How creative are the musical arts today in the popular sphere, in the classical sphere, in the contemporary sphere? How impacted are these designs by conspicuous consumption, by nature, by human imagination? Are there natural designs in the picture above that inform us about music design? Tell us what you think.

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125 thoughts on “How creative are the musical arts today in the popular sphere, in the classical sphere, in the contemporary sphere? How impacted are these designs by conspicuous consumption, by nature, by human imagination? Are there natural designs in the picture above that inform us about music design? Tell us what you think.

  1. I feel popular music has been dumbed down over recent years. Rarely do I hear something on Pop Radio that challenges my ear. I think it is due to the dumbing down of our culture. We want fast & easy answers. With Google at our fingertips there’s no need to research, study, or dig for answers-they’re all right there. I feel this has impacted music by making it quick & easy for consumers without regard to content and quality. Although recording techniques produce outstanding audio quality, and a song may have a catchy hook, it is void of emotion. There are still artists that strive to give their music emotion & depth. Most of them fall outside of what society calls, “popular.” I find them in the Jazz community, Alternative Music, Classical Musicians, etc… I don’t find them on big money radio stations,

    There is rhythm in everything. Langston Hughe’s, “First Book of Rhythm,” has an awesome way of exploring this concept. The waves have their own pulse as they push in and pull out. The flap of a bird’s wings, if watched closely, will provide a syncopated beat to that pulse. Their calls finish the chart, provided by the layers of waves, clouds, and horizon, in a haunting melody.

    1. Emotion in Popular music now feels lost and you made that point. When I was writing my response I didn’t know exactly how to phrase it but you phrased it perfectly. There’s such a separation between the artists passion and the finished product that the consumer hears now in popular music and that’s due in part to a conflict of interests between the artist and the label and in part by the consumers. We as consumers have forced the music developers to tailor their songs to the “next big thing” and that is putting a strain on the artists.

    2. I agree with both points made. I have found that pop music is not challenging to the ear but that’s because no one wishes to be challenged. While the quality of recording has increased exponentially, the quality of song writing has not.

      I have been able to find rhythm in every aspect of my life. Whether it is the beat of my heart, the pounding of rain, or the whisper of wind, music surrounds us.

    3. You present a good point, and I love the imagery of waves and how it relates to music. Can you elaborate on how pop music has been dumbed down? That’s another question worth pondering

    4. I like what you said about how the internet and society’s recent need for quick answers has been impacting music; it’s a sad reality that most people don’t sit down and take the time to really process works of art. However, I do remain hopeful that modern music that does have a unique message to profess becomes more popular, and with poet-like rap artists and alternative bands becoming more and more mainstream, this may one day become a reality.

    5. I respectfully agree yet disagree with your statement about the “dumbing down” of music. I like how you explained how our culture wants fast and easy answers and how everything is right there for us. I would like to know more what you mean about how music has been dumbed down and what it has been dumbed down from. I hear music in everything, and if an artist makes an attempt to make a sound out of something to make others happy, then they have succeeded. Complex rhythms do not need to be present in every single piece of music that we hear, it all depends on what we are used to and what we like. Sometimes more simple rhythms or less chaotic music is more soothing than something with many different instruments and sounds all at once.

    6. I’m not sure if the problem is our need for fast and easy answers so much as it is the proliferation of mass media. Because we can consume vast amounts of music while paying very little, music writers need to produce more to make a living. Before someone is a musician, they are a person, and a person needs to make money in order to live. You can’t necessarily blame a musician for producing a lot of quick, shallow music if the economy won’t allow them to live off of occasional more emotional pieces.

  2. The range of variety and creativity in the spheres of music today is fascinating. In popular culture, music focuses on having a catchy beat, memorable lyrics, and an easy-to-sing melody that stays in your head all day. The classical sphere aims for a more in-depth presentation of music, aiming more on a sophisticated score than a fun, addictive melody. Contemporary music has many facets. Pop, Broadway showtunes, and many other genres are enjoyed by this generation. All of these aim to appeal to listeners by making their songs exciting, stimulating, and catchy.
    Pop music is strongly affected by consumption. Once a song becomes popular, consumers cause that popularity to grow exponentially. Listeners base their interest in pop songs more on what they hear their peers listening to and what is successfully promoted than whether or not they actually like the song more than any other. Classical music is strongly influenced by nature. Many classical pieces, such as Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” or Holst’s “The Planets”. Contemporary music is full of creativity and imagination. Today song writers focus mostly on tone and rhythm in their music making. Different combinations of rhythm are used to hold the attention of the audience and pull them into the music. All large variety of tones is being explored through new technology. Composers use their imagination to mix and match beats, tones, melodies, words, theory and many other elements in new and unconventional ways.
    In this image, there are many auditory indications of music – the wind blowing through the thistles and the leaves of the trees, the sound of crickets and other insects buzzing, perhaps birds singing. It also has many visual attributes that coincide with our perceptions of music. The deep blue of the sky brings to mind the deep sound of strings, such as the violins in “The Blue Danube”. The thistles look as though they may be swaying, a motion which we hear clearly in “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” They overlap the trees, which overlap the sky. Layering is almost always heard in music, an obvious example being Pachelbel’s “Canon in D”. The overall mood of the scene is very cheerful. It takes the viewer to a sunny, summer day. This, then, most accurately depicts a major key. There are countless details to this scene. Many of them cannot be seen individually. The smaller, distant thistles are not immediately noticeable, the leaves and the branches on the trees do not pop out exclusively. And yet each leaf, each stem, each tree, each branch contributes something to the image as a whole. This is how many musical pieces are. You may not notice the cello or the French horn at first, as the violins and the trumpets are much more pronounced parts of an orchestra. But when you listen to a piece with the less conspicuous instruments removed, you realize that it is not nearly the same without them. The alto and bass may be difficult to isolatet in a choral setting, but they are half the beauty of the choir. Overall, this image, when studied, is very musical. With the sounds indicated, the color and depth, the swaying rhythm, the multiple layers, the bright mood, and the small yet important details, the picture, as an orchestra, might sound very similar to Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers.”

    1. In my opinion, the creativity in the popular sphere of music today is lacking. Most popular music today sounds the same. Because of the affect consumption has on it, once something popular comes out then everyone else tries to mimic it to gain popularity as well. So, we’re left with music that all sounds similar and not very creative or original. The popular music today is more so affected by the consumer end of the spectrum than nature or human imagination. They create music that teenagers will relate to instead of what they see in nature or imagination. The classical sphere on the other hand exhibits much creativity that obviously appeals to people, otherwise they wouldn’t be considered classic. People come back to them and enjoy the creativity that it possesses that thankfully doesn’t sound like other pieces much like popular music does. It has a hint of human imagination in it that sets it aside from other music and other genres and paints nature in a realistic and artistic way. Contemporary music never seems to die. Consumers constantly relive this music and wish that it would be more popular today, such as bands like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. It is music that involves a depiction and nature and human imagination that people are consistently drawn to. It has been passed down for generations and has evolved with people. It captures the essence of the way human imagination has changed and the subtle differences in nature as the world has grown. An example of this is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 which includes movements representing a fast and playful stream, the building and nearing of a thunderstorm, and the final resulting downpour. In regards to the picture above, music can be captured in many different ways. The scene is very calming which leads me to picture a soft, slow, growing piece of music. The hot sun and the blowing wind giving a heavier but simpler tone to it. I picture a playful melody as the plants sway from the wind. The picture as a whole somehow gives me the picture of certain instruments rising above and playing the moving melody while the other instruments play the underlying sounds of the whooshing wind and the tiring, beating sun.

