Debate and Discussion

Is the world overdue for a new musical genre
Newway12 at 11:52AM, April 12, 2011
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In the 20's and 30's it was jazz, the 50's and 60's it was Rock and Roll, in the 70's it was Disco in the 80's and early 90's it was Rap. But to me the last 15 years has been characterized by a lack of new musical genres. Sure we've seen new sub genres within established genres (especially Rock and Hip-Hop) but we really haven't seen anything truly world shaking like early Rock, Jazz and Rap culture was. Why is this? Is it because we live in a society that has turned its back on new forms of entertainment? Is it because we live in a culture of ever smaller niche audiences that cross pollinate less and less? Or are we just in a transition period right now and the next new genre has yet to emerge from its ancesters?


last edited on July 14, 2011 2:12PM
Hawk at 1:44PM, April 12, 2011
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Yeah, I'd say we're quite due for a shift in music, if not a new genre. I haven't listened to the radio for probably around eight years… The stations were so entrenched in rap and hip hop, which I don't really have a taste for. The stations that weren't playing that kind of music were playing oldies, or 90's rock

Can somebody tell me if things have gotten any better?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
Chernobog at 2:38PM, April 12, 2011
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Real men listen to polka in the mean streets! If you ain't down with the lederhosen…

But you're right, there hasn't been anything terribly sweeping in a while. I've seen fusions of things and there's plenty of genres that are well liked but don't have earth shaking popularity. Then again, when you look at the music scene, everyone is so intent on micro-categorizing every little group into vague titles of related separation. It's kind of irritating. I think the music industry in some ways is a lot like movies and video games of this day and age. Very few are willing to take a chance on something creative anymore.
 
 
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:41AM
Genejoke at 2:45PM, April 12, 2011
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Someone
everyone is so intent on micro-categorizing every little group into vague titles of related separation. It's kind of irritating.

Yup. It's an acidtrip funk techno fusion with screamo undertones kind of thing is officially a genre.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
bravo1102 at 1:29AM, April 13, 2011
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New musical genres might need a little quiet time to themselves to develop and mature rather than being thrown out onto stage and expected to sell millions of recordings.
Instead everyone reinvents the wheel because they want to sell. You can't sell what is unknown and unheard.
Maybe we'ver reached saturation point where there is nothing new that can be done that isn't immediately recognized as derived from X and pidgeonholed so no one ever recogfnizes it as new and novel.

After all if we had the media saturation at the turn of the 20th Century that we have today everyone would have seen jazz and blues evolve from earlier forms of music going back into the mid 19th Century.
There is simply no time for a new genre to develop to the point where it seems brand new.
We see each little change as it occurs and never notice that what we're listening to isn't what was around decades ago and some geek is always there to tell us where it came from.
So even if something new pops up would we even recognize it among all the noise or would musical geeks pidgeonhole it and everyone shrugs?

Michael Moorcock in the Jerry Cornelius Chronicles wrote “World War III's been going on for years; everyone has been too busy watching TV to notice.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM
Faliat at 1:03PM, April 13, 2011
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Newway12
In the 20's and 30's it was jazz, the 50's and 60's it was Rock and Roll, in the 70's it was Disco in the 80's and early 90's it was Rap. But to me the last 15 years has been characterized by a lack of new musical genres that I am aware of.
Fixed.

And if there ARE new ones, how are we to know what they're caled until they gain a significant following?

Also, rap is older than the 80s. In fact it's as old as industrial… 40 years plus. Newer examples getting rediscovered all the time.

The same could probably happen in about five to fifty years time.
We already have it happening. But we don't have a specific name for it right now.

It's most likely called pop these days. Pop defines popular music regardless of how different it all sounds. Something will get popular with a crowd and then a different collective name will appear.
Despite that term probably dominating it could come from folk, metal, hip hop, dance or any other of the blanket terms you usually see in music shops or mp3 download sites to classify a large variety of styles.

The stuff I listen to is a prime example of this kinds of definition evolution.
“Electronic Body Music? That's not EBM That's 80s electronica made in 2002!”

Guess what? 80s electronica was too broad a term. Years later, people made a better and more specific name for it as well as other stuff previously called the same thing.

