If you have ever wondered why a lot of modern music sounds the same, you might be onto something. As a musician, I share the opinion with many other musicians that music of today seems to offer less and less substance and is becoming more homogenized.
Modern Music Tendencies
Not all modern music can be accused of sounding alike, but the vast majority of popular modern music can. The reason for this lies mostly within the harmonic progression used in newer compositions. Harmonic progression refers to groups of musical pitches (known as chords) occurring in sequence. Much of the music that you might hear on the radio use strikingly similar harmonic progressions.
Here are a few examples of this:
Axis of Awesome
These guys are fully aware of the similarities and have created very entertaining acts based on the idea.
This whole homogenization thing isn’t new, as the second video references a piece that was written in the 1600s. Composers have been copying one another for centuries which has resulted in the music of today.
Classical Music vs Popular Music
Classical music differs from modern popular music in many ways. Classical music is often much more complicated involving multiple simultaneous musical ideas and less common harmonic progressions.
Some people simply prefer the sound of modern music and that is fine. However, many people simply haven’t heard classical music aside from the most famous cliche pieces. We are losing track of some of our rich history as newer music continues its trends and newer generations rarely encounter places where they might find classical music.
They are missing out…
This is the cantata: Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (I call to You, Lord Jesus Christ) by J.S. Bach. I chose to mention this particular work because it demonstrates how various musical layers can interact in a beautiful and seamless way (something Bach was particularly well known for). Music like this is carefully crafted and is worth several listens to truly appreciate everything going on.
There is much more to music than 4 chord songs, guitars, drums, and rock bands. Part of the human experience is creating, appreciating, and sharing art. I want to help promote music that is different than what we hear on the radio with art being the focus rather than the dollar.
What is Classical Music?
Classical music is basically art music typically of western tradition. Most of the music we think of as classical comes from the common practice period lasting from 1600 to around 1920. In future posts, I will share many examples of music from the common practice period, as well as modern art music.
Classical music can be complicated yet beautiful or simple and elegant. It inspires creativity and stimulates the mind. Those who find inspiration can actually learn how to play classical music themselves, which according to many studies can have a measurable effect on brain function. (Piano lessons, anyone?)
In future posts, I will continue to share information and insight that I come across in the music world. Feel free to read and listen while you enjoy a certain caffeinated beverage. If there is something that you want me to comment on, leave a suggestion below. If you found this to be informative or interesting, please share!