Updated: Mar 27
Composer’s have long been breaking traditions to give way to something new, exciting and daring to blossom.The excitement in finding new sounds, communicative and emotional powers led to the breakdown of what is called tonality (the traditional western musical language from which most popular music emerges from).
Composers of contemporary music - consciously or subconsciously - solidify together the flowing masses of music and everyday sounds that are compartmentalised in our brains’ memory. The language of music has changed and the reason why it may sound ‘unattractive, random’ is because we are not used to these sounds. We do not get a chance to hear it enough, hence finding meaningfulness and enjoyment can be challenging, frustrating and drawing quick conclusions is too easy. We find it hard to process what is happening in the music.
With the hundreds and hundreds of years of western musical tradition, our memory is inevitably full of associations and even bias towards more formulaic and triadic music, hence we find challenges in some ethnic music as well, such as javanese gamelan, mongolian throat singing or indian traditional music for all their different tuning systems and alien sounds.
Exposure, programming and streaming of contemporary music - in comparison to classical music streaming, or in popular music, jazz, metal, rock, blues and so on - is a tiny fraction. This creates a vicious cycle of not hearing it enough, therefore finding it challenging, therefore not hearing it enough etc.