Is technology debasing or enhancing music’s lasting tradition?


With the new doors technology has opened for our generation, it comes as no surprise that the music industry has significantly evolved.  Once the millennium occurred, the music industry was filled with new artists trying to find an identity. A mixture of new sounds and creativity filled the musical world. Technology began to flood the industry, providing listeners with an entirely new experience in regards to sound. But after 2010, electronic dance music swept the US, and that’s where we stand today. There is no denying that for the last few years, Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has claimed the short attention spans of the millennium generation; for better or for worse.

Music has an interesting way of advancing with technology and the trends of the time.  The Beatles are a phenomenal example of this occurrence when they pioneered technological sampling and multitrack recording in the studio.  Since then, the music industry has taken a giant leap forward, continuing to produce original, technologically influenced creations which finally lead up to EDM.  This type of music has added its own unique definition to the music scene in groundbreaking ways, so much so that some will argue that it’s changing the music industry forever.

At an EDM show, people of all types gather to listen to a DJ as he/she takes a journey through electrical devices, laptops and wires, while at the same time demonstrating their musical creativity.  Shows rarely incorporate live vocals or instruments and typically use digital devices and complicated programs to craft the artist’s unique sound.  Just like the 60s embodied tie-dye and peace, our present day scene is filled with beaded bracelets, bright neon wardrobes and captivating lights.  The trend of Woodstock-style extravaganzas is re-emerging in the form of shows and festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival and Ultra Music Festival.  Here, hundreds of thousands of people join together to enjoy the music and be a part of something bigger than themselves.

It’s a fascinating concept, this new idea of sound and music. It certainly defies music’s epic past.  Older generations (like our parents’) seem to have a difficult time accepting this new style.  To them, concerts were about instrumental and vocal talents, exceptional lyrics and the culmination of these three key musical ingredients.  While these types of artists are still emerging, the EDM is undoubtedly taking over.

Though there are many critics of EDM, there are also millions of supporters who believe this is the beginning of a new chapter in music’s history.  With the lightning speed of modern day technology, who knows what the next ten years will bring?  While I do miss classic concerts at times, (yes, they still exist but the popularity has greatly diminished) I certainly cannot wait to see what the future holds.  Will music make another drastic change?  Or will it backtrack in time and cycle like fashion?  Only time will tell.