The evolution of music

Music has come a long way over the years


Chris Young

Music has seen some drastic changes over the past centuries and continues to evolve to this day.

Modern music as we know it began in the early 20th century, where guitars, drums and bass began to are used frequently. This century also gave birth to the use of electric instruments. Up until now music had been created solely through percussion instruments or strung instruments.

It is through this period of time that we saw some of the most innovative uses of music such as folk, blues, country, the birth of rock ‘n’ roll and the birth of pop-rock.

Most of which can be summed up perfectly by this video:

The music of today is a lot more computer generated than that of the 60s and 70s with bands like The Beatles, The Kinks, and Rolling Stones who mostly relied on electric guitars and drums. The first wave of computer-generated music was the use of synthesisers in the 80s and 90s used by bands such as Kraftwerk and The Human League.

Popular music of today seems to have forsaken the use of guitars for heavy bass lines and auto-tuned voices. William Breslin, 48, had this to say on the subject: “Music these days doesn’t seem to have so much melody as before, it’s just a bunch of beats mashed together. It’s not as intricate as it was before. The Cure, for example, there’s no music nowadays that sounds as intricate as them it’s a shame”.

Calum Mclaren, a Strathclyde student, had a different opinion: “I believe that music has stayed the same for the past 3 decades or so.  It’s just sort of gotten a bit heavier and there’s still hundreds of bands using guitars and drums like Kings of Leon and Kasabian.”

It is true that there are bands still using traditional instruments in their work but they are far fewer than there were just 10 years ago. With the birth of synthesisers came a new and less expensive way to create music faster and easier.

Most music today is thought to be a re-hash of older songs and with the frequent use of sampling it is thought that artists have just ran out of ideas.

In any case music remains every bit as important today as it did hundreds of years ago a way for people to communicate thoughts, feelings and opinions without conversation.

Do you think music now is a commercialised version of older music?



  1. i think music has generally got less interesting and less of an art…..its the computers that have done this…….not to say that i condemn computers outright as computer generated music in the hand of competant musicians can be very good and very innovative……as it was in the begining in the early 80s when i was a teenager…….but i feel the modern trend is that people with very poor musical ability use the computer to compensate for their lack and thereby create a sort of pseudo music……and all the sampling of older songs just shows a pure lack of vision and creativity………..but of course this is only my opinion as music is by its nature abstract and cannot be anything other that subjective……..

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