Okay, I might have used a very eye catchy title to grab your attention. But the problem has become huge. Music over the years have changed a lot. Earlier they were limited music instruments to record the songs and tunes. Presently, with the introduction of computer software the game has completely changed. Now you can create millions of sound with various wave lengths with the help of few key strokes on your computer. There was a time when music was unique and only a few could produce it (expensive methods of production).
But things have changed, now every Tom, Dick or Harry could produce their own song. Yes, you just need a decent microphone for recording and a computer to process your recordings. And Volla! You have created your own music. However, many would argue that this is a good thing that music is now being mass produced. Everyone has got the access to produce their own music without expensive methods. But let me tell you, over the years the quality has been drastically decreased. Now it’s all about quantity instead of quality. Nothing stays for a long time.
In the past
Well, in the old days record labels used to look for genuine talent. Instead of fiddling around with popular celebrities. As you might have seen that music industry has become more and more glamorous in the recent times. Everyone is so good looking that you also want to imitate their looks and style. But does music is all about looks? Or it’s all about how the vocalist sounds? In the old days the record labels took the real risk to promote the new and fresh talents. They really gave the opportunity to the infamous talents. However, this meant that the money they are spending could drown. For this reason, the good struggling vocalists got the chance to present their talent. But now the record labels have changed their policies, they look for already established talents.
The record companies pick some famous face from some reality shows and give them the contract. I won’t say that this is completely wrong. But you should try to consider the “reality” factor of the so called reality shows. Because in some cause some rich chaps with the influence of money and power has got the chance to present themselves in some reality shows. Money really speaks! Moreover, the industry has put more focus into music videos rather than just recording just songs. And for music videos they need some glamourous face, so you are out of the game if are ugly. This is the crippling truth about the current music industry. Furthermore, the theory is backed up by the mass production of music. Today there are so many artists and albums in the market that no one stays at the number one for a long time.
Instant availability of songs
Today, in the modern age of digitalization we want quick access to songs. Over the years the medium of listening to the songs have changed. From classic records to streaming services we have come a long way. Earlier we have to listen the entire song as there was limited skipping options. For this reason, the songs used to get stuck in our mind. We would even memorize the lyrics of the song. Furthermore, in the past we had to do the physical task of going to the store and buy the record label. However, now the songs are just one click away from your fingertips.
We have become really impatient with this instant nature. We are so impatient that we don’t even listen to the entire song or the beginning of the song. As we try to skip to the best part of the song without listening to the entire tunes of the song. This has created another paradox in the music industry. The musicians just to grab your attention try to make the intro as loud as possible. Furthermore, they also give meaningless loud bass in the beginning of the songs. Ultimately this destroys the genuineness of the song.
Digitalization in recording:
There was a time when the vocalists also mastered the art to play some musical instruments. And by musical instrument I don’t mean Guitar, which now days every idiot tries to play to look cool. There are hundreds of musical instruments which completes the tune of a song. Before the digitalization some of the greatest musicians even used an entire hall of orchestra to record their songs. The results were truly extraordinary, even today their music is remembered. However, with the introduction of computer everything has changed. Now you can record a song in your apartment building. There’s no need for a huge studio or dozens of musical instruments. The computer does all the job for you, it can play millions of sounds without the need of actual instruments.
This is quite revolutionary in my opinion. But on the other hand this have destroyed the genuine talent and uniqueness of music. Now days if I’m being honest every song sounds the same with minor differences. The audio software technology have destroyed the real essence of music. Now it’s just Bang- Bang Dang- Dang with couple of words. Furthermore, this has turned into a catastrophic event if we consider the use of Auto tune software. Now you don’t even need to have a good voice for singing. The Software will fix the errors in your voice, and you can have a melodious voice like Whitney Houston. By fixing the notes of your voice you can also become a singer. But try to think of those who have wasted years learning about music in music schools.
The Lyrics, where are they?
Okay, for this point I don’t want to include the Raps. As they still got some genuine talent left (Eminem). But normal songs have lost the meaningful lyrics. In the past the lyrics were more poetic and had deeper meaning. They got stuck into our mind and we could easily relate to them. You could easily sense the flow of emotions through the lyrics. But over the years the musicians are focusing more on the tunes/beats rather than the words.
