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Has Music Lost its Luster?

October 21, 2020
Dwayne Walker

Last night I had a conversation with one of the smartest men I know. He's more than twice my age, so I soak up the wisdom and knowledge he shares every chance I get.

One of the plethoras of topics he is well-researched in is Jazz music. While he intelligently delivered his points on why music back in the day was better, I challenged them with the underlying idea that music is subjective and adapts over time.

What started out as a debate about the generational difference in musical taste ended with me pondering how and why art has changed over time.

There's no denying that the art form he admired in music was more prevalent decades ago, but why has this form of musicality dwindled with time? I noticed that it coincided with the rise of technology.

Before technology was this rampant, plenty of people made great amateur music, but the pathways of sharing it were limited. Their music never saw the light of day because the filters that determined what music went to the masses or not were limited to musicians who were masters of their craft.

Now, technology has widened that filter and made distributing music accessible to the masses. Someone across the world can start making music today, share it on the internet, and the next day people are chanting the hook around the globe.

Many people might look at technology as a downfall of art, but I see something larger happening here. Technology leveled the playing field, and in doing so, it revealed something hidden in the depths of humanity.

I always preach that everyone is born creative, and this topic relates to why artistry transitioned from something you attained to something inherently in you. Music and sound weren't created, it was discovered.
Similarly, the creativity existing inside of everyone is slowing being revealed.

What gravitates people towards art has been exposed to be more about how it makes you feel than the methods used to accomplish that goal—and evoking emotions is something all humans can do.

Now, anyone can be a photographer with an iPhone, a dancer on Tik Tok, a musician on SoundCloud, a movie director on YouTube, and an artist on Instagram. Before all of this technology, people didn't get a chance to showcase their talents. Now they can share it with the world.

It doesn't devalue the title artist. Instead, it broadens the definition.

It's giving recognition to people at all skill levels by revealing that artistry is a journey, not a destination. And there's something to appreciate and celebrate at every step of the way—from amateur to mastery.

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