Social Question

Blondesjon's avatar

Is there too much music out there?

Asked by Blondesjon (33989points) April 22nd, 2011
22 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

Don’t get me wrong. I lurve the amount of aural choices available now via the Internet. I’m listening to my own personal Pandora as I compose this.

But . . .

Time was there were bands/genres/songs that were the focal point of not only popular culture, but, mainstream political and social debate. Elvis, The Beatles, Rock & Roll itself, Metal, Rap; it all has come under National scrutiny in a way that has both pulled us together and torn us apart along all the familiar lines. The world was at the mercy of Billboard and, good or bad, we all worshiped at it’s alter.

Now, you only have to fire up your modem and every band/genre/song that has ever been is right there, available for download straight to your iPod. Music news has simply become an electronic fashion page and nobody but my great grandmother gasps at what Lady Gaga is doing. Has this total saturation of music on demand actually taken away a societal binder that we all once shared?

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Blackberry's avatar

I agree in the sense that there’s too much crap and less quality. Well, not that there wasn’t in the past (I wasn’t alive, so I wouldn’t know), but you have to sift through so much crap to find good stuff. But the saturation of music on demand is beneficial to those that want to expand their horizons and discover new types of music more easily.

ragingloli's avatar

I don’t think that there is too much music out there. The problem is that there is too much shit music out there. You have to swim through oceans of liquid feces just to find one good piece, and that is depressing and may lead one to think that there is too much music. I am quite certain, one would not as easily come to such a conclusion, if that ocean was instead filled with ice cream. It is more likely that you would actually like such a state.

danielklotz's avatar

Good question with compelling insights. I don’t think there’s too much music out there, but I do feel like there’s too much music out there whose makers think you really must listen to. It’s like every singer-songwriter or newly formed band immediately engages in marketing and insists on selling their music. If you’re doing it for love, don’t try to publicize the heck out of it, and give your work a Creative Commons license.

ddude1116's avatar

Music isn’t one of those things you can ever have too much of, the issue with it is not that it’s become saturated, but that not enough people appreciate quality. Any song with a beat can make a hit nowadays, especially if the artist is attractive. Hell, even if everybody hates the song it becomes popular, just look at Friday, it’s a huge meme because it’s made fun of. No, there isn’t too much music, there’s too much ignorance regarding it.

tinyfaery's avatar

Yes. Just as there are too many TV shows, too many books, and too many movies. About 10% of all of it is worth experiencing.

bkcunningham's avatar

Billboard hadn’t always dictated the best music @Blondesjon. I know what you mean, but there has always been people like you and me who listen to the beat of a different drummer. May I add a welcome to that handsome @danielklotz. You are really nice looking in that pic. Wowzer.

Cruiser's avatar

I don’t think there could ever be too much music and there is certainly more than I will ever be able to listen to in my lifetime…I just wish there was a better way to sift through stuff I don’t really want to hear. Pandora rocks for tossing up new tunes I have never heard before and the Jellies here have been quite cool about offering up new sounds!

john65pennington's avatar

The good times were had when Wolfman Jack came on the radio at 9 pm. He blazed up the radio transmitters in Mexico and covered 90% of the states with his rock and roll music. Those were not good times, those were GREAT times. Why? Because we did not have computer, DVDS, and IPODS. We listened to Wolfman Jack and wondered what he looked like and did his voice fit his looks? This was the mystery and glory of juvenile radio in the 60s.

You are correct, There is no mystery left in the world of music. The secrets are all told on Wakapedia.

I guess this is why my era was called The Age Of Innocence.

Have you ever read some of the comments left under the most of the songs of the 60s on Youtube? People today yearn for those type of songs and music once again.

Garebo's avatar

…and to know what was really going on in the music scene you had to buy this folded up newspaper called “The Rolling Stone”.

the100thmonkey's avatar

Music has drifted from its original role as an agent and object of location-based communities to an agent and object of non-local communities of interest.

Obviously, these communities are realised through a broadband connection and a computer rather than the local club, bar, saloon, tavern, etc.

So no, I don’t think there is “too much” music out there – even though there’s probably more music than one could ever realistically hope to listen to in the course of one’s life – and no, I don’t think the easy availability of music has destroyed social bonds; they still exist, they’re just different and more numerous. If you wish, you can join as many communities as there are musical interests.

obvek's avatar

Yes and no. Thankfully, there’s a smorgasbord of really satisfying, “organic” music that’s free or cheap if you know where to look (and have the time to sift), plus it’s so much easier to discover old music that never lost its charm and too often provides not just a great tune but also pretty darn delightful reminders that the human condition is evergreen.

