Music Based Trends Within Subcultural Style
Before the radio began transmitting the sounds of the popular music industry across the airwaves, what the nobility enjoyed was seen as the high bar for everyone else's tastes. