maintains it's popularity.


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I think "catchiness" may also depend on the times. Big bands were before Marshall amps - they were loud, they were big, they were iconoclastic and they pushed dynamics to the max.

I agree, but the difference is that people weren't making the choice between the sound of a big band vs. a wall of Marshalls back then. They are now.

I claim there is an Ultimately Compelling blend of instrumentation, and that Queen probably got it the closest and hence has such wide spread popularity on the planet: rock + orchestral sounds. ELO for the same reason. The timbral blends and dynamic possibilities are the most elaborate in this respect, and I think 50 years from now "music" will have trended towards tropes that will congeal into what is now sort of "cinematic trailer music".


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They came on strong, and people needed a jolt after the depression. For that era, they were probably very catchy.

I don't disagree, but the problem is "now" includes the same choices as back then, plus more. The catchy hooks of history stand the test of time; Beethoven's 9th, Pachelbel's canon, Claire de Lune, Moonlight Sonata. What is folk music is the phenomenon I'm describing, with the difference being the *medium* preserves the original form, and technology will preserve the author. Who wrote "Happy Birthday", "Mary Had a Little Lamb"? 100 years from now people will know who wrote "Yesterday" and "Bohemian Rhapsody".

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, a product of those times.

I haven't said anything about music not being a product of their time. The question you presented is whether it will remain. It's not because of Hendrix being a product of his time that he's still known today, although that's part of his gestalt. He's a Historic Figure, ala Mozart, Elvis, James Brown, Freddy Mercury, John Lennon. They're not going away (presuming civilization doesn't continue to fall apart as it is presently - but that's a different context).


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I hope you're right, but I think that as society changes, time changes, and people change, music that resonated at one particular point in time .

There is nothing about Jerry Reed and the kid I teach wanting to learn "Amos Moses" that has to do with something resonating in a particular point in time. He found the song, and liked it. That's all; the widespread availability of "all music" changes the dynamic of what is being listened to versus what is being *sold*. There is no reason sales has to be locked to what is being listened to anymore. In turn, there is no reason 50 years from now people will have any compulsion to pay money for "new music" unless it gives the *old* music a run for it's money.

Which is the real metric that nobody talks about:

As time goes by, the amount of truly great, *historic* music continues to increase. The amount of dross does as well. But the bar is continually set higher and higher, it *never is lowered*. "Music sales" is an illusion about the "popularity of music" just as "guitar sales" is an illusion about the popularity of guitar. In both cases there are ample existing examples, whether it's great songs or playable used guitars a distant relative might have, that defies easy tabulation as an indicator of "popularity".


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Originally Posted by Chip McDonald
As time goes by, the amount of truly great, *historic* music continues to increase. The amount of dross does as well. But the bar is continually set higher and higher, it *never is lowered*. "Music sales" is an illusion about the "popularity of music" just as "guitar sales" is an illusion about the popularity of guitar. In both cases there are ample existing examples, whether it's great songs or playable used guitars a distant relative might have, that defies easy tabulation as an indicator of "popularity".

Well again, I hope you're right. I've often said that the reason why it's getting harder to "make it" in music is because everything that was ever recorded is now a click away. You're not competing with the band down the street, you're competing with Queen, Prince, Hendrix, etc., and you have to be better (or at least significantly different) to make a ripple.

To be clear, I have no doubt that a whole lot of music will survive, and be listened to by a variety of people. But mainstream, like the way rock took over in the 50s, the British invasion in the 60s, disco in the 70s, etc.? I still doubt it. Just look at music today - there really isn't a mainstream, it's totally fractured into silos. I think that fracturing will likely continue to increase.

In my ideal world, people would be making a lot of music, not just listening to it. However, that would have the consequence of increasing the amount of music so exponentially that people would need to live to be 2,000 years old just to hear all the music they'd like to hear.

Also remember I'm talking about a 100 year difference, which is crucial, because that's longer than the average life expectancy.

