Impact of the Rock Era V.S. Impact of the 21st century music scene

December 1, 2011
By GroovyBurt BRONZE, Chengdu, California
GroovyBurt BRONZE, Chengdu, California
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The dude abides" - Jeff Lebowski

Today, music permeates every corner of our society. It encompasses vast quantities of money and provides constant entertainment for almost all members of the developed world. Modern music, however, has greatly declined in quality since the beginning of the 21st Century. Before this came the era of rock and roll, beginning in the 60’s and onwards to the early nineties. In recent years there has been large complaint and controversy over the quality of modern music, and widespread longing for the return of the “Rock Era”. The music of the 60’s and onwards was a time of real talent and feelings, whereas the music of today has degraded into a mass of untalented artists that have no real effect on society.

The biggest difference between modern music and the music of the sixties onwards is the actual effect they have or had on society. Because the rock era began in a time of widespread modesty and conservativeness, it prompted difference and radicalism in people. Rock and most of all music, has its greatest audience in the younger generation, which ranges from pre-teenagers to later twenties. So because of this, the new feelings of rock and roll were quickly embraced by the younger generation, and were especially appealing because of the new spirit of difference, “naughtiness” and going against the main stream. This movement, known as counter culture, prompted the appearance of people such as hippies that were mostly seen in the 60’s following new, major bands. There have been large amounts of songs appealing to the younger generation and spirit of the rock era, ACDC’s song “Rock ‘n’ Roll singer” exemplifying this. This song was written in the 1970’s and includes the lyrics “they wanted me to be respected as a doctor or a lawyer man, but I had other plans…gonna’ be a rock and roll singer, gonna’ be a rock and roll star!”

Modern music of today has no great impact of feeling on society. This is because modern people are used to change and unorthodox people, and because modern music focuses less on actually projecting feelings in to society than it does in making profit and fame. The major cause of this is that modern music has taken on commercialising. Many modern bands or artists will typically be seen on TV, advertising goods. For example, the popular headphones known as Beats by Doctor Dre have been displayed in several music videos such as LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem, and have also been produced in a separate line as JustBeats, by the pop artist Justin Bieber (1). Modern artist can also be seen on very commercial programs such as MTV. Also, a modern occurrence is the “featuring” of other artists in a song, such as the featuring of the famous pop singer Rihanna in the rapper Eminem’s song “love the way you lie” (2). Usually the featured artist will be more popular than the band and therefore give the song a better look. This creates almost a sense of “betrayal” to the overall populace if songs go directly for the market. Older music gained its fame only through its own work and popularity. Occasionally different artists would collaborate, but that was only to create a better product. For example, the Travelling Wilbury’s was an “English-American super group” that included the members Bob Dyllan, George Harrison two extremely famous artists in the rock era; and Jeff Lynn, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty . Rock would typically stay away from commercializing and be less “mainstream” focusing more on the effect it actually had on the populace.
Secondly is the fact that the talent of artists in the rock period was much greater than that of modern artists. A relatively recent invention, known as auto tune, has been invented and entered the music scene in 1998 through the hit “Believe” by Cher (3). Auto tune allows the digital manipulation of recorded singing to be “fixed” in that it produces the correct tune for imperfect sound. This then allows untalented artists with the right looks to become famous. Examples of artists that use auto tune is the rappers T-Pain and Kanye West, and the fact is that most all of modern artists in the popular pop and rap scene have used auto tune in one way or another (4) In contrast, because the recording studios of the rock era were simpler to a certain degree, singers would have to record their own, pure voice. Just the same, the way that bands and artists produce their own music is extremely different from the way it was doe before. Nowadays, major pop and rap bands, such as the Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga, can use a variety of artificial, digital beats to produce their music, whereas before all music had to be written, performed and recorded manually by musicians, typically recording drums and bass along with guitars such as the Gibson Les Paul or Fender Stratocaster. Also, the fact that artists such as Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney from the pre days of rock are still producing music and inspiring artists, while modern artists such as the Jonas Brothers are replaced in a matter of years, shows that older artist were of so much better quality that remain to this day.

Luckily however, several new bands have sprung up on the outer edges of the 21st century music scene (such as the Australian rock band Jet) that urge to return to the music of before. Modern music is a sad parody of what real music was like before, but if the will in people lingers, there is still hope for the music industry to return to its greater and glorious self. And as the newly formed Swedish band, Takida, says, “We’re trying to revive rock, and if it’s not dead, it’s definitely in a deep coma”.

(1) "Beats by Dr. Dre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2011. <>.
(2) kaasteel. " Eminem - Love The Way You Lie ft. Rihanna - YouTube ." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. . N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2011. <>.
(3) "Auto-Tune: Why Pop Music Sounds Perfect - TIME." Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2011. <,9171,1877372-1,00.html>.
(4) "Auto-Tune: What is it and Why is Everyone Against It? - Associated Content from Yahoo! -" Associated Content from Yahoo! - N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2011. <>.
(5) "Traveling Wilburys - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2011. <>.
(6) Arvid Nyström

The author's comments:
Just my view on the current music scene. Feel free to argue, I do not feel extremelly biased personally on this topic

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