Discover What’s New in the World of Music
Music is constantly changing. Generations that grew up with the dawn of the internet will remember buying CDs, and then slowly transitioning to streaming services. Today, we’ve experienced a similar shift from live music to live streamed events and digital content. With the rise of digital instruments happening at the same time, we’ve also seen a huge wave of new music tools that allow aspiring creatives to start their journey much easier than ever before. To some, this is a drawback, but thinking about what kind of access this brings to young creators it’s easy to see why these new tools and artists are so popular. Let’s check out a few new services and websites offering a peek into new and exciting innovations in music!
When using digital tools, you’ll probably run into MIDI pretty quickly in your journey. MIDI stands for Music Instrument Digital Interface, and it’s a digital music language that has been standard since the 1980’s! MIDI is used to tell an instrument inside a piece of software when to play notes, for how long, how heavy, how fast the song is and about every other detail you can imagine.
A lot of audio companies nowadays are creating something called MIDI packs which will often include preset instruments and musical ideas that producers can easily drop into a track. There are a lot of great uses for these and they are especially useful if you’re looking for inspiration in a particular style. Jazz and Neo Soul chord progressions are examples of fairly complex styles and using preset chord progressions and melodies are a great way to explore their themes and tropes.
Eventually, you’ll want to start writing your own chord progressions but MIDI packs are a really solid way for any musician to get started on an idea, or learn how to start putting tracks together.
Blogs, Label Websites and Lists
In the early days of internet music, fans would gather on open forums emulating how they might gather at a venue. The searcher would have to sift through thousands of posts to find something they liked. Now, we rely so heavily on playlisting and algorithms to make these listening choices for you. The need to search for music has been eradicated for many listeners, but die hard fans are still looking for new ways to discover music.
We are seeing an interesting lift in Indie labels. A lot of their websites can be a great way to sift through new and interesting artists, and there are a lot of online publications keeping lists of artists for fans to sift through. If you’ve been dying to find bands that start with the letter N, chances are you’ll be able to find a comprehensive list of old and new artists you haven’t heard of before.
We’re seeing that a lot more independent blogs and music organizations are publishing articles on the behalf of new artists. It’s a refreshing return to the free spirit of the internet that was promised back at the turn of the century.
Festival Culture Returns
As more and more individuals get vaccinated, we’re seeing a ton of our favorite festivals return. From Bonaroo to Pitchfork, many have come back for a big return to festival life. With that, we’re seeing a lot of festival activities and culture come back.
Festivals are fascinating because they show how fans can celebrate uniquely and together. For many, these are events where you can let yourself go and be fully immersed in your favorite artist’s performance. With wild outfits and all kinds of additional performance expressions, it’s a joyful thing to see so many music fans excited to come together and hear live music once again. The world of music has dearly missed the low bustle of happy fans highlighted by camps, led poi shows and dancing.
Most interesting of all in the return of live music is the return of a community. We’ve all been through something together, but locked inside. Now, we’re seeing beautiful forms of self expression return to festival sites and venues alike.
Merchandise sales have been on the rise during the pandemic. It’s inspiring to see so many fans supporting musicians through merchandise purchases. This has also been a great opportunity for artists to offer support to the many global issues we are facing today. Maybe that rockin ‘T-shirt from the Rolling Stones online store isn’t such a frivolous purchase after all!
While we haven’t been able to directly support musicians by seeing them play, many have taken to the online stores to support their favorite artists. This is a great way to offer support as it advertises your favorite bands and helps revenue flow so that when we can see them live, they’ll have a loyal fan base to return to.
Merch is a a great way to support artists, but it’s also something you can do to support your favorite venues and labels. These are key organizations in the life of the music industry, and they need our support just as much as the artists do. Exploring a venue or label page is a great way to discover new artists as well!
Streaming and 5G
The biggest news in the music industry is the potential implications that 5G will have on streaming. Streaming in many ways did give life back into the music industry, allowing a way for artists to control the online consumption of music.
5G is supposed to be fast, really fast. And that will have a lot of complicated effects on the internet as a whole, not to mention how streaming will function. Companies like Spotify and iTunes will need to be on top of how this affects their distribution, as the potential for piracy in the new music world is great.
Streaming certainly isn’t going anywhere, however, and it’s truly amazing to have such high quality libraries at our disposal. We’re seeing a lot of lossless audio streaming becoming more common, another (more positive) implication that 5G will continue to have.
Music purists will often turn their heads at the top charted artists, but they are worth looking into for the newest sounds in pop, rock and hip hop music. Nowadays, much of the popular music being produced has its roots in independent growth. The result is a lot of experimentation within these genres, and the charts will reflect that.
Especially given that most of the work being released now was created during the peak of a global pandemic, the artistry is fresh and exciting. Even if it’s not all your thing, taking a look at the top songs of the year is a great idea to start accessing new sounds and energy. Even if it’s just a jumping off point.
The music world is constantly changing and adapting, always reflecting what the world around us is going through. The magic is in being able to see how each facet influences the overall output of the industry. It’s no secret that digital tools are becoming more and more popular and used in today’s remotely collaborative world, and the music industry will continue to change so we can enjoy and support the music we love.