• Stepping Stones Kottla

Music throughout the decades

By Emma Kydd.



For this article I chose to compare my two favorite decades of musical creations which are the 1950s and the 2000s. These two ears have dominated different genres as well as giving birth to what was yet not to be known.

The 50s and the 00s were very different in what type of music that was popular and so the type of artist was very diverse. During the 00s R&B was at its peak, but other genres like hip-hop and so on were still popular. The 00s was a decade filled with fashion, dance and music and so the people were flourishing in colours. Artists like NE-YO, Rihanna and Mary J Blige were popular. However the 50s was a time of Rock & Roll, but it was more than that it was a way of living and as they say in the rolling stone it was something completely new something that had never before been heard. But in reality the 50s rock and roll was not all about the music and the innovations rather it was the first time that music had been made for the youths in another way than it had been done before. Because if you look closely “rock and roll is simply nothing but rhythm and blues” as Fats Domino said. The audience of rock and roll was limited but it was a way of free expression that had not been seen before. Artists from the 50s have left a legacy that is hard to look past with artists like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard and so on.


The 00s music of R&B had been heard before just in different ways such as blues and so that is one of the biggest differences the rock and roll era came as a chock because nobody had heard such music and it had such a big influence on the youth but the R&B was nothing new it was just at its peak during the 00s.


We live in a world with endless opportunities based on electronics and social media and so during the years we have been able to develop more and more complicated techniques for recording and producing music. During the 50s tape machines were a must in a recording studio, every instrument and sound was taped individually to be put together in a song. Compressors were also important together with the compressors and the tape machines the 50s laid the foundation of how we would develop our techniques in the future. One of the moat choking features during the 50s was the echoes, something that hadn't been done before using a machine to reproduce the sound already made creating a whisper or echo in the background. We can see a big difference in music recording and production between the 50s and 00s. During the 00s the music industry had taken a large step towards the electronic development frome juke boxes to MP3’s and IPods. The studios developed into what we have today with microphones and a recorder that was able to take up all the noise at the same time almost the same as it is now just a little less developed and obviously we have refined some of the techniques from the 00s like autotune and the way to record and the noise of the microphones.


The 50s and the 2000s are different in so many ways from the way artists sang to what type of voice was considered to be beautiful. The sound during the 50s was supposed to be a little raw like a work ink progress and during the 00s everything had to be mastered and clean. But looking closer up on the different decades we can also see similarities, it’s really the same type of music but we comprend and reproduce the sounds to adapt it to society and your own reality.


Throughout the decades music has evolved and it will probably continue to do so for all eternity, in some ways different styles of music trends just like fashion and some genres we see come back years later. Every decade brings something new to the table and therefore both the 50s and the 00s have been a part of the evolution in music. I would never say that anny decade has been still in development rather I would say that it has immersed us in that style or genre of music bringing us a deeper understanding of or meaning to the music we hear. The 50s has brought a whole new genre of music to the table, Rock & Roll and as I have mentioned earlier that became a lifestyle, rock & Roll have been a huge step on the development of hip hop and Punk. then we have the 00s bringing a whole new meaning to R&B, sure this decade didn't bring us a new genre but it gave music a whole new meaning mixing different styles to create new sounds and making something for everybody to listen to in a way that had never been before. It gave the people a reason to come together no matter differences or ethnicities. Therefore I see all decades as evolution rather than involution because it continues to give us a deeper understanding for others.


As I have written about these two decades I have been able to read and get my facts really understanding the similarities and the differences between them so what do I really think? Well that's a hard question to answer because so many great things have come from these two decades and that's what we see the upside of it. Looking at the two decades from a critical point of view I would say that the 50s was too selective. What I mean by that is that the audience of rock & roll was the youth and as I see it music should be able to spread a message or a meaning to anybody listening to it, I felt as if during the 50s that was not mediated. The musical environment during the 50s was more excluding than before because as I said the music was directed towards the youth. During the 00s the music was more diverse as R&B is a music with no special target nor audience, you can choose between more artists that mediated different meanings and find the one artist that makes you feel like they understand you. Although there were downsides of the 00s music as well. We all know about the legendary fashion during the 00s and we constantly see it coming back during the modern way of living and today's fashion. What I am trying to say is that all of the glamour of being famous, the music video and the importances of wearing the right outfits took focus away from what was really important, the music. In some ways it was more important looking at what she or he wore in that one music video than hearing the lyrics of the song. I feel as though the fame was more about appearance and less about talent and as I see it it lowered the standards and in some cases the quality of music as well.


In many ways I like the 50s more, the almost unfinished untrained voices of the artist make me feel happy, lowering the standards on perfect but at the same time having such high quality in what they do. Now during the 2000s I feel as though everybody can become an artist by using autotune or singing “live'' on stage having a recorded song in the background only mimicking the song. Everybody sounds the same not wanting to risk their success by stepping out of their comfort zone. Reading what I have written I am surprised seeing how far we have developed and in some ways I still feel like we are standing still. Maybe in 15 years from now a whole new genre of music has been created four our children to listen too and that's the magic of music never knowing what's coming right around the corner.