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View Diary: Top Comments: The Songs in the Key of Life Edition (70 comments)

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  •  I Think There's a Musical Watershed Around That (4+ / 0-)
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    Dave in Northridge, sfbob, Avila, gizmo59

    time.

    Up till then all popular music was variously close or remote evolutions of traditional music of Europeans, some from Africans and in the US, often heavily blended with African based rhythm.

    And other than blues and blues-derived forms, most popular music was fairly melody dominant.

    Around this time the emphasis began to drift from melodies to chords & rhythm. As a Celtic trad musician through these years, whose music is melody and maybe a pair of bones or a snare drum for accompaniment, observing the pop music world surrounding me, I think the technology of instruments and playback devices is an important factor.

    Catchy melodies were important for memorability in a world where people would go for hours to weeks in between hearing high quality musical sound. But when you're immersed in realistic sound incessantly, "memorability" becomes "ear-worm."

    And so the catchy melody in the new world becomes an annoyance. Whether consciously or otherwise, it may be that Stevie Wonder had done all he could in a world of music that was becoming a fundamentally new age.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 08:31:20 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  This^^^^ (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avila, gizmo59, Dave in Northridge

      I'm very much a child of the 60's; popular music from that era is what I still mainly listen to, with the addition of a very limited amount of stuff from the 70's and 80's and next to  nothing after that. Apart from Sarah McLachlan I can think of a popular artist of the last 20 years whose work is especially captivating other than very occasionally.

      I've always wondered why that should be. My presumption in part was that it was simply a generational thing; I was now on the back end of the same divide that separated my taste in music from my parents' taste. And yet it seems to me more than simply that. It's not that I necessarily don't respect contemporary music (okay some, but earlier eras certainly turned out plenty of crap as well), it's that I don't really get the point of most of it. To me it's not compelling and memorable to the point where I'd be inclined to listen to it repeatedly.

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