      1. I loved the imagery you created with your post when you gave examples of nature in music. I relate to this imagery because music has always painted pictures in my mind.

      2. Do you believe that there is a way that the popular music can redeem itself in todays world with a progression of technology, or do you believe that the progression of technology has halted the creative aspect of current popular music?

    2. Hey! I really liked how you put pieces and composers into your blog post! It made me be one with music and nature all at the same time! Fantastic job!

    3. I really enjoyed reading about pop music and its link to consumption. Could that also apply to classical music as well? And classical music has other programmatic associations (i.e. telling a story). Do you think that could apply to nature, if you imagine what’s going on as you’re listening to the music?

    4. Your perspective on nature and how the sounds of music flow through the motions of the outside world is very creative and well articulated. Great job!

    5. I really like how you said popular music is based more on amount of consumption and how it is based on what your peers think. I think this is important because popular doesn’t always have the most color and depth but it still receives a high consumption rate from listeners and people lack their own opinions

    6. I like what you said about the picture in that the each of the pieces of the photo add to the scene as a whole. Music really is exactly the same way; all of the little pieces (the notes, beats, etc.) combine to make the complete piece.

    7. I believe different music genres are so diverse we can’t really judge them against each other, I like your note about the overall image in the picture with layers of music. Also enjoyed your song examples that you dropped throughout your paragraph to prove your point further.

    8. I love the Tchaikovsky example that you gave! it is a wonderful arrangement and certainly a good example of all of the things going on in nature. There are certainly subtle sounds and rhythms in the picture that you may not notice at first, but upon closer inspection one can imagine grass swaying in the wind, birds chirping, bugs buzzing all around, all participating in the blissful ambience of the picture.

    9. Thank you for bringing up Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers” ! This is honestly one of the best examples of the original question. You can really tell he paid attention to nature in composing the piece. It helps that he lived in the Romantic Era where nature was at the forefront of art!

  3. No matter what genre of music you listen to—whether it be Beethoven’s dramatic 5th symphony, the cool and tantalizing sounds of jazz music, or the pulsing rhythm of modern rap—there is always a distinct sense of creativity and emotion. A lot of current music centers on the electrifying, catchy songs with rebellious and bold lyrics to entice a younger crowd to join in the spirit of merriment. That kind of music gets people dancing on their feet and letting go of their daily worries. In contrast, classical music, such as Gabriel Faure’s “Pie Jesu Requiem”, is a gentler, solemn, and prayerful piece that asks God to have mercy on the souls who have passed away. Classical music usually provokes audiences to relax and ponder on the meaning behind the poetic lyrics, or simply enjoy the masterful collaboration of instruments. I believe that all music cannot be written without requiring a level of creativity from which the artist composes a message to send out to his or her listeners. Some may argue that modern day music is merely technology replacing traditional instrumentation. In my opinion, however, I believe that modern pop still invokes emotions in people regardless of how it was composed. Even synchronized dance songs still need inspiration in order to create a message to pass on to others.
    When I seek inspiration, or when I am completely lost and struggling to sort out my thoughts, there is nothing more calming than taking a walk outside and experiencing the beauty of the world around me. It is the same concept when listening to music. Some days my heart yearns for consolation, and I find it when I close my eyes and lose myself in the exquisite piano piece “The River Flows in You”, by pianist Yimaru. Or when I need to unwind after a long day, and relax outside in the evening with friends, I tune into some vintage jazz sung by the legendary Frank Sinatra. And some days, I just need to let go and turn up a pop song to replace my frustration with exhilaration. I believe that music can easily be found in the sounds of crickets outside, or the rustling of autumn leaves, or the squeals of laughter of children playing by the ocean. We each individually find our own versions of music by what we see, feel, and think. And for some, they find it in combining notes together through auto-tune. And for others, like classical composers, it is found by personal experience. But as I said in the beginning of my post, no matter what kind of music you listen to or write yourself, it cannot exist without emotion. From where you find that emotion, that sense of creativity, is entirely up to you.

    1. I can relate to my mood dictating what style of music I listen to. There are times I just can’t wrap my head around a particularly complex piece, so I have to listen to a simple tune to let my brain relax. When I’ve had a good day and I’m feeling free I like to throw on something fast and upbeat. I am an emotional person. I guess that’s why music has always been such a big part of my life. There has always been a style to meet my expectations at any given time.

    2. You did an amazing job describing how the contrasting styles of music can bring many different yet deep emotions to the listener. Being able to channel emotion through song is such a powerful thing that musicians today have the ability to do. Whether it is to “turn up” as you called it or to calm down, we use many different styles of music to do just that.

    3. I enjoyed how you contrasted different genres of music. You generally don’t get up and dance to a slow or dramatic song, but something like a pop song may make you do so. I think its great to get inspiration from the outdoors also, what a great way to clear your mind.

    4. Music is relative. Music is a force beyond human comprehension. Music is the crisp sound of rain pattering on leaves as well as the hectic sounds associated with a hectic city centre. Even complete and utter silence is music in its own right (don’t believe me watch 4:20 by John Cage) Music is everything and nothing. I want to challenge the idea that music is tangible. Music is not tangible. It’s a feeling.

      1. I completely agree with how music is very much a feeling, not just sounds, tone, and time. I believe through music people can better channel their emotions.

    5. Your views on the messages relayed in different genres of music reminded me that music is an art no matter what it sounds like. I may not always see creativity in pop music, but I should remember that it is art no matter what. I need to keep my eyes and ears open to different music and appreciate it for what it is.

    6. I completely agree with your claim of music and emotion having an inherent connection! I have always thought the same. You used great examples of how different styles of music (with different instrumentation, in different keys, and different timbres and tempos) can convey a certain mood that commands our emotions.

    7. Hey Natalie, you had a great post, I can definitely see that you put a lot of thought into your writing. I completely agree that no matter what kind of music you’re listening to, there is always some way that it can evoke emotion in someone. I especially appreciated how you talked about how each kind of music can evoke a different emotion in you personally. Great job!

    8. I agree that there always has to be some level of creativity and inspiration in order to create any kind of music. There are compositions of a higher level, of course, than “Call Me Maybe”, for example, but there was also some amount of genius that went into the writing of that song that made it such a hit. Of course it did help that it was promoted by Justin Bieber, and as I said in my post, this kind of promotion has perhaps a larger effect on the popularity of a song than the quality of the song itself, but still – there is something about the song that is undeniably fun and catchy. What was it that made it that way? That’s a whole science in its own and a very different focus from what Beethoven and Bach had in mind when they wrote music.

      1. “Call Me Maybe” is a great thing to bring up! Oddly enough it was written but the singer of a rock band that I would consider to have creative and clever songwriting. Just because the song is pop doesn’t count off the skill of the writer behind it. Interesting note I thought I should point out!

    9. Awesome description of the feeling in music, It captured my personal ideas and feelings perfectly. I listen to all types of music so I really could relate to the different feelings I get listening to different styles and eras.

    10. I absolutely agree that there is creativity and beauty in all music, whether it is classical music or modern rap. The production of sound into music is a phenomena in and of itself, and I believe that everything produced has a purpose and a beautiful outcome in some way. It takes people with different experiences and cultures to appreciate all of the music that we are given, and it is not right to exclude any type of music just because we don’t find it pleasing. Emotion can be found or put into any type of music, no matter the type.

    11. I appreciate this post so much. Firstly, because it’s refreshing that you don’t criticize popular music for its simplicity. Mostly, I absolutely agree with you that music of all genres has its time and place and it’s all important in its own right. I love the language you used as well. I couldn’t have said this better, I think. Thank you for such a thoughtful response!

