Originally Posted by mediocrefunkybeat
I think it's a luddite reaction, I really do. Why that's the case, I'm not sure.
Sure it can, although the examples seem to be less numerous that 'vocal' music (although that term is starting to loosen!).
Don't get me wrong, I think a lot of the music being ranted about here is genuinely terrible, I certainly wouldn't listen to it out of choice and I'd probably only hear it after about eight pints in the back end of some Godawful night club, but that's just the current trend - terrible though it may be. Pop charts move slowly, but in a couple of years it will be something different. The democratisation of recording is going to make a bigger splash in the next couple of years and the idea of something genuinely new excites me.
It's a Luddite reaction but one that is not without merit. If the hypocrisy on the side of those who argue against the mechnization of pop music is that they are limiting the sounds they are hearing and deeming some genres not fit for aesthetic enjoyment, certainly the hypocrisy on the other end is talking about the development of instrumental or aesthetic culture in a world where there is no audience being cultivated for it. Will those Justin Beiber fans someday go to an electronic music concert? There are fifty somethings that still go see David Cassidy. I've been around long enough to know that in today's world it isn't the "art music" snobs who are the least open to change; but it is those who diet relies most heavily on a daily intake of pop music, those forty or fifty somethings who still listen exclusively to classic rock. They talk about how great music was back then and how everything today is crap. You know those people. :P So it is easy to say instrumental or experimental music can be popular, and more difficult to make that a reality in a culture where people tastes have not been cultivated to enjoy it or value it. Instrumental was more so in the 1970s with fusion and jam bands. Music was so great back in the day.
English culture is a bit different as well because it has rarely had a strong experimental or instrumental music culture; but it has always had a strong popular music culture, perhaps because it has a strong theater culture. Where as Italy, Austria and Germany esp and even France and Russia have had stronger experimental and instrumental musical cultures. In America there has always been a source of contention between the two. The Northeast has always had a strong experimental and instrumental culture and the rural south and midwest have a strong popular music culture.
Pol, NY punk definitely has a connection to Cage and the NY avant-garde. the idea of noise as political protest is directly related to performance art and goes back to Dada. You probably see that more with the Sex Pistols or The Clash, i.e London punk than with NY punk of the mid-1970s. You also see it as well in hip-hop culture of the later 1980s and early 1990s with bands like NWA, Public Enemy and Ice T. I don't think that Cage's thinking it has much to do with Marx. But the folk music explosion of the 1950s and 60s is directly related to leftist politics and this idea of the democratization of music. That was definitely a result of Beatlemania, and I am thinking we can make a connection between the decrease of the use of traditional instruments in pop music today and the decrease in musical instrument sales.
Don't forget the Orchestrion.