bookmark_borderIs music getting worse? Why?

Even before I found Rick Beato’s Youtube channel, I had a theory that technology was making many arts worse, (not just music, but especially music.)

However, unlike Beato, I think the downward slide began over 100 years ago, perhaps 200. And I do not think that technology is the only culprit.

Let’s summarize Beato’s theory. He seems to see the high point of music as some time around the 1970s. Still in the 60s, automation was making music easier to make. People no longer had to experiment, they no longer needed mastery of the instrument.

We can see something similar in painting. With the invention of the photograph, artists no longer had to know how to paint. Even if they wanted to paint realistically, they could merely take a photograph and project it onto a canvas (camera obscura existed for hundreds of years, but that did not necessarily create a timeless piece of art.)

However, artists reacted to photography by going in new directions. Some of these directions were worse, we no longer have true masters, paintings might be blobs of just empty canvases, and sculptures might just be hunks of metal.

Rick Beato’s opinion on why music is getting worse.

Movies also have a lot of the same problems as music. Films can be corrected in post (post-production), and many films are a mess without a screenplay and without rehearsals, designed to be fixed in post-production.

Economics leads to a lack of imagination. The more we have people from outside the industry pulling the strings, the more short-sighted decision making it. People who do not know how long it takes to make a masterwork are more likely to look for the quick buck, for a short term solution, than invest what is needed to create and promote the kind of films, songs, or works of art that last.

However, another possible problem is leadership. Many labels are no longer led by people who care about music. We look at the name of the companies, and they are merely subsidies of huge conglomerates.

That said, many of the CEOs have worked in the music industry for a time. But, they have bounced around companies. They seem to lack loyalty, to not have the same kind of stake in the individual business that most great leaders have.

Digitial technology makes it easier to fix mistakes. It also creates a lot of creative leeway. But, instead of being used to create new things, it is being used to try to create artificial duplications for the real world, and fix mistakes.