Dear Musician - Is Musical Isolation the New Normal?
By Dendy Jarrett | (edited)
I attended a presentation by HC’s Craig Anderton about why high-resolution audio won’t solve the industry’s problems, and one of his comments was that music is becoming increasingly fractured and personalized. Music used to be something that helped hold society together; now it’s targeting narrow groups of people who often listening to music by themselves on headphones.
But are we as musicians becoming more isolated? Earlier on, if you wanted to record a band...you needed a band. Now all you need is one person, a computer, and some virtual instruments. There have been several attempts at sites devoted to online collaboration, but none of them ever got traction. Maybe it was because the technology wasn’t there yet...but maybe it’s because we’re becoming increasingly isolated.
When we listen to Pandora, it feeds us more music that’s based on what we heard before, isolating us from new music. We used to listen to stereo systems that pushed air through speakers to groups of people, and now we listen to music by ourselves over earbuds.
Granted, there has always been isolation to some degree in music. But even though Beethoven wrote his symphonies in isolation, he needed to interact with other musicians to make those compositions public.
Does the “problem” with today’s music have nothing to do with audio resolution, data-compressed files, a record industry that hasn’t quite made the transition to the 21st century, the devaluation of intellectual property, or music being more in the background than the foreground? Or is the root of the problem our increasing isolation as musicians and listeners? -HC-
Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Executive Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.
Edited by Dendy Jarrett