Is There Really Such a Thing as New Music?
The funny thing about music criticism is that you’d be surprised as to how many people can’t even agree on even the most basic ideas. Take the case of new music. A lot of people think that this has something to do with some alternative music scene or some relatively unknown college station musical act. The problem with those definitions is that they are definitions imported from over 20 years ago. They’re no longer relevant today.
While it’s true there are a lot of acts born at college campuses, there are many more musical acts which haven’t even stepped foot on college. They form at work. They form at a random meeting of friends. They form among strangers meeting at the street. You’d be surprised as to how many artistic combinations are possible as people go about their daily lives.
Unfortunately, a lot of this is completely invisible to the old musical establishment. Thankfully, the Internet has changed all of that, and we are now several steps closer to truly having a platform where newer music can be shared and appreciated.
Which begs the question is there really such a thing as new music? Well, there are two schools of thought to this, and a lot of this has to do with your connection with the old music industry.
I’ve already described the traditional music industry’s definition of new music. There has to be some sort of commercial connection. There has to be some kind of fan base that can be scaled up.
The other end of the argument is that new music can be boiled down to people just being inspired and being motivated enough to record and put it up on the Internet. That’s new music. It doesn’t matter how rough it is. It doesn’t matter how short and polished it is. It doesn’t even matter whether it sounds like it was recorded with a potato. What matters is people allow their inner creativity to push them to such an extent that they went through the time, effort and bother of recording that material. That’s new music to them.
We take a different view. Our view is that by offering a platform for people to record music, we end up sharing this music so that other people would be inspired by this material. This inspiration may be the fountainhead or the ultimate source of truly new music.
It’s easy to get jaded and think that a lot of the stuff that seems so new and cutting edge are just rehashes of something old, do keep in mind that this criticism can be made for any kind of music. Originality is situational. It’s also a matter of interpretation. Think of music as essentially a blues riff. While different musicians can come up with amazing blues riffs, ultimately they are just renditions. What makes one riff different from another is performance and rendition and not actual kind. Keep this in mind. After all, the blues follows a certain formula. We believe music in general follows this pattern and no one is really served if we choose to think otherwise. Pretending that this is not the case only sets us up for disappointment.