  4. In my opinion, the creativity in the popular sphere of music today is lacking. Most popular music today sounds the same. Because of the affect consumption has on it, once something popular comes out then everyone else tries to mimic it to gain popularity as well. So, we’re left with music that all sounds similar and not very creative or original. The popular music today is more so affected by the consumer end of the spectrum than nature or human imagination. They create music that teenagers will relate to instead of what they see in nature or imagination. The classical sphere on the other hand exhibits much creativity that obviously appeals to people, otherwise they wouldn’t be considered classic. People come back to them and enjoy the creativity that it possesses that thankfully doesn’t sound like other pieces much like popular music does. It has a hint of human imagination in it that sets it aside from other music and other genres and paints nature in a realistic and artistic way. Contemporary music never seems to die. Consumers constantly relive this music and wish that it would be more popular today, such as bands like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. It is music that involves a depiction and nature and human imagination that people are consistently drawn to. It has been passed down for generations and has evolved with people. It captures the essence of the way human imagination has changed and the subtle differences in nature as the world has grown. An example of this is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 which includes movements representing a fast and playful stream, the building and nearing of a thunderstorm, and the final resulting downpour. In regards to the picture above, music can be captured in many different ways. The scene is very calming which leads me to picture a soft, slow, growing piece of music. The hot sun and the blowing wind giving a heavier but simpler tone to it. I picture a playful melody as the plants sway from the wind. The picture as a whole somehow gives me the picture of certain instruments rising above and playing the moving melody while the other instruments play the underlying sounds of the whooshing wind and the tiring, beating sun.

    1. I agree completely. I have found that most pop music has the same components in every song. Nothing is truly original anymore because it doesn’t have to be. The only concern in a musician’s mind anymore is writing what will sell.

    2. I completely agree with your belief that creativity in popular music is lacking. Do you feel something could bring about a spark of creativity in artists that creates a whole new sub genre of pop music, in a way?

    3. I love classic rock acts of the 60s as much as anyone else, but I am compelled to say that popular music still has its merits today! Consumerism is always going to get in the way of art, and today the problem has exponentially evolved because of how the industry wants to advertise in order for the consumer to listen to what he or she likes.

    4. First of all, you are an incredible writer and that was a fantastic essay! I agree that modern music cannot bring the same sensation as classical music, for nothing will ever compete with the great musical works of history. All the same, as our world has grown, so has music in many ways. Some good and others not so much. Great job!

    5. Hey Mary Pat, I agree with your comments toward contemporary and popular music completely. I would argue that popular/modern music does still have a sense of creativity. To many people, many different classical pieces often sound the same, which could possibly be the cause of it’s unpopularity in today’s society. I just think that it takes a deeper understanding of a certain genre in order to find that creativity within it. I can definitely see your argument, I just am trying to give the benefit of the doubt to ll of the genres. Great job!

    6. I agree that the art of making music has changed. In fact it has become the art, not of music-making, but of music-selling – an art that is interesting and creative in its own way, but that dumbs down the intrinsic value of the music itself.

    7. I have never thought of the music of today as a mimic of other types of music but more repetive but it makes sense when you said that because people lack the creativity to make their own music making culture less creative

    8. I agree to some aspects of your statement. Some parts of the popular sphere are lacking in creativity, using the same format to produce songs. However, because music constantly evolves and changes new songs will be produce eventually spurring more creativity. On the whole, I agree with your statement the contemporary and classical spheres gave humanity some of the most creative works ever invented.

    9. I agree that a lot of popular music sounds the same these days, but I’m not sure that that’s wholly a bad thing. On the one hand, yes, it would be nice if we could count on every new song to be creative, original, and mentally stimulating. On the other hand, there’s something to be said for having a variety of songs that satisfy roughly the same taste.

  5. I feel like creativity within all music spheres vary, based on the attributes that are needed to construct each of those spheres. Popular music like rap, pop, and so on, all have different textures and timbre, so they all use different types of creativity. Such as percussion within rap music has gradually started to become more intricate and creative, while the melodies in pop music have become more creative in the way they interact with the accompaniment behind it. Repetition has been a form of creativity within all musical spheres. Melodies are always repeated and replayed throughout the art. Chord changes and harmonies are repeated to keep the structure of the song form. I think creativity comes from natural effects and human imagination. The fact that no one person thinks the same as another contributes to creativity. While natural influences help construct the creativity. For example, a person may be effected by something that happened in their life, positive or negative, and the imagination may be released to create a product of music. Many composers, performers and artists have all made products of music based on natural, worldly influences and the impact of the imagination.

    1. I had never thought of the difference between rap and pop music in regards to the percussion. It is now a bit clearer that modern music today is more creative than I had originally thought. Percussion serves a great purpose in music because more often than not it controls the beat. The intricacy and texture of the beat create a different and unique feeling and sound to all music. I like your point about repetition, melodies, and chords. Each musical piece is different, even if it is the slightest difference, because of these elements.

    2. It is interesting to read your prompt about the influences of music. I especially liked your input on what really hasn’t changed in music and how everything is almost exactly the same except for the style. It is interesting to think about how in a lot of songs, we really just repeat melodies over and over and people will hear it over and over and think nothing but of how beautiful (or terrible) it sounds. Also, chord progressions and harmonies that keep the structure of the song keep everything in line. It’s amazing how one suspension before a resolution can really extend a listener’s yearning to hear the rest of the song.

    3. Often I don’t think of different pop songs or rap as anything other than one big song. However, you make a good point that all genres have their own and individual creativity to them. Just as each person has their own creative way of writing music, each song has its own way of capturing attention. If we all sat down to write a song about flowers, for example, none of us would create the same tune, even if we are talking about the same thing.

    4. The world certainly leaves influences in our lives, but I had not thought about how it can affect the music we write and listen to. That’s a very good point, and a great essay!

    5. I like your description of personal creativeness through the different trains of thought of everyone. I agree with the claim that no-one can definitively say that one genre of music is less important than another because everyone thinks and perceives differently.

    6. I like your point about how reputation can be interpreted as a form of creativity. Many of Bach’s most famous works include repetitive measures. From Bach’s repetition many more works were made. In a sense, repetition can be considered a useful tool for creation.

  6. I believe that popular music today has become less creative over time. If anyone has listened to the “four chord song” on YouTube you know how simple it is to write a “hit” song today. Most songs follow the same theme, often times crude, and the music follows the popular dance rhythm that can be found on almost any pop radio station. I personally think that the most creative genres of music do not lie in the radio’s mainstream. Jazz and classical music are two genres that have provided me with the most diversity. I can find a piece from both genres in nature and human interaction. The picture above could fit into many classical pieces and even a large number of jazz pieces. I think this is because these genres do not follow the same technical map that pop music does.
    Music does have themes that lie in the natural world and human interaction, that’s how the first music was inspired. In order the produce new music though, it is crucial that a new way of expressing these themes is necessary. Pop music runs songs through the same cycle rather than finding new themes. The influence of the world needs to be more open to new themes and rhythms.

    1. Hello, now that I think about my blog post I wrote and your post that I read, I do believe that Pop music is less creative. All what it really is, is four chords! You are right! fantastic! 🙂

    2. I agree that music has become less creative over time. Much music contains the same overall theme and sound the same. I feel like we never hear something truly “new” nowadays. It is difficult to find a unique piece that was written as a modern piece. Different genres like jazz and classical do possess a uniqueness that exposes us to diversity which is what I would like to see in more modern music. I also agree that without the natural world and human interaction music would never have been discovered and created. Now, we just have to find the new natural and human inspiration for different music today.

