Twenty-five years from now music genres will all be a blur. There will be no rock, hip-hop, pop, country, singer songwriter, everything will be one. With a look into the history of music and todays music the future of music will be very easy to see. Are bands like AC/DC, KISS, Aerosmith, and Spice Girls a thing of the past? How many bands actually stay together now days?
We start with the 1500’s music, being mostly drum-based with little to no lyrics. (Hollis,1999) Then it went on to developing orchestras, the main focus of music in the Renaissance days was instruments. Focusing on the harmony of all the different instruments like, drums, flutes, harp or whatever they had on hand. They focused more one what would sound good instead of putting what sounds good into the orchestra. Meaning they couldn’t pick every instrument sound and build it from there. They would just put everyone together and hoped that it would sound good. Then we move to the 1600’s which was primarily Baroque music which ended around 1750. Baroque music is like the ending of a love movie. Happy and upbeat with fading in and out of flutes. It was most popular in England however it lasted 150 years which is hard to say about anything today. Next is the 1800’s, where classical music really took off as well as the beginning of pop and folk music. Some of the classic hits still know to this day like, “Jingle Bells,” “Amazing Grace,” “Rock-a-bye Baby,” “Alphabet Song,” “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and so much more. This is when music started taking off with artists trying things no one had every done before. We then move to the 1900’s which is when the popular genres take off. Starting with Jazz music, that only lasted around twenty years, after that ended country music began. Which is still a staple in the music industry today. Shortly after that R&B music hits the charts, then Rock, Folk and Rap. From 1900 to 1976 is really when the lines between music genres came into sight. In 1958 Billboard Hot 100 was created and released every Tuesday. Which is where got the Beatles, Rolling Stones, AC/DC, KISS, Led Zeppelin and Queen, which would all go to inspire the artists of today. This is where artists and bands started getting their voice and really magnifying it into the world. With Queen being the most “commercially successful bands” of all time, it was hard to follow up. (Kielty, 2018) That is until you hit the 1990’s, you get the Spice Girls, Mariah Carey, Nirvana, Green Day, Metallica, Radio Head and Dr.Dre. With their music being more controversial and saying things that were “unspeakable” at that age.
We then move into the 2000’s, Eminem, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Nickelback, Lady Gaga and Cold Play. Every single one of those artists still hit the charts today, nearly twenty years later and that is the kind of effect music has on us now days. Music went from no lyrics to learning to play different styles to full on genres. Creating award shows for music, and having multiple different ones at that. Like the CMA’s, Academy Awards, VMA’s, Grammys, Golden Globes. Now while not all of them focus only on music, one hundred years ago no one could’ve imagined what would happen. Now we move to 2019, with Shawn Mendes, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Panic at The Disco, Ed Sheeran, Drake, One Republic, and thousands more. In this modern age we have access to so many different types of music and so many one hit wonders. With technology today coming into the music industry anyone can have a hit song. Having YouTube and SoundCloud and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. It is so much easier to have a platform and put yourself out there. With thousands of artists being discovered weekly, it makes it easy to never listen to the same song. 100 years ago I could’ve never imagined getting famous over the internet for just recording me singing in my room. This is both good and bad and here’s why. While you can get discovered on the internet you can also be torn down by it as well. Making it easier for people to voice their opinions on your songs, and you’d think that’s be a good thing but no. It can make and break your potential career. Justin Bieber for example got discovered on YouTube as you probably know. Many years later it all went downhill because everything got to him and he couldn’t keep up. Moving away from technology in the industry we talk about the genre lines.
With all the different genres now days like, Rock, Hard Rock, Alternative, Singer Songwriter, Pop, Hip Hop, Rap, Country, Disco, Techno, Electric, Metal, Vocal, Jazz, Holiday, House, New Age, Dance, Classical, Christian and so many more. It makes it hard to distinguish what is what. Typically, a song is labelled in a specific genre because of the beat. However, I know many pop songs that could also be classified as rock thirty years ago. Who draws the line between genres? We can’t define them by the lyrics because all different genres sing about the same thing, but they use their instruments to define the genre.
Modern day bands like, Jonas Brothers, Florida Georgia Line, Fun, they all have one thing in common, not lasting. Bands in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s stayed together much longer and created more music. Whereas bands now days typically break up before hitting the ten-year mark. Why is that? Well with having everyone’s opinions in the palm of your hand and how fast rumors spread it makes it easy for band members to start drifting apart. While the Jonas Brothers took a break and came back and are now knocking out the charts, they didn’t stay together. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, had they have stayed together I don’t their music would’ve been as good as it is now. I think modern days bands are more effective then the 80’s. Primarily because you can always expect something new and in a world that’s always changing the music industry should too.
The future of music looks like blurred lines and hundreds of successful artists. It will get harder and harder to define all of the different genres so eventually there won’t be one. Music will just simply be music. Pop will fade into rock or techno. With artists that come and write a hit song and then five years later come back with another one. I think everything will be digitized, no more cd’s or cassettes. Making it easier for artists to be free and be themselves. Many people have tried to put them in a box and tried to make them only pop or rock but I think they’ll all be free. Free to have one song on the album heavy and the next a soft melody that you can fall asleep too. There will be no lines, no parameters and no expectations and that is the music industry I am looking forward too.
In this ever-changing world the one constant in it has been music, from the 1500’s to 2019. Music has helped billions of people get through wars, the great depression, breakups and makeups, and just making people happy. Music helps everyone including those unable to hear, they can feel the beat and let it move them. Bands will come and go, artists will change their style and that is just the future of the industry.