For example, the Beatles have produced some of the most meaningful lyrics ever. However, now days the lyrics are more materialistic than being meaningful. The lyrics now mostly discuss about materialistic possessions (Lamborghini, Cruise etc.). This is more worrying when some lyrics even materialize women. Furthermore, in some songs you will notice that lyrics are rather repetitive than being innovative. So where’s the talent gone? Are we going short of words? Are we going short of feelings? Or the world is more showy today than it was earlier?
The Music video
We like to see our favorite artist jump and dance in their music video. They surely attract our attention with their videos. In the old days the artists and the recording labels only concentrated on recordings songs. But now their focus has been shifted to generate revenue from video streaming sites like YouTube. They earn more money from the video streaming sites than the sales of their actual songs. Moreover, the record labels tend to find glamorous faces for the music videos. So, this generally eliminates any bad looking artist.
The real talent might get buried under the blanket of glamor. We are also responsible for this change in the industry. We are so obsessed with six pack abs and thigh gaps that we tend to forget the real purpose of music. The real purpose was to make us feel good and relaxed after listening to the song. Instead we now only compare our physique with the performers. Furthermore, you might have seen the brand endorsement in the music videos (Beats headphones, Swarovski diamonds etc.). They just add materialism to the video and makes you desire them. You are just a victim of advertisement through these music videos.
The chain reaction and social media
Have you noticed that you don’t instantly like a song today? You don’t admire the tunes or the vocalist by listening it for the first time. Yeah, see that’s where I can prove that music has degraded over the years. So why artist have such hits these days? Take the “Despacito” song for instance. I don’t think that you liked it the first time you heard it. In fact, It is the chain reaction and social media that makes a song popular these days. You really need to listen the twice or thrice to start liking it. And the social media plays a crucial role in this. The world is constantly updating statuses and memes. So, the song once become a popular topic then it also becomes a hit. We, the users of the social media are the medium of advertisement.
We share the song randomly to each other, and it becomes viral. People start to listen to the song again and again. Therefore, this ultimately creates a chain reaction between the people. Your friend shares the song to you and then you share it another friend and so on. The chain is unstoppable. We are so connected to each other that we can share anything at a lightning speed. However, in the old days the success of the song totally dependent upon the quality of the song. In those days people didn’t had the internet to share the songs. Even telephone was limited to a few people. The Television and the radio did the job of spreading the song.
Piracy and music:
There’s no denying to the fact that we have downloaded songs illegally once in our life. No matter how rich you are, you must have clicked the download from some shady site. Music has been expensive from the very beginning. The cost of classic records and compact discs have always skyrocketed. However, in the old day’s piracy was not possible at all (or very limited). Copying songs from a classic record or a compact disc was rather an expensive affair. However, in the digital age this has changed.
Now you can copy the songs at wink of your fingertips. For this reason, the music industry has faced massive loss. Now the people just download the songs from some websites instead of buying legit copies. This has crippled the profits of the record labels. Ultimately, they have shifted their focus towards the music videos to earn profits. The Indian music industry has also gone kaput. Presently, they only make songs for the movies. In fact, there are only a few album releases.
So what is the next step in the music industry? Is it dead yet? No certainly not! It’s not dead yet. Not every artist is doing the same thing. Some Artists still possess the amazing vocal levels. And we should really appreciate the music instead of music videos. Digitization has destroyed the real art form. But on the other hand it has also created some new music genres in the industry. For example, soundtracks for movies have improved well in the recent times. The computer gives us the opportunity to create any sound effect for the background score of a movie. For this reason, there won’t be any astonishment that one day computers would be able to sing as well.
They will be able to reciprocate the famous artists around the world. And that would be the ultimate end of the music industry. For now, we shouldn’t worry much about music. We just need to keep alive every genre of music. So that the new artists would be able the present themselves in their respective genre. There was time when musicians had to find the way to produce the most unique musical note. For example, they swiped through a comb to create a different musical note. Money has become the major factor in the decline of talent. Just because of the greed of money the industry is tend to take easier shortcuts to produce music instead of putting real effort. So the next time you listen to a song ask yourself is it really worth it?