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Music

Journal: Is music quality decreasing, or it is just perception?

Journal by wamerocity

Slashdot is very adept at pointing out the antics of the MAFIAA (MPAA and RIAA), and their effort to sue people for downloading "undocumented" music and movies. There is always someone who makes a valid point that people are not paying for music simply because they are cheap and P2P is easier, but also because the quality of music has been degrading over time. So my question to slashdot, is this true?

I have been saying for years, that nothing would make me happier than to see some sort of cultural renaissance in America, where we would look at the current status of art/artists, and suddenly see that it is not satisfactory to bring about the introspection and thought provocation that past art done by the masters has. I would love to see people clamor for tickets to see Itzhak Perlman faster than they do for Greenday. Do our high school students really think that Ansel Adams or Thomas Kincaid are the Da Vinci's or our day? Can someone honestly compare the music of Metallica (despite it being very technical at times) with Chopin, Liszt, or Rachmaninoff?

So as I ponder and despair a little that many of the people I know do not carry an appreciate for the highly skilled and beautiful music of old, currently name "classical" music, I also have to wonder if the problem is that that music doesn't relate to today. Is it possible that the people in the 18th-19th centuries enjoyed that music only because it seemed popular at the time? Was it simply a product of its age? I mean, not all classical artists were famous. There were many classical artists that wrote songs that never got widespread publication. Was Salieri the Ashlee Simpson of our time, while the U2's, Eagles, and Rolling Stone's will wait to become the Bach, Brahms and Beethoven of our day? Also, Mozart wrote music for plays (some of which he wrote, but many he adapted to Shakespearean works), is Mozart simply the John Williams of his time?

In one Futurama episode, Leela once told Fry that he couldn't sit around all day and "listen to classical music". The song was "Baby Got Back." I hope and pray that someday people don't think of that as the highest musical achievement of our day, when looking back from the year 3000.

Will we have a cultural revolution and rerealize the value of quality art and music as it existed 200 years ago, or will music simply continue to be corporate written, focus grouped, machined churned monstrosity that it is today? Or is it that the music of old was that too, and it is simply that time adds value? I hope it's not the latter. Right now I'm listening to some of Bach's Masses. I've never heard them before, but they are stunningly beautiful. Bach's complete works are 160 CD's. Mozart's are 180. There are so many treasures in there that most people will never even hear. I guess I will just sit here and enjoy my music with my snobby elitist attitude that comes from the feeling of "there's something I know that you don't".

Sorry for assaulting your minds with my ramblings.

"Just the facts, Ma'am" -- Joe Friday

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