Artificial Music

Artificial Music September 29, 2014

Time was when music emerged out of the soul of a people and was created, like wine, ethnic foods, or cheeses by ordinary people and became popular because everybody liked it. It was more like the fruit on a growing vine than like a product (though, of course, musicians needed to be paid like the rest of us). Now it is manufactured like Twinkies by corporations who tell us what we will like and we compliantly obey.

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  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    Not even a little surprised. I had this epiphany thanks to “The Brady Bunch,” in the episode where Greg almost became a pop star because he fit the suit. Not because he had talent. And my 8 year old brain realized: “That explains most of the stuff I hear on the radio.”


    But honestly, I haven’t heard any of those songs listed in the article. Not one. I only know who Katy Perry is because I stand in line at the grocery store.


    In an era of the internet, there is no excuse for listening to bad music. There is LOTS of great music out there. But none of it is on the radio. Stuff like this:

    • Dave P.

      Depends on what you mean by “radio”. Online radio and satellite radio offer a lot more music. OTOH, satellite radio also has an entire channel devoted to that abomination called Kidz Bop, which makes Justin Bieber sound like the Rubber Soul/Revolver-era Beatles…

    • MarylandBill

      Actually, there is great music on the radio, at least if you live anywhere near most big cities, there will be at least one or two classical music stations around, and often some stations will broadcast Jazz and maybe some Blues as well. Now if we are talking great new music, that is another story.

      • dasrach

        I think we usually call it “Mumford & Sons.”

  • LorenzoCanuck

    There’s a limit to how much this can be done. The music industry uses software to mathematically determine which songs are going to be popular (this is how they found “Blurry” for example) but the software can’t actually generate the songs themselves; they must first be produced (Mozart and Beethoven, BTW, fall right in the ‘really popular’ sectors of the algorithm).

    The whole part about radio stations being paid to play songs multiple times is straight-up crony capitalism, though, and is a wholly separate problem.

    • MarylandBill

      Mozart and Beethoven probably fall right in the middle because their influence on Western music is so strong. They also were writing before classical composers felt the needs to break out of the molds of melody and harmony.

      • They also were writing before classical composers felt the needs to break out of the molds of melody and harmony.

        From what I understand, Beethoven was all about breaking out of the molds. I mean, he almost single-handedly moved music from Classical to Romantic, right?

  • This is one of the reasons I love bluegrass music. Here’s one of my own contributions, which might be one of the few Catholic bluegrass songs out there. It’s called Thou Art Peter:

  • I wonder if taste in liturgy is similar. We like what we are familiar with.