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
BffSatan at 8:07AM, April 14, 2011
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Music is constantly evolving, new “genres” are constantly forming.
When you look back on the past from now it looks like there were distinct blocks of genres, but in reality it's all blurred together.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:21AM
ozoneocean at 8:43AM, April 14, 2011
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Faliat
The stuff I listen to is a prime example of this kinds of definition evolution.
“Electronic Body Music? That's not EBM That's 80s electronica made in 2002!”

Guess what? 80s electronica was too broad a term. Years later, people made a better and more specific name for it as well as other stuff previously called the same thing.
Yeah, the style that 2000's “electronica” was modelled after first started to get popular in the late 70's. Back then it came from British dance clubs and influenced the young pop-stars of the New Romantic movement.
BffSatan
Music is constantly evolving, new “genres” are constantly forming.
When you look back on the past from now it looks like there were distinct blocks of genres, but in reality it's all blurred together.
Broadly true.
“Genres” are two things… on one side it's music (or anything else) that can loosely be said to fit under one banner. On the other “genres” are marketing labels used to more easily sell things to audiences. But you're dead right: it's all just music. And in this case- Pop-music
————

Do a quick survey of the new music being made on the creative edges of the uncreative popular morass and you'll come away with the names of a whole bunch of “new” genres. They're all there, right now, all the time. It just takes time for one to strike it big and move far enough into the popular conciousness for you to see it.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:38PM
Hawk at 9:34AM, April 14, 2011
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ozoneocean
Do a quick survey of the new music being made on the creative edges of the uncreative popular morass and you'll come away with the names of a whole bunch of “new” genres. They're all there, right now, all the time. It just takes time for one to strike it big and move far enough into the popular conciousness for you to see it.


… or for radio stations and recording labels to give these new genres a chance. Sometimes it feels like we're waiting for the current stuff to be less profitable before the new stuff gets its fair shot.

I guess you really gotta put yourself on that “creative edge” to find the new stuff for yourself.


SIDE NOTE: I'm really tired of seeing rapping animals in each new CGI children's movie. Let's get past rap, people.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
DAJB at 2:10AM, April 15, 2011
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The Beatles' producer George Martin once said that the music industry throws up a new phenomenon every nine years. When he was speaking (early 1970s) he was able to list Crosby (1936), Sinatra (1945), Presley (1954) and the Beatles (1963).

I doubt whether that still holds true. I could just about argue that Bowie (1972) may have been the next name to add to that list (not just because I like him but because of all the other acts he subsequently influenced) but after that? As far as the UK is concerned, it seems to me that as independent radio stations proliferated during the 1980s, each focusing exclusively on a single style of music, the music market began to fragment and, as a result, it's been almost impossible for any one genre or artist to have the same kind of impact / breadth of appeal. For a genre to become dominant, it has to experienced by the largest number and widest range of people.

Today, the only outlets for new artists wanting to achieve widespread exposure are Simon Cowell's dreadful TV “talent” shows with their increasingly bland cover artists. This leaves the bands who are trying to do something different to scratch around for listeners on the likes of YouTube and MySpace. It's going to be very difficult for any genuinely innovative act to “hit the big time” that way and, until/unless someone does, there'll be no one to spearhead a new genre.

On the plus side, every time there has been a big shake-up, it's almost always been preceded by a period of the most bland, derivative pop-pap imaginable. With that it mind, the drivel dominating the charts at the moment may be a sign that the next break-through act/genre is just around the corner!

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
Hawk at 10:03AM, April 15, 2011
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That nine-year stuff is actually kind of fascinating.

I would imagine that the nine-year period of time would decrease as we progressed. Communication has a huge influence over trends and styles. Centuries ago, certain styles of clothing lasted for 50 years or more, but the lifetime of a trend started shrinking as people traveled more and communication spread faster. At the invention of newpapers and magazines, styles started fitting within decades. And now, with the internet, we're getting finding new trends and getting tired of old ones faster than ever.

Music would probably be no exception to this, now that we can get music from all over the world so fast and so cheaply. But I think there's a limit. No matter how much music is out there we'll want to hang onto the stuff we like for a little while.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
ozoneocean at 11:56AM, April 15, 2011
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Hawk
That nine-year stuff is actually kind of fascinating.
George Martin's ideas about that though are pretty individual and depend on his own focus and taste… and the 9 yearly period is just a bit of personal flummery.

