I analyzed contemporary popular music, now let’s think about its near future, and what consequences it has already had. Music is evolving all the time, as we already know. It’s not just its themes that are changing, which are related to current trends among young people. The way music is created and distributed is also changing.
In the age of the Internet, listening to music, access to it has become much easier, maybe sometimes too easy. Today, when Spotify, YouTube and other equally profitable streaming applications exist, it is extremely easy to listen to your favorite song, or discover thousands of new ones. Music can accompany us practically all day long.
This has its consequences. When music is so common, we perceive it differently. We will certainly be less involved than if the only chance to hear any melody was to go to a concert. It has never been so hard to get people’s attention. It is the result of too many stimuli reaching us. But is it bad? Certainly in several respects, but it has its advantages. Besides, I guess nobody in their right mind would want to go back in time by a hundred or more years.
The term Guitar Legend has also become a victim of this phenomenon. This term made sense, when the best guitarists were compared to the gods. You could only see them at a concert or on the cover of a magazine, hear them live, or on a cassette or record, while they had practically no voice. Their privacy was unattainable for ordinary mortals. Today, in many cases, I would be able to find out what my favorite band member ate for breakfast. Lesser-known musicians can show their talent to the world much easier.
Nowadays it is very easy to learn to play any instrument and even to sing. The amount of information on the Internet is huge and it is easier to find someone to give us tutoring. Unfortunately, an unknown artist will not earn too much on streaming music, Spotify as one of the most friendly tools offers about 0.4 cents per play. The stakes are the same for great artists and the unknown ones. However, it is easy to calculate that the latter will not be able to make a living this way until the number of plays reaches several million.
The death of albums
With the advent of the Internet, the albums began to die, though a very slow death. In the past this idea made a lot of sense. It was best to sell an album fully filled with songs. Creating an album, however, is time consuming and takes a lot of money. On top of that, an album usually contains one or two very good songs, while the rest is a “jammer” and it’s not very well spent. Now it is extremely easy to record a single and throw it online. The sales of albums are decreasing from year to year and we can expect less and less of them in the near future.
Development of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial neural networks is a very interesting topic, but I’m afraid it’s too complicated to explain their essence in one entry. Artificial intelligence can do a lot of good, and of course there are already companies that offer programs capable of writing. I recommend listening to the song, which is already several years old. Artificial Intelligence has been able to write a song for some time. It’s something big, but do musicians have to worry? That depends.
The way this artificial intelligence works – to my knowledge, which may soon or even now be out of date – is as follows. The neural network analyses songs that have already been written, identifying and remembering the different patterns and relationships between them. This phase is called learning the neural network. Then, such a network is able to generate a piece of music other than any of the ones it has listened to, but kept in a similar style.
This means that artificial intelligence is already able to write a pop hit, or simple movie music that is not supposed to have any major function. But it is not able to innovate. It can’t come up with anything new. For now, you need a man all the time. So part of the work can be automated, but not all of it. The musicians can still sleep peacefully.
We can’t predict how much artificial intelligence will develop even in the next decade. All we can expect is gradual change. However, it is said that 99.99% of the predictions will turn out to be wrong, including this.
To sum up, there will probably be more music, not always blood and bone musicians will compose it, and we will pay less and less attention to it in this general hustle and bustle and supply.