The Degradation of Music for Mass Consumption Essay

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The Degradation of Music for Mass Consumption From the very first time that someone decided to experiment with a musical tradition, the cry has gone out that "true," "pure," and "good" music is dead to society, and that music itself is on a perpetual slide to oblivion. All apostrophe aside, this is a serious matter to consider. Music inhabits a significant place in all cultures. Musical style is very much a function of the Zeitgeist, reflecting the prevalent tone of the dynamics and pulse of a specific time. As an artistic medium, music has as much to do with the shaping of society, or as a shaped response to society, as do television, literature, language, or art. The fact that we find music pervading so many of our endeavors bears…show more content…
So it may well be that a listener is completely unable to identify with, much less assimilate, a piece. And this is the problem. Music is a personal, individual language, not collective, like the spoken language of words. Therefore, people have difficulty in determining and establishing value in music. What is good music to one, may not be to another, and for very good reasons. What constitutes positive and negative change in music? If music doesn't communicate in absolute terms, how is anyone to decide anything concrete about it? Doesn't that just make all music relative? Isn't one piece just as good as any other? This quandary of indeterminacy can be seen in today's music and in people's responses to music in general. One always seems to hear the bemoaning of the present day's musical style. Today, it's that machines (i.e., computers, synthesizers, digital recorders, etc. . . . ) are the primary instrument of musical production. Popular music is characterized as boring, monotonous, stale, unoriginal, and simple. Complaints of this vein are nothing new. Viennese classicists like Mozart and Haydn were accused of destroying the nobler aspects of the Baroque, of Bach and Monteverdi. They, however, were criticized for dispensing with the single line melodies of earlier music, mostly folk songs and church hymns. Beethoven "desecrated" Viennese classicism; Verdi, traditional recitative opera; and Wagner, well . . . , everything. A definite

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