Actually the next big thing after the Beatles was Led Zeppelin and they started in 1969. :)
But at the same time as the Beatles were going strong there were many other mega huge hitters of the same sort of creativity and having the same sorts of lasting cultural impacts while being very different- like The Small Faces, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, and The Who to name a few. And those were just the British bands.

And much of music genre history is retrospective. People talk about thinks that defined the 70's (for example) and always give precedence to their pet fave, but there was so much back then: the growth of Metal out of heavy blues outfits like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, Glam Rock championed chiefly by T.Rex, Prog Rock defined by bands like Yes and Genesis, Disco, Folk Rock, Funk, Reggae, Punk from the famous Sex Pistols and others like The Clash.

Punk is a good example of a pet fave. This was a very late 70s thing that didn't even last into the 80s. And every punk band out there either lasted only 5 minutes or quickly changed from doing punk to something else entirely, but it's been reimagined to be the biggest thing in the decade- which it wasn't by any measure.

———————-
As for speed of communication, I think the main thing here is fragmentation of sources. People have brought that up elsewhere here.
With radio and TV losing their importance as primary sources with people moving to the net to get their music, there are now no authoritative, culture defining primary sources for the new genres to be championed by.

Popular music has always been defined by the the source that championed it and GOT it out to mass popular culture. With Jazz and big band music, that came to the fore in dance clubs. Many of the early radio stations broadcast from dance halls… Plus at at time records were really taking off and Jazz was a NEW style then that could only be found on records (for most people).
Rock took off because of WW2. After WW2 US servicemen were over in Britain importing records there… You have the massive radio networks (British, American etc) that were set up to entertain the millions of active young service people around the whole world … all these things laid the groundwork for the explosion of rock in the 50s.

What made the Beatles such a hit was the fact that the American music industry had basically closed down control of the radio stations (through various tactics) so they could have full commercial control over them. It's much the same situation as now really- back then the only music that could be broadcast were the pet acts sponsored or created by the big players. Creativity almost dissipated entirely in the USA and the public were crying out for something better. Meanwhile bands like the Beatles formed from listening to US records (records that were imported originally because of US servicemen). And when the Beatles came to the States they were such a massive sensation primarily because the US public had been deliberately starved of new music styles for so long.
Then in order to compete the stations HAD to start playing the new styles again. (there was also court action because of the Music industry bribes). This meant there was a Renaissance in popular music in the US, because American bands were now being revitalised by being influenced by the British acts that hadn't been stifled like the US ones had buy the closed music industry and now radio stations were far freer with what they broadcast.

….
Cut to a few more years in the future- eventually you have TV becoming a stronger and stronger force. Their are many, many music TV shows that feature live bands or videos… And then in the 80s you get the American station MTV that is Only dedicated to music. Now MTV is credited with being responsible for popularising certain sorts of acts. The biggest acts in the 80s WERE driven by their TV success. People like Madonna, all the New Romantic acts etc, glam metal, all that was championed by MTV. And later Rap.

And so on.
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Tldr; It's NOT the genre or some amazing performer that matters, it's all the accidents of history that bring them to the forefront of public attention.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:38PM
blindsk at 1:37PM, April 15, 2011
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ozoneocean
Tldr; It's NOT the genre or some amazing performer that matters, it's all the accidents of history that bring them to the forefront of public attention.

I have to agree with this, and something inside me says that this time around a new genre will arise due to technology. Especially with things out like this. Not saying electronica is anything new, but technology like this could give rise to a genre and allow the artist to still give live performances (which a popular band tends to want to do).

On a side note, the area where I live tried to push out a self-made musical genre. It didn't quite work though. It ended up being too close to hip hop to be anything worth placing in a separate category. Again, this reinforces the idea that ozone brought up where venue does matter.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:25AM
freefall_drift at 4:25PM, April 18, 2011
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I donno. I don't think new genres get a chance to develop right now. Anything with a shred of new, gets found and put in a commercial within hours of it being created. New genres are co opted too fast to become a movement.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM

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