Notes on Music
Forty years ago we had a handful of music genres (rock, folk, jazz, country, reggae, blues, classical) Programming for these music formats was easy. As time went on - NEW MUSIC GENRES appeared (heavy metal, hip-hop, rap, alternative rock, new country?) Many new sounds today often blend more than one genre together, creating music that could fit into more than one category. Is it possible to categorize these new hybrids of music or do we need to?
Record stores need some type of organization, this is true. Perhaps we should consider that there are different types of music listeners. Some people only like one genre while others have a broader range of musical tastes. When I was programming for college radio, I learned that you cannot please everyone. Certainly - I tried to please the majority and keep my show fresh by playing lots of new releases. My format was "rock" but other genres visited from time to time. For example "Steely Dan" is known as a "rock" band but their music often merges with jazz and other sounds.
Music Culture and the future
It's a different world today, from when I grew up in the 60's & 70's. We didn't have "You Tube" or the internet. Radio and television were the main source for news, information and music. The pace was much slower back then. We didn't have distractions like video games, cell phones, cable TV or the internet. Radio was exciting and always played a great variety of artists. As a musician, it was important for me to hear the newest sounds, and radio in the late 60's /early 70's had a lot of great music to choose from.
We have come a long way from the birth of Rock and Roll. There are certain truths about music that can be stated. Music is timeless - and many old favorites still sound great today.
Changes in technology have affected music - both in recording and in its distribution. While the internet has created more opportunities for musicians and music enthusiasts - let's not forget about the poorer folks who cannot afford computers or high speed internet. Music should be made available for everyone. I believe that RADIO has a great potential for revitalizing the music industry - once it is opened up to receive a flood of new artists and new music. Having the public involved in determining which music is worthy of airplay will level the playing field for access to the public airwaves.
As for what the next "new sound" will be - who knows?
Music is a valuable, natural resource. It is time that we reclaimed our public airwaves and helped to shape a more diverse, richer MUSIC CULTURE.
"As in life - so in music"