    3. I think it’s a cultural thing. We want, and like, easy. Popular music is a good example of that. It’s easier to follow a cookie cutter mold to a number one money maker than it is to push the envelope and create something that’s fresh and exciting. I think of it as, “why try just to fail?” The money side of the industry wants to make a product that sells.Popular music has provided a blueprint to the easiest way to make that happen without regard to validity.

    4. I have to disagree with your opinion on pop music not being too creative. I believe that creativity is not limited to chord progression when it comes to music. Creativity also is dependent on the impact it makes on others. Creativity is dependent on how the artist feels about their work. Creativity is truly subjective. Sure, some songs have the same chord progressions but there are not very many new chord progressions we can make this day in age. Also, those chord progressions are appealing to the ears of you and me, are they not? So not only is the artist writing a song that they are satisfied with, but they are also satisfying the listeners all around the country or globe.

    5. I enjoyed reading your reply and agree with you when you say that most creative genres aren’t found in the radio today. I often struggle to find something really good to listen to rather than the same kind of song over and over. And I also liked how you explained why themes are necessary in music. Without a theme, we can’t portray any kind of structured or unstructured message.

    6. I wrote in my blog post about how pop music is a cookie cutter formula and the music itself gets lost in the yearning for relevance by the artists and the studios. The studio often destroys the music in order to make it into what the general public will buy and the artists often don’t get to write what they truly want to because of the contracts their bound by and the relevance they crave. I listen to Classical on a daily basis and its amazing how long good music can be good. I listen to pieces by Mozart. Who’s going to listen to a song by Adele in 500 years. After many years go by music gets dissected and it becomes more about the music itself than the feeling it was trying to convey to the populous at that time. after this dissection occurs only truly amazing music remains and keeps getting dragged throughout the century’s.

    7. Hey Emma, I completely agree that classical and contemporary have a different level of creativity compared to popular music. With that said, I think we can still listen to popular music with a certain level of understanding for the creativity that goes into it’s writing. People not familiar with classical music (such as me only a few years ago) often find classical music to be all the same. I think it really just comes down to our personal backgrounds and what we as listeners prefer in our genres of music. Great job!

    8. Interesting how you point out that the themes of classical music lie within nature. This emphasizes the fact that in modern music, the focus is not on the music. It’s on the words. While music used to be a valued art in itself, it is now used simply as a medium for expressing popular thought through simple and often shallow lyrics

    9. I agree with you that pop music doesn’t contain that much creativity. It all influences each other, and I stated in my reply to the blog post that all pop artists are trying to sell something. There is still a lot of variety, though; different things appeal to different people.

    10. Girl, I saw the ‘four chord’ video you mentioned, and I have to say that on some level, I agree with you. When it comes to popular music, it is lacking in creativity. However, I also think it’s kind of amazing that with just four chords, anyone can make music that people enjoy listening to. Without music being relatable to a large number of people, the art form might not be appreciated to it’s fullest capacity, which shows there is some benefit to ‘mainstream’ music.

  7. The creativity of musical arts today definitely differ in different genres. This past summer, I carpooled with my friends a lot, where the driver got to pick the music. I can only name about three songs that I really remember from these rides, because the rest of them kind of blend together in a song I could title, “familiarity.” I didn’t mind listening to these new pop songs, however, after awhile they weren’t new songs, but the same style and rhythm with different song titles and I could soon predict where the bass was going to drop. Thats not to say that all pop songs are uncreative, but I do believe that among classical and contemporary spheres, pop songs are less original.

    Classical and contemporary arts are more original as they use more imagination and nature sounds to compose and portray a specific message. Pop songs may use these tools for songs as well, but more on the lyrical side.

    In the picture above, I see the waves and horizon as guitar strings. They aren’t perfectly evenly spaced, nor are they incredibly straight. Therefore, I imagine the waves are actually vibrating or trembling as if someone has just strung a guitar or plucked a string. If you look at the topmost wave, you can see a break in the middle. This portrays musical design because it represents how one note or instrument can be played louder or more accented to create the correct message. Also, I think the waves are a good representation of how sound constantly changes. Once those waves hit shore, they dissolve until new waves take their place, just as music is played, resonates, then quiets until the next note is played.

    1. I agree that as we listen to more and more “popular” music it all begins to blend together and it is easy to place where certain parts of the music will occur. “Uncreative” may not be the word, as you said, but maybe “unoriginal.” It seems that music today has no originality and it can often be hard to distinguish between two songs. Lyrics are important but it is also important to include those natural and humanistic aspects into all types of music as well. I like the metaphor you used comparing the waves to guitar strings, it really painted a beautiful picture in my head that helped the natural world blend with music.

    2. I can agree that most of today’s “popular” music begins to sound like the same song. They begin to blend to the point that it’s hard to tell when one ends and the next begins. Now having said that, I find that’s true with most styles until you really start to get it in your ear. When I first started listening to Jazz I couldn’t distinguish between the melody and solos. It all sounded like one big solo to me. It wasn’t until I really listened and took it in that I started to hear the differences between musicians, styles, and songs.

    3. I agree how popular music is definitely more lyrical, rather than emotional or centered on inspirations from nature. I believe nowadays we are more focused on expressing bold words, but when we compare it to classical and contemporary music and realize how the instruments express sounds of emotion and feelings, instead of just saying something, repeating words, it can truly change the way a person listens to music. Wonderful essay, you have a great gift for writing!

    4. I like how you compared the wave to a guitar because I feel as though each wave does have its own string that vibrates at its own frequency to make a sound

  8. I do not think that the music arts in the popular sphere today are creative. The content of the music itself lacks the most creativity. Last week in class we touched on how artists and producers are trying to find the most creative and new sounds/color/timbre or rhythms. Different combinations of these make a work seem new and exciting. To me, most popular music today is more of the same in engraining pop culture with the same song structures, chord progressions, and lyrical content over and over again. These are not conducive to real human emotion. In my opinion, new music that is genuinely creative and that evokes true emotion is hard to come across today. By that I mean music that is a work of art is hard to come across. I mean music that has a purpose and meaning for the audience, whose creative values was not driven by conspicuous consumption, but by pure creativity, imagination, and heart. These values are what make us human.

    The image above informs us of these values. Nature does not serve any purpose but its own. The plants in the foreground are placed seemingly randomly and vary in height, yet there is unity in that they are all the same type of plant in the same area at the same time. These plants did not grow with the purpose of being aesthetically pleasing. These plants probably would never serve as the centerpiece on a dining room table. However, these plants serve a very important role in the ecosystem. Just like these plants, in my opinion, music should not be for the purpose of monetary gain, but to be true art with emotion.

    1. My favorite part of your comment was about the flower image and how it relates to music. You are right, nature does not live in accordance to anything but itself. Music comes and goes as it pleases in a way. It does not need to rely on other elements to sound how it wants. Especially in nature or in natural music outdoors, music is there to accompany and stir emotion rather than any kind of monetary gain.

