Music of the Past vs Today's Music | Teen Ink

Music of the Past vs Today's Music

February 16, 2011
By GiannaA. SILVER, Chicago, Illinois
GiannaA. SILVER, Chicago, Illinois
6 articles 3 photos 2 comments

It’s obvious that when turning on popular radio stations today, you’ll most likely hear one thing and one thing only- mainstream music. In a way, I can understand how it’s likeable. Most of it has a great beat, catchy lyrics, and the type of music is what we grew up with in our generation. Not all house music is terrible music, don’t get me wrong. But some artists of today have forgotten the main components that make a truly talented artist. Step outside the mainstream box for a second, and take a look at how much has really changed in music over the years. Sometimes, not for the better.

Go back in time a few decades, to the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Lots of the bands from these eras have become internationally famous, and their music has become classic. Artists like The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Nirvana, and so many other successful bands. All of these bands became famous, because they had something that’s hard to find today- real talent. Many of the bands of the past wrote music that had real depth to it. Their lyrics were meaningful, they wrote their own music, they played multiple instruments, they didn’t use auto tune or synthesizers, and many other factors. Using something like auto tune was considered an insult back in the day. Today it’s almost on impulse, and everyone is using it so it’s not much of an indignity anymore. It’s more of the new regular, which makes it obvious that some mainstream artists of today lack the real talent of the music of the past.

Many of the lyrics have no real depth to them anymore either. Lots of mainstream artists don’t even write their own. The music is repetitive, and the lyrics sometimes involve swearing and the same typical situations, like “going to a club tonight”, “let’s get this party started”, or the typical thought that every song has to be about love, falling in love, being in love, or something having to do with love. It would be great for some artists to try and expand their music into more than just one topic of “love”, and try writing a song about a different issue or situation in life. This music is great for hearing at a party, or something upbeat to hear. But when you actually want to listen to the music, I’m not sure this is exactly what everyone is looking for.

To finish this, I’ll start by saying that not all music of today is bad. There are lots of underground bands of today – and even some mainstream- that still have the actual depth and talent in their music, to become even greater someday. It disappoints me though, when underground bands with real musical talent are getting less attention than a popular artist that constantly uses a synthesizer or has someone write their songs for them. It is an opinionated topic, but I still think it’s something for everyone to debate, whatever genre or era you’re a fan of.

The author's comments:
Just taking the music that past eras have experienced, and comparing them to that of today's led me to putting this together.

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This article has 41 comments.

skyvex1 SILVER said...
on Feb. 2 2016 at 11:17 pm
skyvex1 SILVER, New York City, New York
8 articles 1 photo 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There's always a price for what you want"- Steve Perry

Most music is commercialized today, all pop and not serious music like what you hear from those classic rock bands. Very, very, very few people can make that serious music now a days, either mainstream or underground. It's lost its sound over the years.

skyvex1 SILVER said...
on Feb. 2 2016 at 11:15 pm
skyvex1 SILVER, New York City, New York
8 articles 1 photo 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There's always a price for what you want"- Steve Perry

Yes they did use synthesizers.

skyvex1 SILVER said...
on Feb. 2 2016 at 11:14 pm
skyvex1 SILVER, New York City, New York
8 articles 1 photo 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There's always a price for what you want"- Steve Perry

No there are classic rock stations you know

on Feb. 2 2016 at 2:22 pm
SilentStagePunk, Belpre, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Nirvana was from the 90's, really. Just letting you know. But I entirely agree with what you are saying. I would love it if people of all ages were able to go to cheaper rock shows or just shows in general, and see bands that are relate able and not-so-mainstream. It's sort of dream-crushing that a synthesized DJ can receive so much more attention than a true artist, someone such as the "classic" bands you've mentioned.

JoselovesMJ said...
on Jan. 12 2016 at 7:00 pm
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
Which radio station is that?

JoselovesMJ said...
on Jan. 12 2016 at 6:57 pm
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
Most of today's music is so horrible. While compare to 60's, 70's and 80's. The Beatles, Elvis, Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Etc all had ONE thing in common, The "T" word (Talent). Elvis and The Beatles were the best of their eras. MJ had talent going back to the Jackson 5(the ORIGINAL boy band) and his "Thriller" album proved to everyone he was one of the best. Meanwhile, going back to today's music, they only care about making $$$, good looks and getting 6-9 year olds to love them. That is all and RIP Elvis, MJ, John Lennon, George Harrison, David Bowie, Marvin Gaye (Motown legend),Etc

abala1 said...
on Jan. 5 2016 at 11:13 am
yes this article is pointing a real problem with the music today...but the analysis is incomplete if it does not mention the effect of MTV in the development that we see today, a channel that was created as media outlet for music, have little to do with music today! and its effect on the quality of popular music is just terrible!

mplo said...
on Dec. 30 2015 at 10:22 am
Hey! I'm old enough to remember when the Beatles came into vogue here in the United States. My friends and I were huge fans of the Beatles, as were most other kids. I was a seventh grader and my sister a fifth grader at the time that the Beatles came into vogue, and we both watched the Beatles on the now-defunct Ed Sullivan Show on TV, at the home of relatives who were then living in a town that abutted the one that my sister and I grew up in. At first, I was skeptical, but I became very impressed with and liked the Beatles after listening to them for awhile. The Beatles are/were the best in the rock-n-roll department, although there were other groups, such as the Doors, Jefferson Airplane, and the Who, to mention some, that were great, also. I still prefer much of the music of that day, although there's some good music today. One just has to look a little harder to find it, however.

