The dictionary definition of music is; vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.
I got to thinking about what is included in the music genre today and failed to see how some of those forms called music could seriously qualify.
Narrow-mindedness is never a good quality when attempting to weigh the balance of something like music. Sounds pleasing to my ear in another culture may be painful to endure. For that matter there are sounds right here in our culture that are painful to my ear.
There have been sounds during the last 50 years that to a musical ear would be little different than nails screeching across a blackboard. It reminds me of a few of those garage bands that really needed to never come out.
Going back to the definition of music, it speaks of harmony, beauty of form, and expression of emotion. Extreme is a word that would fit when it comes to many of the newer fads like rap and hip hop.
Lyrics have gotten vulgar and ugly. That mixed with hate and anger are what some actually want to attempt and include in that definition of expression of emotion. It just seems the beauty of form and harmony were sort of overlooked.
Maybe the problem is there aren’t enough poets writing songs. It seems anything that can adapt a musical background can call itself music. It also seems like there is just a constant regurgitating of the same themes.
Real love songs would be hard to find, that talk about the romance, sweetness, tenderness, thoughtfulness and gentleness. Leaving out all the reference to copulation and corruption of morals seems to be a must for potential success.
I wrote in a previous piece how our parents complained about the “Rock and Roll” from the ‘60s era. Is the same thing happening to those of us in the “Boomer” gang? Are we just as guilty as our parents accepting the change in what is termed “music” today?
I keep going back to “beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.” Today has no corner on anger or hate. It seems there were better efforts at relating those emotions through music. Today those actions are superimposed on moldable minds through what pass as music videos.
Even though there are styles of what I would call music that are not among my favorites, such as Bluegrass, many of what are labeled “New Age,” and others, it’s difficult to compare those to Rap as music.
When chills tickle my skin and make me shiver just a bit hearing a vocal or instrumental piece, to me embodies that expression of emotion. The claim that the anger, hate, aggression and vulgarity are beauty of form and expression of emotion instead of psychological warfare to me falls short. It’s time to bring back those old fashioned love songs, sung in three part harmony. Those about the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. Where have they gone?