  9. Music and nature are inexorably linked. I believe the reason is connected to a groundbreaking theory that attempt to explain the particles and fundamental forces of nature: superstrings. This quantum notion suggests that on a subatomic level, the universe is made up of vibrating strings. Strings are one-dimensional objects that propagate space and react with one another, and allows for there to be gravitational fields within our cosmos. Much like how guitar strings vibrate at certain frequencies via the airwaves, string theory fills the void with incomprehensible life from the roots, like a melancholy mandolin player pervading the aether of rhythmless rooms, constructing a pattern that is completely unique and integral to the space that surrounds him. Music mimics nature at every turn, and as the humans push the boundaries of science and evolution, music has evolved into a grandeur artifice that works all on its own. From a push of a button, synthesizers can arpeggiate keys in dorian mode, without any human interpretation. In the classical sphere, pieces have been written inspired by nature such as Debussy’s “Afternoon of a Faun”, and countless others. It was the composers encounter with nature that allowed his vessel to be permeated by it, as the body acted as a chassis for the locomotive of nature to cruise the mind. Where it wondered most often was through dense forests and prairies, and unimaginable crags which vaulted the ocean blue onto volcanic rock. In the space dust that makes up the multiverses theorized by our brightest minds, music lies embedded within every construct nature has provided, and will continue to do so in the impending age of revolutionary science, allowing music to be created without the interpretation of the human mind. Just as wind ruffles the ocean shore, creating a bass line that conch shells pick up on, and the treble of the high pitched bird calls echo and reverberate through the air, music lives and functions as an entity, forever unperturbed by the musings of a passerby on the beach.

    1. I thought it was neat to think that the world and universe is just a bunch strings. It is like dancing on a piano and everything you touch makes a sound allowing a note or chord to be made. The idea amazes me because it’s at a subatomic level.

  10. It pains me to hear people insist that popular music lacks creativity due to its simplicity and repetition. Perhaps music in certain genres sound similar because they have the same general pattern; this does not make any music invalid as a creative art. A musical work, no matter how intricate or how simple, came from somebody’s imagination. Sure, if you listen to a genre long enough, it all starts to sound the same. That’s because music works in patterns. That doesn’t mean that any one song is less creative than any other song.

    An artist has the right to produce what he/she wishes to produce. Consumption of certain types of music certainly does influence musicians, as many want to produce what they know will sell. I don’t think this should discredit a person as a musician.

    I personally hear sounds of nature in music just as I hear music in nature. Maybe artists in some genres are more influenced by the natural world than others, but that doesn’t change the fact that all music essentially comes from the same place. Music is an act of nature in itself.

    As I mentioned in a class discussion last week, I see everything for its purpose rather than what it is at face value. In the photo above, the plants are not just plants. They are a creation of God. They grow and they sustain themselves. They are made up of small parts, and they themselves are a small part of the world around them. They have a specific function to maintain the world’s natural balance. Music works the same way. Everything works in relation to everything else. Everything is made up of smaller parts. Furthermore, music, like everything else, is a gift from God and an important part of creation that serves a purpose.

    1. I like your thought process and I completely agree with you when people call pop music repetitive. There is only so many patterns you can use but it is up to what the artist does with that pattern is the creative part of pop music. I like your view about nature and how music and nature are viewed as the same thing. I think the same way because music is a creation of God which is why we fell so much emotion when we hear a certain type of song.

    2. Very powerful. I think, no matter what kind of music you listen to, the composer of that music is also the creator of it. In a metaphorical way, it opens the opportunity for composers to think of themselves as a God, since they have total freedom to do whatever they wish

    3. I am also under the impression that pop music, indie music, rap, and many other genres today have their merits. To me, music today has pushed the boundaries of storytelling and what is socially acceptable. I think about some of my favourite artists who aren’t afraid to wear what they want and implicate their sexual orientation within their lyricism, those are living testaments to the merit of pop music today

    4. While I do agree that a lot of popular music is genuine, I think a lot of it is processed and made to sell. I feel like when you get to a certain point, people expect a very specific picture with the songs you right, and wandering outside of that frame leads to failure; and I think many popular artists are scared of that. So they stay in their safe bubble and reap the rewards. There are enough artists though, that lend a lot of variety across different genres to the pot. My thing is just when artists themselves just take the easy route and just write about what they’ve always written about and do what they’ve always done; that’s what bothers me about popular music.

    5. Ruthie, I completely agree with your statement about how music is found in nature and how you can hear nature in music. I also like how you say you look at music for its purpose rather that value. Everything in the world should have a purpose. I also do believe everything works in relation to everything else. I also appreciate how you incorporate spirituality in your response. I know some may not agree but I am a believer of God as well and I do believe He is the ultimate creator of music.

    6. Ruthie, I completely agree that music works in patterns and can start to sound the same after a time. I also love that you recognize that music is an act of nature. You have a great understanding of the philosophy of music.

  11. The level of creativity in popular music, contemporary music, and classical music varies greatly between the three spheres. Though many may think that the contemporary sphere and the popular sphere have very to no difference between them, in my opinion, there is a world of difference in the quality of music that is produced. While popular music is often contemporary, it’s main goal is to attract as many audiences as possible through beats and lyrics that are universally attractive. However, in doing this, creativity in music is lost to a catchy tune that exists in almost every song that exists on the radio. In contrast, a lot of contemporary musicians are not aimed on reaching every audience, but on simply using modern techniques in sound production to get a given message across. Classical music is similar to contemporary music in that it still wants to spread a given message across, and that it doesn’t care if it doesn’t reach every audience. However, instead of using more contemporary methods of sound production, sound is produced through classical methods. For these reasons, popular music is more effected by conspicuous consumption, while classical and contemporary music is more effected by nature and human imagination.
    Speaking of nature, the image above says a lot about how nature effects music design through the way the stems of the plants interact with the wind. If the only thing that existed in that picture was a breeze, there wouldn’t be nearly as much sound produced as when plants are present, because of the noise that occurs when the wind ruffles through them. The more plants that are present, the more sound that can be made when the wind ruffles through them. This is similar to the way we make music in that the bigger an instrument, the more vibrations that can be produced from said instrument.

    1. Nature does have a huge impact on music because the way we see nature does go into music. There are many world renown music that are about nature such as Tundra by Ola Gjeilo. Gjeilo produced the feeling of being in a frozen land through the notes his uses and how expresses them. Some moments would be huge like if there was a blizzard while some were calm like a light snowfall. This shows how much nature reflects into music.

    2. I like your comment about that pop music is used to reach as many people as possible by using musical ideas that are “universally attractive”. And I agree with you that in trying to create songs that fall into this “universally attractive” category, we end up with the same thing over and over again.
      I REALLY like how you relate plants to instruments in that they make music when the wind touches them. I thought that was a very creative though.

    3. I agree with your point that popular music’s main goal is to attract as large of an audience as possible. However, I disagree that creativity is lost. With all the different genres of music that are being made today I believe creativity is in fact growing. As more songs are made, more stories are told and creation continues.

    4. Claire, you have very intelligent comparison to wind and vibrations of instruments and vocal music. I completely agree with what you have to say about that. I have to disagree with you on your comment about how music has lost its creativity. While a lot of current popular music do sound similar, I think that creativity of music is expanding in different ways. This is a very small example, but there is this gospel tune that incorporates part of Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 for a few bars. I know it isn’t much but I am almost certain other modern songs do something like that. All in all, great insight!

    5. I agree with your statement on the audiences musicians try to aim for. Creativity, in my opinion, is also based on who is receiving the information or music. Different sounds trigger different emotions for each person. If all musicians were trying to aim for one audience then there would only be one music genre and music sphere. I also liked your analogies with nature and the connection between nature and music and how we as humans use both of those to create an array of sounds that connect and make music.