But another factor that might be skewing my opinion as well as yours is the lack of new mainstream musical genres. Hip hop and EDM have been around since the 70s, rock since the 50s, country since the 20s, and "modern country" since the early 90s. So maybe things have settled down into the "classics," and we now have enough recorded music to keep everyone happy well into the future. Or maybe there will be some new movement/genre that makes what came before seem dated.

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Part of the fun of watching Carol and Tuesday on Netflix was seeing somebody's imagination of what the music scene will be like on Mars, several centuries into the future.

If that vision is accurate, Nord (Clavia) will still exist as a keyboard manufacturer, and be making folding digital pianos so affordable that even a street urchin (one of the main characters) can get one and port it around on the streets for busking gigs.

https://www.reddit.com/r/synthesizers/comments/d1dz0h/wouldnt_mind_one_of_these/

The other character is a rich girl, so it makes sense she owns and plays a Gibson Hummingbird, which is $5000 in today's money at Sweetwater - most decidedly out of reach for the working poor - and would surely appreciate to a ridiculous value by their time in the future.

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Originally Posted by Anderton
But mainstream, like the way rock took over in the 50s, the British invasion in the 60s, disco in the 70s, etc.? I still doubt it. Just look at music today - there really isn't a mainstream, it's totally fractured into silos. I think that fracturing will likely continue to increase.

In my ideal world, people would be making a lot of music, not just listening to it. However, that would have the consequence of increasing the amount of music so exponentially that people would need to live to be 2,000 years old just to hear all the music they'd like to hear.

Also remember I'm talking about a 100 year difference, which is crucial, because that's longer than the average life expectancy.

But another factor that might be skewing my opinion as well as yours is the lack of new mainstream musical genres. Hip hop and EDM have been around since the 70s, rock since the 50s, country since the 20s, and "modern country" since the early 90s. So maybe things have settled down into the "classics," and we now have enough recorded music to keep everyone happy well into the future. Or maybe there will be some new movement/genre that makes what came before seem dated.

The old paradigm is indeed gone, where there is some sort of leading edge where one dominant new thing takes over and by contrast, makes the older stuff sound "dated". Which is a weird concept, "dated". As if that's necessarily a bad thing. To be dated is to be out of style is all - but not so far out of style, not so old as to strike a new generation as something fresh and interesting.

A 500 count record collection in 1975 was quite an investment. Some 5,000 - 6,000 songs. And there was the radio. You could borrow records from the Public Library. That was it pretty much. The past receded quickly into unavailability, scarcity, out-of-printedness.

What's missing nowadays is the idea of progress in music. I won't debate whether music "progresses" or just changes styles in a sort of lateral way - what matters is whether musicians believe there is such a thing. When musicians and composers feel like there is new ground to cover ahead - that music progresses into new places where there is wonderful work to be done - they get inspired.

When musicians and composers just compose or perform to sell the beer or fill in the background for other activities, then what can you expect except filler?

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Originally Posted by Nowarezman
When musicians and composers just compose or perform to sell the beer or fill in the background for other activities, then what can you expect except filler?

That's easy! Beer sales.

As I always say to musicians who want to play clubs, remember - you're not there to make music. You're salespeople. You're there to sell drinks.

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In 1985, I decided to get out of the clubs and play for the 'senior citizen' market. Here in South Florida, it's a huge market, and if I can book 3 gigs a week, I can take home more money than 6 nights in a club. Plus the gigs are usually only 3 hours long, it's a party and people show up, and as long as you play the right music, there is no pressure..

Instead of selling beers, we are providing entertainment and memories. Music is music, I really enjoy both simple and complicated songs for different reasons. Playing a worn out 'war horse' tune is still better than climbing telephone polesor working in a corporate office. I worked as a telephone installer once, to see what normal was about. It didn't last because to me normal is so-o-o over-rated. One time I did fall 18 feet off a telephone pole that had internal rot and the 'skin' broke off. Even Yakety Sax for the millionth time is better than that. And a funny thing happens, as soon as I start playing, I forget that I played it too many times and I actually enjoy it in spite of myself.

