Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Music is a Young Person's Media

Ever since I first discovered music on my parents record player, I have always been very drawn to it.  I can still remember listening to the radio, cassettes, and then cds and mp3s as the years went on.  I even got into recording and produced my own music. I collected it and still do collect it, but as I get older, I find there is less and less music that interests me.

It got me thinking.  When you look at who is making music, it is primarily young people.  When you look at who is listening to the most music, it is also young people.  Not to say there aren't any older people who make music or listen to music.  Of course there are because music is timeless, but in general, it is much more popular among the younger generation. Why is this?  I have a couple theories.

One is that when people are young, they have more free time and less to worry about.  This provides them with the time to listen to music and find new bands.  As people grow up, they get jobs, have kids, and take on more responsibilities.  I think because of this, they don't have as much time to listen to music and stay current with the new songs and new artists.

Another theory is that the teen years are very impressionable when it comes to music.  The music you hear growing up is "your" music.  Even when you get older, you will remember those songs from your youth fondly.  You can use it as a way to connect with people your own age who also grew up with those songs.  As people get older, they loose this association with current music as it is no longer "their" music, but is now the kids music.

One more theory and this is true in my case, but I'm not sure for how many other people out there, and that is that after you have heard so many songs, you have kind of heard it all and it takes a lot more to really impress you.  Once you have experienced so many different songs and have heard the best songs over the past 60 years, the average songs that come out each year do not seem that special.  You also begin to notice a lot of copying and repetition.  How many times have you heard a song in your youth and thought it was original only to find out years later that is was copied from a song that came out 20 or 30 years prior?  Artists run out of ideas and begin to recycle the same proven sounds and patterns over again.

It's because of these reasons why I think music is a young person's media. It's interesting how similar forms of media such as film and tv don't really follow this same theory.  These forms of media seem to keep their popularity among people even as they get older.  Whatever the reason, music is universal and something that all ages can appreciate even if it is more popular with the youth.

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