  12. I think that today’s music lacks its own story and color. What I mean by that is if you take away the words of the song you lose the emotional connection. Music used to be more moving when you could feel the music in you and connect to it without having lyrics. There are still songs you can make connection to but they are rare in my opinion. Also, the songs that people of this generation listen to consist of drugs, alcohol, and demeaning both men and women. Plus the popular music sphere is more about making money then anything else.
    In the classical sphere, people always amaze because of how they keep coming up with new ways to interpret different chords and put them together on paper.
    In contemporary music people have different creative elements that add to the popular music sphere.
    I think both human nature and the natural world add a lot to music because one sound made by the wind blowing through an object or a human taking rhythmic steps to wherever they are going brings the ideas of music to life.
    For the picture, I think the waves represent the layers of music in a song , and the crashing of the waves is like a slur that connects water smoothly. I also think of what is not in the picture, the family that is at the beach laughing and playing or the plop of the sand when a kid drops wet sand on the ground. Finally, I think the ocean reflects everything about music because of how giant it is and you never know what you will discover down there.

    1. I have a question: When you say that music isn’t as creative if you take away the lyrics, do you think this is because the musical part of most pop songs are similar to each other?
      I like your analysis of the wave picture. I hadn’t thought of the things that might be present but not just in the frame of the image. Nice descriptions!

  13. The musical arts are constantly changing, from when they were first created to popular music of today’s society. Today, the musical arts are incredibly adaptive and creative. From one single genre of music, thousands of other music types can be created. Subcategories upon subcategories of music evolve from one simple sound. For, example “pop” music can branch out to alternative pop, hip-hop, EDM, Trap, and many more. There are also many cross changing categories of music, with artists creating songs that use numerous instruments, tempos, harmonics, and genres. Again, an example of combined music might be songs that are produced with rap and rock aspects.
    In the classical sphere, music was creative for the time. Artists such as Mozart and Beethoven created large works or symphonies with as much contrast as possible. Instruments were used to provide emotion for the works spurring imagination. For today’s standards classical works may be deemed as “less creative” but at the time they were written, classical works were groundbreaking.
    In the contemporary sphere, all music produced is technically creative. There are different way to analyze atonal and contemporary music/spheres versus classical music or popular . However, because of the constantly changing music styles, contemporary music is often perceived as less creative.
    With music today, the designs and production are impacted mainly by conspicuous consumption and imagination. Artists tend to produce what sells and what sells are songs that cause imaginative thoughts. So creativity is inspired by how well music is sold and benefits other people. However, nature is not a large contributing factor to modern music production. During the classical periods, music’s primary focus was nature. Songs and symphonies were written to show respect for nature or God’s wonder.
    With the picture above there are few natural designs that tell us about music today. The image may inspire songs of tranquility or synthetic tunes that cause deep thought processes. However, in classical time periods the image could have spawned an entire orchestral work.

    1. I agree about the expansion of music you talked about. It’s true that a genre of music can expand into even more like with you example for pop music. Creativity is a huge impact on how people view music because some people could listen to a song and their interpretation could be completely different from the artist’s view or the music video in contemporary times. But overall like your answers.

    2. The amount of genres that have spawned since technology began influencing music is astounding! I think it may be exponential, meaning that in 20 years alot of these genres will lead way to ones we could not even fathom, and by the time we hear it, our ears won’t even be able to tell the difference between one or the other. But the youth certainly will!

    3. Emma,
      I liked what you said towards the end of your comment about music’s purpose and how it is continually evolving; to me, it’s really too bad that nature doesn’t play a bigger role in modern music. With so much beauty in the world, it seems like a shame to leave it to the classical composers to attempt to express it.
      An overall awesome post! 🙂

  14. Popular music has evolved from something that was very close to other brands of music into own style. The style which it has developed is primarily based on repetitive rythms and melody’s which are meant to be “catchy”. These songs value the artsmanship behind them less than classical in the past has. Classical was not composed directly to be popular. It was composed to express the artists musical talents and provide an escape for the listener. Classical artists such as Eric Whitacre carry on this tradition. Pop artists seem like they are in it for the money for the most part. As far as contemporary music goes I see it as a bridge between the two,a middle. I see contemporary music as music of this era which doesn’t fill the role of being “pop” music. Such things as Singer/Songwriter as well as sections of Alternative music and some ballads.
    These are all impacted by our culture today which is buying pop music in bulk and the other genres of music are largely underappreciated. This consumership shapes how pop music is developed because we live in a world where your popularity in the music world is your relevance and pop artists adapt to what the consumer wants to hear more than what they want to sing/preform.
    Lastly, in the picture above I see a score and every flower is a series of notes. A sequence, a phrase if you will which shapes the piece of music. There is a distinctly natural feel about music and these flowers really show that to the fullest possibility. All of these phrases have a synergy and are seamlessly sewn together and I see that through these flowers being blown in the wind although the picture doesn’t quite show that that’s what I imagine whenever I see this picture.

    1. I think you might be being a little harsh on pop music, or at least on pop artists. Art has a really weird relationship with the economy, given that the value of any piece of art is pretty much entirely subjective. You can’t really blame an up and coming artist for replicating popular styles in an effort to make money and hopefully advance themselves. There is a noticeable trend for pop artists to put out more risky, personal stuff once they’ve made it to a certain extent. Whether this works out is highly variable, but it’s worth noting that the attempt is being made.

  15. I believe that popular music today is just the evolution of classical music and contemporary music spun into a web of technological remastering. The basic ideas of classical music with structure and form are conveyed today as much as they were when music began. Contemporary music was made to create emotion and to make you feel, primarily made up of ballads. Pop also uses this just as much to connect to the listener and bring them back to a feeling they have attached to that particular song.

    Many musicians are fueled by the money and the power that music brings to them, but that is not a true artist. A true artist is fueled to make music based upon what inspires them. The mind of the artist and their surroundings are what brings a great song to mind. The best artists are the ones who create music because they want to, not because they want to make a few dollars.

    In the picture above, there are waves, clouds above the horizon, and birds flying above the landscape. I believe the waves symbolize a few things. First, the waves could symbolize how sound literally travels in waves. Without sound waves, music wouldn’t exist. Another thing the waves could be are lines on a staff. There are 5 waves present in the picture, making it look like a music staff. Another thing the waves could be are different dynamics. When there is a small wave far away, you can barely hear it. When a wave is close to you, it is louder and more present in your eardrum. This is also a difference in overlapping tones, letting the waves create a sweet melody.

    1. I like your point about how most artists strive for the money and power that’s associated with the modern music industry and so their music becomes second to what they think the fans will buy. Money and Power are corrupters in a world of corrupters. Music as a part of nature is in itself selfless and selfish all at the same time. It’s fascinating.

    2. Hey Violet, I agree completely with your post and the ways in which pop music stems from the works of classical artists. I also agree that many artists are too consumed with the idea of fame and fortune to really find their true artistry. Great points, way to go!

    3. I’m not going to deny that there are artists who are only in it for the money, but I don’t think you should write off the practice of writing music for money as inherently bad. If you plan to devote your life to music, then you need to count on that music to provide for you. Sometimes inspiration doesn’t come when you need it to.

    4. Music builds upon music and is constantly inspired by it’s predecessors. I think the evolution of music would be an interesting thing to study…the similarities and connections from African drums to Mozart to Bieber might be more prevalent than we think! Great blog!

  16. Sure, I could go on forever about the simplicity of modern music, however the more I thought about the topic, the more my opinion changed. I personally am not a fan of pop music today, that doesn’t make me question its complexity. In the early decades of music being made for consumption, composers tend to become popular by doing the drastically different and making it sound good. Now it seems the objective is almost entirely to sell the most copies possible as often as possible, which takes a separate breed of creativity all together. for producers to create music that is so addictive the the average pop fan is actually incredible if you think about it. This can be compared to the musicians of the classical era, seeing as music was made for the masses as they have little to no knowledge about the technical side of a melody.

