Music 101

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After finishing reading The Soundtrack of America by J. Bottum, I was surprised to notice how much it bashed music in general. Stating that “todays music is in a way – is keeping us from the higher arts that could aim at a unified idea and a public metaphysics”. I first I was like whoa that is pretty harsh; I can’t see how music could deteriorate us that much. However the more I about it the more it started to make sense. Music of this generation is nothing compared to thirty years ago, and in a certain way is numbing our senses, keeping us from higher art. Though, music still allows us to feel. Music washes us over with emotion, leading us to do passionate things, either lovely or horrific.

Today’s music is really the lowest common denominator of what society wants to hear. It is pretty much an accumulation of what everybody liked from previous generation, and just spewed out back to us. The music is simple, fast paced, and very uncreative. “In a day in which the melodic line of a typical pop song runs fewer than twelve bars, the thirty-two-bar scope of a Broadway number from the 1920s -- to say nothing of the 200 bars of a nineteenth-century symphonic melody -- may seem like the solution to our listening woes.” Today’s music lacks range, length, and creativity. Artists are usually just one person singing, while the rest of the song is made off of a computer. Rise to stardom is quick, and once there it is hard to stay on top, and you can quickly fade away. This is completely different than say thirty years ago, when a band needed three to four solid members, all with talent on their respected instrument. Music then had meaning, an array of sounds, and could be soulful experience. Then you add classical music, which is the most sophisticated of all with an array of instruments, it can be breathtaking. In other words, the complete opposite of the music today.

Despite all the negatives, music can still make us have emotions, both joyful and horrifying. “Its...
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