Opinion: Is there too much music?


New technology has not only increased the demand for music but has also changed the way that music is being produced. ( Thatgirlwhoreads /Creative Commons)

New technology has not only increased the demand for music but has also changed the way that music is being produced. (Thatgirlwhoreads/Creative Commons)

It is no secret that our generation has led to an increase in the production of many things. The technology boom and growing fashion industry are just a few of the more popular changes. One of the other changes has been in the music-making industry. Lately, there has been a huge increase in the amount of music made and produced, stemming from a variety of causes. The huge increase in technology; has made it easier to quickly record and produce music, as well as download and stream it. However, there is also a huge demand for music. People spend their days going from their morning playlist while they get ready for work, to the radio in their car, the tunes played in local coffee shops and grocery stores and finally listening to some calm music while they unwind from their day with dinner.

We are constantly getting a stream of music pushed into our ears by the industry, and the only thing we can say is that we want more. James Jackson Toth, a writer for NPR music, put it well when he said, “modern life, with all of its informational density, has rendered filtering out the noise virtually impossible.” At this point, it is too late to retract the amount of music that has been put out into the world. It is painfully obvious, however, that we don’t wish to retract it at all. Toth calculated the exact amount of time it would take for him to listen to all of the music that he possessed and found that it would be mathematically impossible to listen to all of it before he passed on. It is a forlorn thought that despite all the music we possess, there are songs and albums that we may not every hear again due to the sheer volume of different songs we listen to.

The amount of music being made now also calls into question the issue on whether the quality of music is declining. With the production of more technology and the need to produce new music quickly, in order to satisfy the needs of the consumer there has been a huge increase in techno/electronic music. This is not only the music that directly falls into this genre, it also points a finger at all of the artists who have switched from instrumentals behind their vocals for the more convenient option of an electronic backdrop that can be manufactured on the computer. This new music is the staple of the younger generations and they seem to really enjoy it.

Having grown up in a household listening to The Beatles, Queen, Prince, Billy Joel and so many more talented musicians, it is so depressing to listen to the music that comes out on the radio now. There is so much less talent behind the new faces of the music industry. What ever happened to not hearing the difference between artists playing live and listening to their albums? Artists have frequently been exchanging talent for performance quality while trying to put on a spectacular show for their audience. There are some obvious exceptions to this: Bruno Mars, Eminem, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and P!nk to name a few.

New music is so much less personal than what it used to be. This, of course, is not true of all artists. I sincerely believe that there are new artists that are releasing good music that focuses on real world issues and also tells personal stories that people can relate to. Toth talked a lot about how he knows more about the albums he hated in 90s than he does about his favorite albums that were released last year. This rings so true these days. People even have a hard time identifying the names of the songs that they listen to because of the massive amount of songs they know. I’ll even admit that there are songs that I don’t recognize the name of until I hear it.

So, how can we remedy this overproduction of music and decline in quality? The sad answer is we can’t really do anything about the volume of music because it is already produced. People will always have every song ever recorded right at their fingertips with the use of the Internet and streaming websites. It also seems that the quality of music probably won’t improve. There will always be those reliable artists that keep putting out great music that is inspired and beautifully written and performed. However, it seems as though our society, as the next generation comes around, has evolved to like the new electronic style of music. It seems as though the days of The Beatles and Billy Joel are coming to a close, and I am so sorry to see them go, along with many other talented artists.

Kaitlyn Pierce is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached be reached via email at kaitlyn.pierce@ucon.edu.

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