    To look at nature and have a spark of imagination is not uncommon for the human. Personally when ever I look at the warm colors of a sunset the melody of Scar Tissue by Red Hot Chili Peppers flows through my mind.(I’m not even that big of a fan of RHCP) so the point is that natural beauty may have a greater impact on the human creativity capacity than man made art or designs. But what do I know?

    1. I think you know more than you think you do! Give yourself some credit.
      I am very much on the side of thinking that pop music is not very creative at all, but after reading this post I am starting to consider how pop music producers are continuingly making music that sounds the “same” but people still listen to it (and LOVE it!) because it is just different “enough”.

  17. I believe that both the popular as well as contemporary spheres of music are where much of the creative, musical arts lie today. I say this simply because society has placed so much attention on the modern genres of music, that is where many people relate, therefore causing people to put much more creative effort into popular music that is most likely to catch the public’s eye. That is not to say however that there is no creativity put into classical works. It takes an immense amount of creativity and talent to produce signature classical works, but due to societies lack of interest for classical music, not many spend time putting effort into creating this type of music, which therefore limits the amount of creativity put into the classical sphere.
    One reason that I believe many people are putting time and creativity into modern genres is because of conspicuous consumption. Simply put, one can find the most fame and fortune out of creating contemporary work because that is where the most money lies. Modern genre musicians are often household names, compared to classical artists who many people no nothing about. The money and success is in the modern and contemporary spheres, so that is clearly why many would put their creative energy into those genres.
    The picture above simply shows a clear flat ocean. As beautiful as this is, there is so much taking place under the surface that no one gets to see or know about. This is the same with music. Music can be beautiful and moving, but there is so much time and effort that goes into the music to make it what it is, and the picture represents that perfectly.

    1. Hi Ryan! I really liked what you had to say. Music can be beautiful and moving but you have to put in time and effort into it! great job!! 🙂

    2. I agree that the contemporary and popular spheres of music infuse a lot of creativity into their generation, however, I believe that creative genius was also used during the era in which classical music was written. We could even assume that most classical music was written for audiences or participants, because such music was performed in theaters and sang in churches around the globe. Popular and contemporary music might be easiest for us to relate to because they mostly explicitly tell us their purposes and themes, and include views which are popular in our time period.

    3. LOVED your comment about the ocean looking flat on the surface but having more to it. This is a true and remarkable thing; there’s an entire world under the surface of the water that we can’t see by just looking at it. And the beauty of it is that the concept can be applied to anything. Music of course, because even seemingly simple melodies have a complex formula, but everything else. Human beings. An entire lifetime goes into making someone who they are but all we really see is a body. It’s beautiful and incredible.

  18. Popular music is influenced by itself more than anything else. Whatever is popular is going to be produced more of, and in similar ways, in order to sell the same thing. Much of contemporary music I feel is the same way. Music has to be produced in such a way that makes people want to buy it; in order for people to want to buy and play it, I feel there are guidelines one must follow. This is just conjecture, though, as I’m not nearly experienced enough in these fields to pretend that my opinions should be taken seriously. Much of Classical Music, though, seems to have been made for its own sake. As in, Music for the sake of Music.

    As for the picture of the weeds, I think less about the weeds themselves and more about them within the confines of the photo. In order for the photo to work, and, by proxy, nature, everything has to work together and be conscious of one another. It is the same with music. All parts must listen to each other and be conscious of how they move in order to do their job the best that they can.

    1. I like the comment, “Music for music’s sake.” I think in the classical and Jazz world there is a conceded attitude of, “this is our music, you’re not sophisticated enough for it.” They play to impress other musicians in that world. It isn’t about appealing to the audience, it’s about appealing to other musicians. They push themselves to meet a standard, not meet the ears of their audience. To play a thousand notes is great, but if all thousand go right over the ears of the audience, then what good are they?

  19. The music in today’s world has easily gotten music simpler. Musicians could probably recall a comment they have either heard in real life or social media regarding how classical music has much more content and interest. I personally believe modern music has expanded its ability to create new ways of expressing music and getting sound to an audience. I personally enjoy listen to a genre of music called dubstep. It’s a relatively new genre of music involving a lot of electronic sounds and “bass dropping” while still staying
    rhythmic and melodic for the most part. It would also be wrong to say that classical music is completely gone in today’s musical age. On top of classical artists still alive, old pieces of older artists will never die while their composers will. I also would like you to consider musical theatre. While I don’t have much time to listen to music, I always enjoy listening to arrangements on the piano. I found a video on YouTube that was a Pirates of the Caribbean piano arrangement for 2 pianos about a year ago and I hope to someday learn and perform it with another pianist. Recently I found a Star Wars arrangement also for 2 pianos.
    I think music impacts us because we all have a different vision. Say someone were to listen to a piece of instrumental music. The composer obviously wants to set a tone of the song but each person will take this music and create their own unique mental image. Each image may be related in some way, but everyone is impacted.
    The picture, to me represents unity happiness. It looks like a sunny day outside and whenever I think of a sunny day, I automatically think of the key of G major. Maybe there is some soft flute or cello playing with quiet accompaniment.

    1. I’m not sure if today’s music has gotten simpler, I think it’s more that the focus has changed. It’s more about lyrics now than whatever else, for ease of relatablility to the listener. I think maybe the audience has gotten simpler, so the music has followed suit to appeal to the most people.

    2. Do you think that Dubstep is a Progressive or regressive movement? I also like to listen to it but I feel like its not as progressive as technology has been respectively.

    3. I didn’t know you liked dubstep… I like your idea of musical imagery. Maybe some people have a higher propensity for more creative mental imagery.

  20. The musical arts today reflect mostly the feelings of individuals and society in our modern world. Popular music especially capitalizes off of relatable circumstances and musical patterns. It is also influenced by “conspicuous consumption,” the everlasting want for more which is so present in our culture and yet so hidden from our perspective. However, I believe classical and contemporary music is also influenced by interior and exterior motives. Without inspiration and depth, music is merely ink on a page.

    I believe that nature is a source of inspiration for all aspects of life, including music. The waves on the beach could represent beats, ones that just keep coming throughout music and silence without any beckoning. The ebb and flow of the water can represent the pace of the music, and the condition of the sky can parallel the underlying mood and emotions of sound.

    Human emotion can also fabricate a powerful impact on created music, sometimes almost tangible within the texture and speed of sounds. In conclusion, all music genres are inspired by a variety of influences, and would not exist in their absence.

    1. I like your post about the depth of music. There is always a story behind what we listen to that we don’t know about. It’s not until you yourself decide to find out the secret meaning behind the songs no matter the sphere, classical or contemporary. Once the song is broken apart and you are able to see the motivation behind the song you are able to understand that depth.

    2. I like the conclusion you drew, and certainly agree that there are many influences on all genres of music, not just popular music. It is easy to claim that popular music is the only one influenced and changing with the world, but all genres are making advancements and changing based on society and our needs. The framework and foundation for each genre may stay the same, but the idea that it conveys can always change and the way it makes listeners feel changes depending on who is listening.

