Is The Art Of Songwriting Dead?

The Forgettable Overproduced Grammys Music, A Reflection Of The Times.
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If nothing else, the boring overproduced debacle that was this year’s Grammys, highlighted the dismal state of music creation today.

When the new millennium began with record companies suing their own customers for peer-to-peer downloading, the graffiti was on the wall. Like the industrial revolution before, the digital age wiped out the multi-billion dollar record business we once thought recession proof and timeless.

But the music didn’t die, it simply morphed into another dimension as the infrastructure built to filter, foster, package, market and sell it disappeared. Now music exists in an unfiltered internet ocean requiring navigational tools like Spotify and Pandora. And the vestiges of past record companies, co-opted into entertainment conglomerates, now create brands instead of artists, with commercials, soundtracks, and albums produced, not for the music, but to sell the brand.

At the same time with music education eliminated in favor of math, science and sports, and with mentorship artist development mechanisms gone, left to their own digital devices, two generations of young would be artists have been generating unstructured musical mush, without knowing any better.

And with Autotune technology, they don’t have to learn breath control or how to actually sing. What’s more, holding a long loud note with no other reason than to show off your voice or fake emotion is not singing!

Furthermore as young mobile multitasking digital zombies force films to quickly intercut time sequences to keep their attention, and repetitive musical ‘hooks’ to fill in the spaces, there’s no place for actual songs with a message or structure… just hooks. And if you want meaning, listen to Rap. But a song with a melody, a verse, a bridge and a lyrical message, may be a thing of the past.

L.E. Kalikow's "Sex, No Drugs and Rock n’ Roll (Memoirs of a Music Junkie)" is available in paperback, iBook, Kindle, & AudioBook online.

You can follow L.E. Kalikow on Twitter at @LEKalikow or Facebook at LEKalikowAuthor

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