Music has been extremely prominent in both today’s society and back to ancient times. That is not to say music hasn’t changed. Throughout, centuries music has taken many different forms and we have curated a large number of genres. During this time, we see a recurring theme; each generation thinks their music is better than the generation before. So the question is, has music adapted or declined?
The answers to this question varys, since people oftentimes have a bias based on their age and how they grow up. The older generation may feel that music has deteriorated since the late 80s and 90’s just because people naturally despise change. However, younger people may side with newer music because of its relevance in pop culture and relatability.
The ’90s was known for its variety, and more importantly, every song in that mixed bag could become iconic. The Rolling Stone describes radio in the ’90s as “Every style of music out there was booming, from grunge to gangsta rap, from dancehall to disco, from riot-grrrl punk to TRL midriff mall-pop…Whatever kind of noise was ringing your bells, the Nineties held more of it than any fan could absorb.” Overall, the ’90s became a breeding ground for up-and-coming artists, where new sounds were open for experimentation. For many, this experimenting paid off and listeners were beyond satisfied.
In society today, nobody can agree on a singular genre to mark as “the most popular” or “the most liked” because everybody has extremely different tastes. With that being said, numbers don’t lie. Spotify Music keeps a comprehensive list of the most popular streams (which is based on how often a song is listened to). As of today, March 16th, 2022 the top music genres, in simple terms, are R&B, Pop, and Hip-Hop. Although there are other artists and genres to choose from, this kind of music does get the most plays. Meaning, these artists and genres are used to summarize what the majority of people, usually young people, listen to.
Back to the original question; is music adapting in the right direction? The truth of the matter is that the answer isn’t simple. Whether you stick with 90’s Hits or prefer today’s version of Pop and R&B, then keep listening to it. However, for the young listeners, don’t forget that one day you may have to defend your music to the next generation. With that being said, What side would you pick?