  21. Over the past couple centuries, music has evolved pretty much as humanity does. There are many eras of music, just like they classify eras of our time as humans. As humans grow, figure out technology, and become more innovative, so does our music. Some could argue that our quality of music has taken a downward spiral the past decade or so, but I would argue that music is music. Any sort of music is fascinating in and of itself, simply because the way that music is produced is a phenomena. The way that vibrations hit the air a certain way causing it to sound one way is amazing, and it’s simply incredible what we have learned about music and the advancements that we’ve made.
    Our outlook on creativity is determined by our taste and culture, so everyone views the creativity of each genre differently. It depends on your likeness towards one genre, because we all have a different taste and tend to hear different things in music. We all have a different appreciation for music. I believe that music has become more creative in almost every aspect over the last many years, because we are constantly making our music more complex, figuring out new ways to produce sound, and speaking our minds. Way back in the day, there was no such thing as “rappers” who spoke their mind on the issues of our culture, and certainly no iconic “feminists” who could sing their heart out about the struggles that women face everyday around the world. I believe classical music has evolved differently, but not more slowly than others. Old artists and composers of the classical genre have typically been preserved more than other genres, because we are still playing pieces by dozens of composers that are many years old. It’s like there is a frenzy to preserve older classical music in an attempt to not let it be drowned out by the new advancements of more contemporary genres. It’s difficult to tell whether or not classical music is gaining more or less attention, in a world full of generations who crave contemporary lifestyles and the music that goes along with it. Either way, there is nothing wrong about the music you identify with- it’s all based on our taste and awareness to the matter.
    Although music has developed throughout the years, this has led to more artificial sounds being produced than there originally were. Auto-tune is one form of this, which many contemporary artists use to make their music sound better and more precise. It’s all about how our society views it- people want to feel good when they listen to music, so why not make our voices sound pitch perfect instead of a shaky, wobbly voice? Our modern society is all about making advancements to fit our needs and make things more convenient to us, so why not cater how music sounds to our changing society?
    The development of music has certainly advanced more artificial sounds, as I stated above. But the natural beauty of music is still everywhere- it’s in nature, as depicted in the picture above, it’s at concerts, where you can hear the artist’s raw production of sound, it’s everywhere. It’s simply what you choose to hear. In the picture above, music can be narrowed down to what you hear at that current snapshot of nature- bugs buzzing all around you, crickets chirping and hopping, the wind blowing ever so lightly against the grass, trees, and flowers, and maybe some animals howling. You can also see the patterns of music as well, as much music is still based off of the same patterns that originally were discovered, such as a scale- you see that when the grass blows, it’s blown as if a scale is being played, so the grass is being hit in waves of the wind and each preceding section of grass is being blown slightly before the next. The ocean is another wonderful example of natural beauty and sound. One can hear the waves hitting the shore like a pulse, the waves drawing the water and sand back into the ocean, then being thrown to shore again. There is like a layering of waves on each other as well, like a never-ending scale. It builds and builds on itself and never ceases. That’s the beautiful thing about music from nature- the wind never stops blowing, and the waves never stop flowing as long as nature continues. There is no altering of its natural sound or beauty.

    1. I loved your note on the idea of people scrambling to preserve classical music…I often feel that way. I have such a love for Mozart and I want the whole world to listen to him and never forget how great he was. It honestly stresses me out a bit when my friends tell me they don’t think they’ve ever heard one of his pieces (they have though, let’s be honest). Perhaps it’s just because I’m going into a career where centuries old music reigns and thus my living is based on it’s success. It seems to me that a lot of new operas aren’t as well liked because as composers strive to be different, a lot of ugly, unpleasant chords and sounds are used. I know the Met has put on a few oddball new-age operas that I know I never want to hear again!

  22. I feel that creativity in music in general is built around three things: feelings, emotions, and imagination. In the classical sphere, composers in this day and age write music that is in essence a gift for musicians. When looking at it from a natural perspective, there is always a feeling of one or more people leading the pack, as it were. However, in some cases, something would come along that would destabilize the natural balance and harmony of music (for example, an orchestral work titled Feria by Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg tries to convey something festive, but ends up feeling random since it is essentially a huge cacophony of notes). However, even if music that sounds strange flows from a composer’s pen, it still amounts to a great deal of creativity and imagination to convey the subject at hand. In a sense, every genre of music, in some way, can be thought of as programmatic, trying to tell a story or convey certain emotions. This therefore, adds to the belief that emotion and imagination could contribute to the harmonious flow of nature,

    1. I never thought about how all music could be considered program music. What’s most interesting about pieces that were not written to correspond to any particular program, is that the listener gets to make up his own. The same piece of music can have very different personal meaning to different people. It truly is a gift that composers give to the people – the ability to make such a beautiful work of art their own

  23. The arts are very important in today’s world because most people can look at a picture and see different interpretation just like with music. Music brings people together whether it pop, classical , or contemporary. They each challenge people in different ways as well. Even though I haven’t heard any challenging pop music, there is much emotion placed in such songs. Much music uses their surrounding as inspiration.
    Nature itself is an inspiration because people can make many connections to it with music. It has such a big impact on how we feel and how we relate to the world. For example with the picture of the waves, I see when one wave finishes another is coming just like a motive that continues or changes. When the waves grow they show a crescendo of the music and then decrescendo.

    1. Much of the inspiration in popular music lies in the lyrics and the singer themselves; how they sing the song. It’s easier to reach most people that way than with an orchestra, so I feel like that’s why popular music is popular.

  24. Hello Caroline! I totally agree with you that in nature there is music everywhere. I also agree that the wind never stops blowing. I really like your word choice. I can just picture myself being at the beach and hearing all the beautiful sounds of nature! Thank you, and Great work!! 🙂

  25. I love your points about Hamilton, for I am a fan as well. It is a great educational tool, for I did not know much about the American Revolution before I sat down and really listened to the lyrics. The famous composers you mentioned have made a great impact upon music’s history. We are so fortunate to live in a world where such things like music can be heard and played all around the world and be affected by consumption so greatly. I love the sound imagery you included to describe the beach setting. These characteristics of the natural world really do provide hints of music.

  26. It is great to read about how passionate you are about music. The way you interpret such ordinary sounds into music is exquisite. Isn’t it amazing how just hearing the sound of waves crashing can make a huge impact on a musician life. Just one sound can create a symphony.

  27. Maria,
    I loved your post! A lot of times (for me at least) it’s easy to be sucked into a world where all contemporary works feel the same and over done, but your post is a fantastic reminder that creative minds will always be at work! Also, you put in a Hamilton reference, which got me hooked right of the bat. Way to go!

  28. As a guitarist and songwriter, I try to challenge myself in writing music that sounds simple, but is actually complicated to play and sing. I consider my music creative, but compared to an orchestrated piece, it sounds bland and un-inspiring. In my opinion, the musical arts today in the popular sphere are un-inspiring. I believe that in contemporary culture there is most definitely Creative content, but some music that is un-inspiring. The classical sphere is the most talented musical sphere and most inspiring. I believe this because of the complicated music that has emerged from that sphere. This sphere is also very inspiring.
    These designs are grossly affected by the publics different attitudes towards social norms and beliefs. The natural designs in the picture above show us that music has a particular structure while having a diverse range of styles.

  29. Creativity is difficult to judge. On the one hand, a certain amount of creativity must be employed to create any kind of art art. On the other hand, all art is, to a certain extent, derivative. The existence of music theory is a testament to that. Moreover, music itself can be considered derivative of the sounds of nature, at least on some level. Creativity and derivativity are not mutually exclusive, but they can be said to be at odds with each other. If pressed, I would say that modern music has a tendency towards derivativity and a lack of creativity, particularly in the popular sphere. There are certainly creative and unique songs being written, but it feels like they are not in the majority. As to why this is, my guess is that the modern demand for music is significantly greater than that of past ages, and to meet that demand, large quantities of similar music are being produced. It’s also important to note that not all music is made for music’s sake. Musicians need to able to support themselves, and sometimes that means writing somewhat derivative music that is sure to be popular rather than taking a risk on a very creative piece that might not catch on.

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