It’s undeniable: music has been devalued to a point where it feels like it simply doesn’t matter. If music is an art, then we’ve stripped our own culture of its most fundamental and beautiful means of expression and we’ve done so willingly.
Music used to be the one thing that would keep us going, whether through its powerful lyrics or just as background noise during a lonely afternoon at home.
This article discusses the devaluation of music in our society, why it’s happening, what this means for musicians, bands and listeners alike, and what can be done about it.
What Exactly Is a “Work of Art?”
Let’s first talk about what makes something a “work of art,” or, to paraphrase the American Heritage Dictionary, an art object. Art consists of creating an innovative piece of work that can function as an aesthetic object in and of itself and whose meaning is (1) entirely subjective, (2) derived only from a relationship to the viewer, or (3) both.
If you want to make it simple, you’re encouraged to simply define art as a complicated thing that isn’t necessarily simple: “Art is something people make things they think are pretty while they are thinking they are doing something else.
Here are some points discussed about The Devaluation of Music-
1. Music is a lifetime passion.
“The process of learning to play an instrument and of perfecting one’s technique is a lifelong journey, as is the continual development of the musician’s ear and mind.” Music has been devalued. We do not pay nearly enough for music anymore.
The value of music has decreased, because it has become so readily available for us to consume and so accessible: available on the internet, in person or on television are only three examples of where we can find music, even just casually listening to it. We do not value music enough. We do not pay enough for music.
“Music is like a part of the body with which we are born and which we take for granted. It is the most essential function of the body, yet so many people have little interest in it or understand its importance.”
We do not pay nearly enough for music anymore. Not only can you find anything you want to listen to through your computer or television, but on top of that, all of your friends can find out about it and start listening to it too.
2. How devalued music is and why.
“Technology, in fact, has played a major role in bringing about the devaluation of music. The audio cassette, the compact disc (CD), the MP3 player, and the internet have all contributed to this downfall; they’ve all allowed us to take music for granted.”
We have access to everything that we could ever want on our phone or computer, whenever we want it. Music has been devalued because it is so readily available for us to consume and so accessible: available on the internet, in person or on television are only three examples of where we can find music, even just casually listening to it.
3. Music’s purpose of conveying emotions.
“Music is an interactive art form. It helps us to express and experience our emotions…We come from a long line of musicians, performers, composers, promoters and conductors who have expressed their views and beliefs through music for thousands of years.”
For example: When we listen to music or watch certain movies or shows, it can help us to interact with it in a way that we may not be able to with something like television. It’s more interactive and there are more feelings behind it. It’s a more authentic experience; it’s more about what we feel, not about what we see.
Loss of Image and Economic Value
“In many ways, the materialistic culture that emerged in the 19th century was an outgrowth of changes that had occurred in musical life during the 18th century. These new philosophies had a profound effect on the way composers and music lovers perceived music.”
What this means is that this economic devaluation has something to do with our society’s image and how important it is to us as individuals. The reasons behind it include new technologies, like MP3 players, which are quickly replacing our standard cassettes and CDs. MP3s are a lot more convenient to use, which allows us to consume music faster than ever before. It’s not about the quality of the song anymore, it’s about how fast we can get it and listen to it.