The Digital Music Movement
Imagine the excited energy as you are in line with your closest friends. When you get into the stadium on stage, there’s your favorite artist. However, there are no guitarists, drummers, no instruments on stage. All the instrumentals for this concert were digitally made on a computer.
Digital music has been on the rise for the past 40 years. In the 70s and 80s, bands like BeeGees, KC and the Sunshine Band, and ABBA took over the disco scene where music was becoming more digitized. Fast forward to the 90s, artists like 2Pac, Biggie Smalls, and the Beastie Boys cultivated culture with their digitally made beats. From there music became more digitally made. Music genres like pop, dubstep, amd EDM became more popular in the 2000s. As more digital music was on the rise, there was a decline of traditional bands in the music industry. According to TechDirt Case Studies, a study done in 2013 showed there has been a 5-10% increase in full-time independent musicians since the early 2000s.
Junior Alessandro Lovo plays the drums, piano, guitar, and bass. He has been playing these instruments for years and still continues to work to perfect his talent. When asked on his opinion on digitally made music, Lovo states, “It takes no talent to produce a song digitally. I can make four songs on my computer in under an hour.” Bands like Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Green Day produce all their own music using their talent to play instruments and sing. “In the early 2000s, more digital music started coming out. Dubstep, Hip-Hop, Rap, and Pop are all made on the computer,” he explains, “I feel like in the future, nobody will have real bands and everything will be made on a computer.”
Alex Robins, an AP US History teacher, is also a musician; Robins has been playing the guitar since seventh grade and has been singing in a band since college. He thinks that digital music “is great…it’s a creative use of tools.” Digital music being made on the computer is so much easier and cheaper than buying instruments. According to DrummingReview.com, a drum set can cost between 300 to 1,000 dollars. Spindity.com reports guitars cost from 200 to 500 dollars. However, with digitally made music, one can pick a beat, make a song quickly and save a couple of dollars.
“When you have a jam session it’s more organic than making music on a computer,” says Mr. Muesel. Colin Muesel and Brent Sanderson are known for having jam sessions at staff parties and both have been playing instruments for many years. Despite their opinions, both agreed that the access to digital music is awesome. Sanderson states, “Computers are something to move towards[when making music in the future], it’s a form of expression.”
A platform where artists can share their music is SoundCloud. SoundCloud has gained popularity for the past couple of years. This has created a place where people can post original songs and covers of songs with digitally made beats. rappers have gained a lot of popularity on the app, calling themselves SoundCloud rappers. Famous rappers like Lil Uzi Vert, Bryson Tiller, and TayK had their kick start on the app. Many students such as Aiden Berkley,who goes by the username BigBerk, posts hip hop music on Soundcloud and makes his own instrumentals for his songs digitally. “I started making music because I thought it would be cool to post a song about my feelings,” Berkley explains. Digital music is just a tool for people to express themselves and in this day and age, it’s easier than ever.
Music is not just playing the guitar or singing a song; it can be made online and it’s another expression of art. Making music on the computer can be seen as a negative due to the “lack of talent” it takes to produce a song. However, it’s a positive because artists are creating art in many different ways.
*If traditional instruments and singing are your jam, keep an eye out this spring in the courtyard for a Hootnanny club in the works. You don’t have to be good, just enthusiastic! The plan is to post songs on Monday so you can learn chords and lyrics, then hang out in the sunshine with teachers and peers who enjoy noodling around. You can ask Mr. Meusel, Mr. Sanderson, or Ms. Leonhart for songs this coming Monday!