Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Double Standard of Old

Growing older appears to cause us to develop a double standard. When we're young we appreciate music of our generation, we consider that to be the best music of all time.

This applies to everything about the era we grow up in, which forms a confirmation bias as we try to resist the changes of the future. But these changes are inevitable, and a very good thing which we must learn to embrace.

This anecdote should illustrate the double standard we develop as we get older, many people in my generation complain about how "fake" music is today. Often they are complaining about the fact that it's now mostly digital, which allows for musicians to play entire orchestras without having to recruit a hundred instrumentalists.

In some genres, the older instruments are preferable, due to the fact that it's not the music that's on display but how well the music is played. However, most music is about one thing, lyrics.

Without the instruments, a song must appeal to the modern youth, and thus the lyrics should be relevant to them. This is how we define each generation, by their experiences and accomplishments.

When I was young, everyone said that Nirvana was a horrible band, and to be fair Kurt couldn't actually sing. But my generation still thinks Nirvana was impressive because of the lyrics.

They hold meaning to my generation as they describe what life was like back then. But today, most people think Nirvana is not a great band again. Yet my generation insists that music today is horrible in spite of the fact that we idolized a lot of bands which had no actual singers.

A closer look at a band which almost everyone in my era claims were masters of music reveals something quite disturbing. Nothing Pink Floyd, regaled as one of the best bands ever, is their own work.

Pink Floyd's lyrics were all taken from other sources, often from older bands. The music itself was the typical Fruityloops mixture of pieces composed by much older musicians long since dead.

But this does not discredit them, they took things that were relevant at that time and marketed them to a generation which needed it. That is the true art of music, bringing relevance to the generation which it represents.

Today many of the instruments have been replaced with digital duplicates, or even synthesized sounds, and many sets of lyrics have become repetitive. This is the world we created for this generation, and they are crying out in their music.

Life today is very repetitive, kids today have less to struggle with so they grow bored. The response should be to offer them better educational opportunities, instead we just gripe about the music.

Kids in this age are bombarded with terabytes of useless information, and they are not taught how to test it. This shows up in their music again, as many lyrics seem aimless, badly written poetry, displaying a lack of discernment.

So the next time you decide to cry out "music today sucks," try thinking of how to make their lives better so they can become more creative, and have more reason for it.

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