DEBATE: Should We Redefine How We Talk and Think about Music?
If the music industry is flipped on it’s head and has changed forever, why do we still talk about albums and singles? Infrastructure within the industry doesn’t exist anymore. Kickstarter is a more viable option than selling a CD off the rack, music is leaked and shared, not purchased and admired for liner notes.
Why do bloggers still talk about top charts when there are millions of other albums playing inside sets of headphones around the world? When nerds rank music at the end of the year, it’s still defined by albums, and yet what they loved about them most wasn’t the collectiveness of the albuma. The language needs to change because the culture is different; it’ been liquidated and dissolved into a more natural representation of music and it’s effortless flow. New music is now defined by singles; light, autonomous and nimble to spread across the web. Albums are clunky, disorganized and uneven. Bands break out for individual songs, and not the collective mess that swallows them. The web was made for singles, and it’s showing in the charts.
Bas Grasmayer from Midem’s blog puts it best:
You don’t have to follow last-century business models into their graves. You are free. Make music.
Music has moved onto a different era; it’s been crushed and re-sculpted, so why talk about it in terms of an older era defined by rules that no longer apply? We should relish in letting music get back to it’s original raw form and let it re-write it’s own rules. Failing to change our terms and understanding of music means we’re slowing ourselves from moving on. Things are bad enough, we can’t wait to get over these old industry terms.
Musicians and fans are responsible for the change, not the executives, so they should also decide the new path. It’s not good for business, but we all got into music because of how it made us feel about our lives. Music will figure it out, but we know for sure it will never be what our parents considered it when they were our age…ever again.