There’s that quote/discussion from “Crazy Heart” about how great songs sound familiar even if you’ve never heard them. I’ve kind of had this experience after sifting through thousands of free songs from SXSW downloads. Most all the ones I’ve kept are all great to listen to and great for parties even though no one has heard them. And the best part about them is that they are very obviously free of mass market influence both in terms of production qualities (layers of sound, etc) and in terms of themes and lyrics. It’s like there’s a real person on the other end of the line for once in your life instead of an automated phone menu, and to have 1,000 of those experiences for free (well, except for your time) really is a thing of joy. That source alone puts out over 1,000 songs a year now, and generally I keep about 20% of what they offer. It’s plenty enough to never feel compelled to buy music unless there’s something that’s a must have, and it’s all great to listen to in many different contexts.

Probably the trick in crossing over is spending 10 hours or so just sifting through new stuff. Eventually, you develop an ear for what you like and learn to evaluate songs very quickly as something to keep or delete.

or to answer your question… the dynamic you’re talking about is obviously a symptom not just of music, but all (mass) media and former silos of thought such as religion, politics and the like. For me, it’s good riddance, especially given the direction pop music is going. But there was a lot of crap on Top 40 even as far back as the late 70s and most of the 80s and I suppose if you were lucky enough to discover decent punk or whatever then you had some refuge from fucking Ghostbusters, that Ewok party song, and horrific pop ballads. I had to listen to “All Cried Out” every fucking morning while riding the bus for an entire school year thanks to Top 40 radio. Do you think I yearn for those good old days?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

So you’re upset that there is more of that which random people can use to play the ‘us v. them’ game even though you enjoyed playing in the past?

takeachance's avatar

There is never enough music, I love it and its my life. <3

DominicX's avatar

I don’t think there is such a thing as “too much music”, though I could see that in the sense that there being so much music makes it harder to find good music. I think it’s excellent that there’s so much music available and how easily available it is.

But when it comes to classical, especially, there’s so much out there that’s impossible to hear it all even though I’d love to be able to. Johann Sebastian Bach composed over 1100 works. Ludwig Minkus wrote entire ballets that have never been performed in the last 100 years and I will probably never be able to hear the music.

Cruiser's avatar

Old people like you and me @john65pennington yearn for those days! Kids today have NO IDEA those time ever existed. Wolf Man was that raw edge of sassiness that cut through the stuffy everyday tame vanilla safe world that our parents attempted to contain us in.

bkcunningham's avatar

Every night when I crawled under the covers with my three sisters, my older sister would put her radio on WOWO Fort Wayne, Indiana. The volume was set at just the right level. The crackling sound was low enough to allow dreams to enter the room and loud enough for your imagination to dance.

It was an AM station another world away from our little town in Virginia. Wolfman Jack and the unknown callers making requests and dedications…what a way to fall asleep. I can hear the call letters from the station in my head to this day. W O. W O. Fort Wayne, In-de-an-a.

john65pennington's avatar

Cruiser, you are so correct. Todays music is so artifical. I mean the songs only contain a beat and loud whatever you call it. There is no music out there to identify a good time, a good girl you are dating, or your first car. It was music by association. Speaking of Association, remember that group? I loved their music. Remember the song “Cherish”? Now that was a song you could identify with. People of today do not have a clue what they have missed.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@john65pennington & @Cruiser – older people today don’t have a clue what they’re missing!

Music is at the heart of community; you don’t belong to the communities that listen to whatever it is that you don’t like, and they don’t listen to yours.

You don’t know what you like; you like what you know.

ucme's avatar

Ugh….well yeah!

dabbler's avatar

On one hand I think this is a current sliver of the impact of mass media’s long influence on humanity’s self awareness.
Writing, movable type, telegraph, radio, tv, intertubes… more and more we can know about more stuff. And we love it and demand more. The changes over time of people’s experience of music in your description (which I consider astute) is of a kind with the apparent fractioning of experience of… everything ( ! ) Further we’re suckers for excitement of something new, easily overlooking the erosion of focus that produces. We demand as much of it as we can get.
On the other hand we feel more sane and happy with a steady internal tune. What used to be a proximity-based focus and shared experience (like before railroads) is shattered by our mobile and accelerating culture, yet we seem to be voraciously seeking shared experience where we can. Here we are, eh?(on fluther)
While on the other hand the strangest part, for which our cultural tool-kit has spare coverage, is that our shared experiences involve an order of magnitude more people – relationships. Used to be the folks you shared your musical experience with shared the same church and school and weather and food supply. These days every one of those categories can involve different people.
Still on the other hand if we buy the world a coke and we all sing in perfect harmony
– have we become angels through that shared experience with our nervous systems all resonating together and will we dissolve in a poof of humanity’s transcendence to our next form ?
– what happens to all the other genres ??

john65pennington's avatar

100 monkies, your answer is as confusing as the “so-called” music of today. The songs have no meaning and the people in my community chest agree.

markylit's avatar

Well i guess you are right. Music, most of them, these days have lost the charm. It’s just like music for music’s sake. The quality, the essence, the feel have lost for sure. You’ll find a lot of music but it’s really hard to get good music these days.

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