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Why IS Music Less Important? Because People Are Older

reese-witherspoon

what 37 looks like

In the ongoing debate as to why popular music doesn’t matter the way it used to, roll out the usual suspects but be certain you know what we are saying: not that new music doesn’t matter, and not that people live and die for it (I know I do) but for the vast majority of people, music as the sound of your life, as the arbitrator of everything: art, politics, romance, freedom. Everything , completely in one. Hip and young, black and white, coca cola and scotch and coke. Pop music.

That is what doesn’t exist anymore. Yes, it exists for me (and you, or else why bother reading about it, right?) and yes, it matters to some people but it isn’t the central social, cultural whateverall center of the universe it was in the 1960s.

I believe it has something to do with age. The age of the average American in 1967 was 27 years of age, in 2015 it is 37 years of age. Since the average person dies at the age of 78, that ten years is something like a change of 15%. Also, the difference between 27 and 37 is the difference between first job out of college and married with children. As a rule of thumb, the older you get, the less important music becomes. When you’re juggling mortgage with raising your kids and marriage and an increasingly important job, music hits the backburner.

Not that it doesn’t matter, if you’re a music guy then music matters, but you aren’t involved (for the most point, broad strokes) in music the way you were when you were hanging in clubs every single night for years on end.

In other words, TV is more important than music in 2015, because there are more people watching television than seriously attending to music.

 

2 Comments

  1. Fayez on April 17, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    I have read that there is a very solid link between dancing males and their ability to dance. Evolution wants to make older males less attractive to available females and therefore tries to take them out of the gene pool. Humans and animals are alike in this matter. Animals have a ritualistic dance to seduce the female of the species and more attractive the dance the more likely a particular animal will be chosen to mate. The older of the species the less attractive it appears as a good mate and it will be ignored by the female of the species.

  2. Justin on December 22, 2016 at 5:13 am

    From everything I’ve been able to put together, there has been a massive cultural shift over the past 40 years or so, towards the “rational” or intellect, like a cynical sort of outlook or approach, and towards consumerism and the accumulation of wealth as a priority and a way of life. I think a lot of this was actually an intentional effect of the reaction by the establishment or business interests to the populist social justice/ civil liberties movements of the late 60’s and the increase in democracy. Noam Chomsky lays out a great case for this in Requiem for the American Dream – https://vimeo.com/ondemand/requiemfortheamerican.

    I think this feels like a very dead and boring time to a lot of people – at least until these past round of primaries and elections. Sort of comfortable and numb but kind of hopeless.

    I cut this little 9 minute documentary together with just interviews that I found with Keith Jarrett, Billy Corgan, Steve Albini, Henry Rollins, talking about influences in society on music over the past few decades. What they said made sense to me: https://vimeo.com/157011347

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