• Stepping Stones Kottla

20 Years of the Modern Music

By Livia Ekman.

My first time listening to the type of music from the 60s was when I was younger and “Behind Blue Eyes” of The Who started playing and my whole family started singing together, now some of their music pieces are my favourite, including “Behind Blue Eyes”. When I listened to ABBA that emerged in the 70s for the first time was probably sometime when I was really young but when I got older I really started loving “Dancing Queen” and as the song says I enjoyed (and for matter of fact still do) dancing to it. These decades have their positives and negatives that can be compared with each other to see how only some years in the music history can change.

In the 60s there was an evolution in fashion and in music which means that society changed too. There were a lot of social influences during this time that changed the music entirely, and it became more alike to the music that we have today. Different kinds of rock were created and new pop sheltered the rock and roll and it didn't have as considerable popularity as before. They usually said that the 60s never had a “bad” song both because important musicians or symphonies (bands) that had a big role during this time, for instance The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who etc. Also that the taboo of writing special or extraordinary lyrics, like sad songs, disappeared. People didn't become afraid to write about what they wanted and confident writing became more popular, you had no obstacles when writing lyrics. This is possible to observe in the 70s as well, because of all the lyrics about abuse and love (both emotional and romantic).

As in the whole music history the society reflected on the different arts even so music. There were a lot of different popular genres in the 70s, for example soft rock, funk, punk rock, country rock, reggae and disco. These genres and music were made according to the society which were focused on six main importance; love, drug abuse, peace, revolution and optimism. John Lennon's song “Imagine” showed optimism in the society and beliefs about present and future peace. During the 70s the rock had a great variety. Hard rock became more intense and soft rock became more delicate. In the 70s the music became more colorful and larger differences between genres and subgenres were seen but in the 60s there was more of an evolution with the music. There were similar genres in both decades but in the 70s they changed direction and became more expressful. Even though there is only a 10 years difference between the decades the music changed.

Rock music developed in the 1950s but it grew and changed in the 1960s. It had a whole other diversity and a lot of subgenres entered. It got very popular and every individual genre had its own unique style. New popular music bands appeared and they depended on the different rock genres. If their own style of rock got more popular they made music associated with what the people wanted it to be. When rock music changed in the 60s it became the same rock that we have today. The 60s music had more of a society that was mixed, which the music became. On the other hand of course some music styles became popular but there was still a lot of diversity. Some people liked a specific type of music and others didn't, everyone was different from each other. The reason for that the genres in rock music and other styles as well was different from each other was because the society was more rebellious compared to the 70s. This caused, as many were taking drugs, the psychedelic rock to form, which is a complex style that contains lyrics of protest. Some parts were about being “cool”, going against the domination and having a certain youth style, which also created garage rock, but the majority was to achieve freedom and human rights. In that time they all fought tough for what they wanted, but it showed in the 70s as there was a higher equality and everything became more calm being ordinary turned into being popular.

As most people didn't want to be distinct from the society in the 70s everyone played the same music. Therefore the rock became more of a common and a frequent music genre than before. Everything was normal and everyone played the same music. There were a few genres that most people listened to. Some of the rebelliousness were still left from the 60s but everything was still more calm and without the more chaotic rebels was a larger optimism among humanity, which was shown in the music. This made people to be together, people shared music and focused on being with each other. Bob Marley's “Redemption song” showed the peace that they had and wanted. This led to the popularity of different rock styles and disco mixed styles. That people could dance united with the music. This was why the innovation of DJ was created. In the 70s they had DJs, which is very popular today but in the 60s they didn't and was more focused on the different rock styles.

A new invention of a portable stereo was made during the 60s, which made it easier to share each other's music and it wasn't necessary to always need to listen to a band or other musician play live. It took some time to make it convenient but in 1965 a American Engineer made a noise reducing sound, which made the recording and sound (in stereos) better and more effective. This advanced into portable multi record players, eight track players and much more.It developed into a personal stereo that everyone could use in the late 70s. The huge step of being able to record music has a big importance of advanced music. Today we listen mostly to music that has been recorded, which is very practical and without this we wouldn't be able to do it. We wouldn't be able to listen to our favorite music piece whenever we wanted to.

The main point of the technology during this time was music engineering. This became a similarity in the development in the 60s and 70s as the new musical apparatus was mostly recorders, audio cassettes (playing audio) and portable stereos and cassettes. They also became more personal use, which provided that a more variety of people could play their own music, play instruments and record it. The reason for this was that the newer technology from part of 1900, to now and in the future is to make everything easier for the human kind. The new tool that was portable made it easier for us, we could listen to music by ourselves or together by not having to go listening to someone play or sing live music. Most of the important instruments have already been made, which means that they only can develop into more extravagant tools like recorders.

In the periods of the 60s and 70s a lot of important musicians became iconic for the music history. The 60s had The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Bob Dylan (more as well) while the 70s had Stevie Wonder (he became very popular during the 70s), Queen and Pink Floyd. All these artists in both decades had been extremely important for the music history and are the iconic artists of all time. Many musicians today have taken inspiration from them and they have a large role in the development of the music. These got very popular which means that they have affected remarkably many people with their music.

I am not a person that listens to this type of music and from this time but I still found both periods interesting. When I listen to the music from the 70s the rock music is more calm and acoustic and the 60s rock feels more heavy and solid even though in general both had subgenres in the rock you used heavier sounds, which was what many people did in the popular genre hard rock. Despite this, there were a few bands in the 60s that I admire, The Beatles (the core was some rock and pop) and The Who. From the 70s music I like the band ABBA but it is probably impossible to dislike. This band really shows how the 70s started to share the music and danced together compared to the 60s where the people were more rebellious. Although they were interesting, I criticise one part of the 60s. When most people didn't follow the rules and when it was popular to be a typical youth a lot of drugs were involved. When famous artists and musicians were doing drugs to have fun with the music and so on. This became a part of the culture that younger generations followed onto, which was not positive. Even though they were having fun during this time, things had their consequences. Both periods in general, music genres were similar (as they are close to each other) like rock, pop and punk. The 60s working for the freedom developed into the 70s were they had a bigger optimist. The 60s were more rebellious and had a variety of different people. In the 70s people liked more common music styles and shared them. This was reflected in the music, which became the differences between the periods. These decades have been the start to modern society and therefore present music, some of the music that I listen to.