Will We Ever Run Out of New Music? (Or have we already?)
I’m sure we all have that one artist we will love to end of time, no matter what they produce, or even if they’ve stopped producing. But have you noticed how their music has progressed over the years (or if it hasn’t?) Why is that every pop song on the radio sounds like the one before it? These are just some of the questions which we ask ourselves these days when we find ourselves at a loss for new music to listen to. I mean, doesn’t it seem sometimes like people just aren’t trying to be creative anymore? The thing is that there technically can only be a finite, NOT infinite, number tones we can physically hear. That means there must be only a certain number of songs we can create, right? Well this would mean that you’re putting yourself into some sort of constraints, and when it comes to music, especially now, there aren’t any boundaries that we haven’t already tried to cross. Realistically, we would probably never reach the number of actual possibilities of songs we could write if the world went for x eternities, but it’s also that humans are creative enough now and definitely in the future to never really have to write the same music again, even it if it seems strikingly similar to other music
It only takes a few tones in common in order for any two musical ideas to seem similar. Ever notice how so many pop songs sound the same? You’ve probably heard of something called the four-chord progression then. Most successful pop tunes utilize this simple structure and immediately become hits. Here’s an example: take Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”. Play one of the songs but then sing the other song when it gets to the chorus. Try it, really… It’s cool, right? But it also means that with a lot of music today, there’s another song that can take its place. Check out the band Axis of Awesome here, they really hit the point home. Another example: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star has the same as the Alphabet Song and Ba Ba Black Sheep. Mind Blown. (Hopefully that doesn’t spoil your childhood. My sincere apologies otherwise.)
With this in mind, you might be wondering, “well why don’t people just start writing music that’s sounds different from everything else on the radio?” In reality, it seems that we as musicians and audiences have reached a point where the majority of people have found a certain structure and sound.
Another issue is that artists and composers often can be identified by their musical style. Oddly, you might question this statement. I mean, of course people have their own musical styles, it separates them from others. But all too often, people start to get bored with that. Some people say that every Ke$ha song sounds the same just like others say that every Bach concerto sounds the same (both of which might actually be, with your opinion). People are starting to want new sounds from the same people, a constant evolution of their musical style. Eventually, we all could conform, even unconsciously, to this societal movement because as humans we are meant to grow as people and therefore also as artists and musicians and creators. It’s only natural.
This is a huge topic to delve into and I know I’ve only begun to scratch the surface.
A great video to watch is from Vsauce on Youtube, if you have a spare 11 minutes. It’s really fascinating, and you’ll appreciate your music a little more I think. All of the links from the video are posted below the video so make sure to check that out as long as you’re there procrastinating.http://soundsjustlike.com/ is soooo much fun, by the way. Anyway, have faith that as long as we’re around, there will always be something new to listen to; it’s worth the while.