on Dec. 11 2015 at 5:04 pm
ScarletCity PLATINUM, High Ridge, Missouri
40 articles 4 photos 68 comments

Favorite Quote:
Anything that can be done, can be undone. ~Scarlet City

I think that the music now is tasteless. But think about it... us kids and teenagers weren't around for the '60s and '70s. All the kids now know know the horrible, tasteless music of the twenty- first century. These lyrics are horrible and riddled with profanity. But, the music now is so fast and loud, you cannot even hear the words being spoken.

on Oct. 30 2015 at 1:54 pm
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
I have a theory to explain the noticeable decline in music quality. Thanks to the popularization of the internet, music can easily be played for free. This is seriously hurting the music industry and they are getting more desperate to make money. The industry simply can't afford to make innovative music and have to pander to the masses to even make a profit.

on Sep. 10 2015 at 9:54 am
Rainbow_Princess, Columbus, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I can accept failure but, I can't accept not trying." ~ Michael Jordan ~

yes very sad

danskaBOSS said...
on Aug. 10 2015 at 1:56 pm
i look at some old lyrics; i go to the mountain,where i find a single dove,just like,a year ago, i found my love. then i look at modern lyrics from nicki minaj; you a stupid ho,stupid ho,you a stupid stupid ho,stupid ho. sad aint it?

edwardtapia7 said...
on Jul. 30 2015 at 11:10 pm
"Actually had to be extremely proficient with their instrument or voice before they could get into any real band, only well trained and talented musicians could make it." Well said. How many artists of today if you could take them back in time to the 60's or 70's could make it pass an audition with any known producer? Of the top 12 artists today? I would venture to say maybe 4. The other 8 would get the same rejection line. " Not talented enough kid" "You don't have what it takes to make it in music" The talent bar was raised way too high back then.

Stefan said...
on Jun. 7 2015 at 11:24 pm
I will be using this as a source for comparing today's music and the music of the past. Will be presenting on it. My classmates are gonna bash me so much.

on May. 8 2015 at 9:25 pm
Not that you're wrong but what about music before the 60's? People before actually had to extremely proficient with their instrument or voice before they could get into any real band, only well trained and talented musicians could make it, in the 60's and 70's you didn't necessarily have to go to an accredited institution or spend years perfecting the craft of musicianship vigorously (at least to the scale previously. Don't get me wrong, I love music from that era, and there were certainly a large amount of talented and well trained musicians but it seems less so than in previous decades. Simply put I wouldn't say that the 60's and 70's were a golden age for music but rather a separate era with it's own great music.

Flower Child said...
on Nov. 1 2014 at 8:45 am
The 60's and 70's to me, were the golden age, the Renaissance of music in the last hundred years or so. It was a time when music really flowered into art, style and creativity which is less deonstrated today. Back in those times, musicians had real talent, played real instruments, wrote their own songs and performed live without lip sync. They did not rely on looks but rather on talent. Their music re-defined their generation. The songs in those times had authentic instruments and much more sophicticated chord progressions and expanded into surreal dimensions and not sticking to the topic of love and relationships only. They expressed the minds and the situation of that era as well and that's what they will be remember for. The instruments with great chord progressions really add depth and mood to the music. I enjoy listening to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and many more great acts in those times, even The Archies who had music featured on a cartoon back in those days that only appear in comics nowadays. Music had more class and did not expressed obscenity directly as today. There are good music today but get less attention. Its sad that many teenagers today would just stick with the mainstream music you hear on the radio a thousand times as long as it seems catchy and with a danceable beat without regard for the art and sophistication of what they are actually hearing.

on Sep. 24 2014 at 10:39 pm
It's really great that there are still kids today who enjoy old music. I shouldn't even say "old music" the music from the past is eternal. Anyone can enjoy it and anyone can relate, and the artists who actually sat down to write the lyrics actually put thought and emotion into their words. I'm 17  years old and I don't listen to anything that doesn't fall between 60-80s. That music is gold, today music is talentless. And those who do have talent today, don't receive the credit or attention they should get as one would back in the day.

MartinC said...
on May. 24 2014 at 10:48 am
U know. I really really like the old songs. Im just 14 years old. Like. It must be i like the musics now. But, NO! Its kindda sh*t and not good anymore. Like, Songs of the past is more good and u can get some little INFORMATION and even ur not in the mood it makes you feel happy and the beat is pushing you to dance and to have fun. Like songs now is like. SFADSFD. Even elderly here in our country speaks about that. I asked them that. "Granpa, Do u like songs now?" My grandpa responde "No, the lyrics is like AFSRGTFRW and the words is NOT APPROPRIATE." I responde "oow okay. I like old songs and its fun"  And even some people said that my brain left in 1980s, So? OLD SONGS IS BETTER THAN NOW. TAKE IT!

jadegirl said...
on Dec. 7 2011 at 6:28 pm
I totally agree. Today's music has NO depth and is totally repetitive. It seems like labels are giving ANYONE a deal and calling it music.

on Nov. 17 2011 at 2:29 pm
ChenChen SILVER, Dover, New Jersey
5 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Either way, change will come. It could be bloody, or it could be beautiful. It depends on us."

I completely agree. I really enjoy music from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and even the 90s. I'm really into foreign music right now, but I still can't get enough of Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, ABBA, the Bee Gees, Michael Jackson, R.E.M., Buddy Holly, and lots of other great artists like them. My favorite radio station plays only music from the 60s-80s and it's the only station I listen to. A lot of music these days really lack quality and substance and it all feels so unoriginal.