Has popular music finished evolving?

It seems to me like everything that can be done, has been done. What possible new style of music could anyone come up with?

“Everything that can be invented has been invented.”
-Charles H. Duell, U.S. Commissioner of Patents, 1899

Popular music (classical too, I expect) has become post-modern, so there are new combinations of old elements out there. What new ones are waiting to be created? I don’t know.

When I heard that Chris Thomas King plays material that combines the blues and electronic music, I thought “huh, I’ve never heard of anything like that before.”

I remember my response to a friend’s LJ entry a while ago when he used the phrase “post-rock” to describe some bands. I’d heard stuff like ‘rock and roll will never die’ so often that I hadn’t really considered that music, at some point, was going to move past it. I do think that rock is generally stagnant and has gotten stuck celebrating its past endlessly. So yes, other groups that might have been playing rock music in the past are moving forward into things that can be called post-rock. I like the idea. Popular music is drawing in more influences from elsewhere and moving forward.

What would make our era so special as to be the end point of >5,000 years of human musical innovation?

All I know is what I hear on the radio. Isn’t rap/hip-hop the “newest” style of popular music? And it originated around 1980 – it’s 25 years old.

Well, with rap going on twenty years and absolutely no change or improvement, your premise could be correct.

New Metal.
Polyphonic Spree-style choral.

and your point is?

And electronic music is a much bigger presence, but going down this road would probably force us to start debating what genres are separate from what and what these labels mean in the first place.

Dammit…submitted too soon.

I meant to say that all of those are post-rap. And I don’t think I had ever heard the kind of hip-hop that’s recorded and played today before around 2000/2001. It may have been around, but it wasn’t popular or getting airtime.

Also add country-pop fusions like Faith Hill and Shania Twain, and the modern iteration of standards like Celine Dion.

My point is that people who look at their own era and declare it the final end point and pinnacle of perfection of any endeavor are pretty much always wrong.

Aren’t those also products of the 1980’s?

I think most art forms have peaked, some long ago. Music may in fact be the last to do so.
Painting and sculpture peaked in the 1500-1600’s (IMHO).
I haven’t heard about anything really new or exciting in literature since the 1930’s.
I haven’t seen anything interesting in architecture since Frank Lloyd Wright.

I don’t think ‘nu-metal’ was around in the 80s, no.

Alternative (at least as far as pop goes) was late 80s. Grunge was early 90s. New metal (Tool, Korn) were mid-90s. And Polyphonic Spree is after 2000.

Aren’t we the world-weary one? I feel bad for you, that you can’t find joy and innovation in the world in which you’re actually living.

My thoughts in a similar thread.

Another post in the same thread.

I think of this in the same light that I regard Eratosthenes’ 2000+years-old proof that there are an infinite number of prime numbers (numbers that can only be divided by themself and 1).

IOW, we will always keep finding vital, new stuff. But far-off discoveries are… well, far-off.

Don’t forget indie. Indie is popular, even though you do not see too much of it on MTV or the radio. Indie is expansive and in many ways either innovative or atleast a new arrangement of the same old rock and roll. Modest Mouse is a prime example of this - they are simply bass, drums, vocals, and lead guitar but with a completely unique sound. Are they still fundamentally rock? Probably, depending on your definition.

My point is, as with other evolutions, there is no beginning and there is no end. Popular music will always evolve, even if it sounds different. Classical was the pop of its day, rock is the pop of this day. As for tomorrow - who knows? It will be evolved, regardless.

Unless you believe that God magically created synthesizers out of thin air and the first teen idols rawked out with the dinosaurs, that is. Then this will have to be moved to GD.

Is “indie” supposed to be a style of music now? Could someone clear that up? I’m not a Modest Mouse expert, but I wouldn’t have expected anyone to say they’re not a rock band.

My situation is not as gloomy as you describe :slight_smile: . There’s a lot to enjoy about current art, even though it may not be innovative. I take pleasure in things that are well-executed whether they are innovative or not.