At that time to play the +55 audiences it was music by Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw, Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima, Louis Armstrong, Nat Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and so forth.

As time goes on, there is a churning of people, the oldest ones die and new people take their place.

So in time we slowly introduced Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, The Coasters, The Drifters, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and a few years later Dion, Aretha, Otis, Beatles, Stones, and so forth.

We played fewer and fewer standards as the reception of those songs got less and less. Now we play many gigs without playing anything older than Elvis, and even Elvis, Bobby Darin, and the early rockers don't move people like they used to.

We progressed to 1970s Rock and Disco, and now we're learning 1980s tunes from the likes of The Cars, Katrina and the Waves, Bangles, Prince, Miami Sound Machine, and so on.

The nice thing about learning 'old' music is the ones that are the most disposable are already forgotten so what we learn lasts for years (not a month or so like Top40).

Being in South Florida we mix in some Caribbean (Soca, Reggae), Latin American (Salsa, Merengue), Country (actually new country which we call Nashville because it's really rock with a twang), and anything else that gets requested a lot.

There is an old saying that goes like this: "If you survive on stage long enough, the people will tell you what they want to hear."

We keep records of requests, and whatever gets requested most frequently gets learned, plus any dependable frequent audience member gets special attention in that regard.

For the most part, pop music is chewing gum for the ears. It's disposable. Much of it will be forgotten. But then much of the swing era has been forgotten. However, there are those that will stand the test of time and be remembered even after we are gone.

Pop music today won't be pop music next decade, but some of it will be remembered. I am tempted to say the best will survive, but from a musician's point of view, that isn't always the case. I don't know why particular songs are remembered.

I wonder if Mozart, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky ever thought their music would be played in the 21st century?

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I have a friend who's really good at what I know as folk music - old songs played in old styles, on obsolete instruments, and sometimes changed a bit to bring the music a little bit newer, but not too much. In the 80s and onward, this was "open mic" music, and the competition (as it was) was a few singer-songwriters.

He found steady work as an artist-in-residence in schools. He'd spend a week at a school performing, teaching instruments and songs, teaching history through music, and on occasion (when booked) bring in other artists during his residence period. Then move on to another school. Word got around and he made a fair living doing what he loved. But this isn't something that anyone can do. It takes a special kind of commitment both to work in schools and to keep up his own studies and practice so he didn't get bored playing the same 30 songs for 20 years.

I wonder if there are still gigs like this.

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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by Nowarezman
When musicians and composers just compose or perform to sell the beer or fill in the background for other activities, then what can you expect except filler?

That's easy! Beer sales.

Used to be that in addition, you could sell a few CDs (I remember when you could sell records or cassettes, too) to supplement the meager pay you got from the bar. Probably not so much in later years. People would rather spend their money on beer.

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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
He found steady work as an artist-in-residence in schools. He'd spend a week at a school performing, teaching instruments and songs, teaching history through music, and on occasion (when booked) bring in other artists during his residence period. Then move on to another school. Word got around and he made a fair living doing what he loved. But this isn't something that anyone can do. It takes a special kind of commitment both to work in schools and to keep up his own studies and practice so he didn't get bored playing the same 30 songs for 20 years.

That's pretty cool. I inherently like people who don't have a gig, so they invent one!

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Used to be that in addition, you could sell a few CDs (I remember when you could sell records or cassettes, too) to supplement the meager pay you got from the bar. Probably not so much in later years. People would rather spend their money on beer.

A lot of people don't have a way to even play CDs any more. The "desktops are obsolete, and laptops are ideally no thicker than a sheet of paper" ethos, coupled with home entertainment centering around smart TVs instead of Things that Play Shiny Discs, has really diminished the impact of CDs.

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