Is music dead? - By Linn Ståhl
“Music is dead” and “Rock and Roll is dead” are two phrases used among many people that have become more popular to use over time. What do people mean by “dead” and why is it that music today is considered to be dead? If so, when did we stop to create new music?
Rock music is considered to be dead by many, whilst others disagree. Today, the major music genre playing is hip hop, or rap music. The days of rock and roll have ended according to many and it has faded into the background of the music industry. Rock music started during the 1950’s and has since then reinvented itself many times over, but it has been a while since the rock broke through and became relevant again. Many are saying that the 21st century is the end of Rock and Roll and I agree. Of course, the genre is not going to be eliminated from music as it has an important history, but since rock is constantly fading away people are starting to forget. Parents and grandparents will always remember, but the millenials are focusing more on hip hop and “new music”.
There aren’t as many rock bands as there used to be and those who remain, such as AC/DC and The Rolling Stones are on their way to retirement. New rock bands have formed but the audience has shrinked heavily and other music genres have taken over. The music today revolves mainly around hip hop and rap, and many of the artists that are famous today all rely on the same thing- marketing. Music is no longer about the lyrics or the message behind the songs but instead about the marketing of the artist, who often partner up with big companies to make sales. Since Rock and Roll is no longer as relevant, some companies decide to lay their focus on the next big upcoming artist and Rock and Roll automatically fades out.
The phrase “Music is dead” has become more and more common over the years. Personally, I believe that music died many years ago, around the millennial shift. During the 19’s, many new music genres were formed such as Rock and Roll during the 50’s and pop during the 80’s, but since the 90’s there haven’t been a different music genre used in today’s music. As mentioned earlier, the biggest music genre today is hip hop and rap, and new songs are constantly released with different lyrics and the sound of different beats. Even though that is true and they are different, you can hear that many have the same sounds as songs originally made during the 70’s.
If we were to use an example, take The Weeknd’s new album After Hours, my point is clear. His songs are based on already existing songs and the basic melody is not original. The album may be good and I may like the songs, but if you were to just listen to the actual instruments used in the song you clearly hear the synth being the dominating instrument throughout the album together with drums. The synth became popular during the 80’s and almost every single song that was made back then had a synth playing in the background, and today we hear the same thing. Now now people might say that it is cool how we today can use old songs to create new ones, but I would still have to say that the music is dead if we can’t come up with anything original and new.
If I don’t believe that the music today is original and new, when did I think that and when did we stop to create new music? There have been many music genres throughout the past decades and sub genres from that, but the last new “genre” would have to be the time of Swedish House Mafia and their house music. The concept of DJ:ing was already known but they managed to grow so big by using new sounds that had never been used in that way before.
Their legendary concerts and messages behind many songs such as Don’t You Worry Child and Save The World were a whole new concept for the world and they managed to climb to fame in a matter of days. By only using computers and mashing up different electronic instruments to create music, they made the house music insanely famous. Sadly, after they split around 2012 the music creation went downhill. No new concepts were invented and no new type of music rose to the surface. The music died together with The Swedish House mafia and even though it is still going strong, no new music has really been created.
To conclude, the music sadly died after the time of Swedish House Mafia and has yet to rise again. New music is constantly released, but nothing new and original has been released since the times of the mafia and will probably never be released again.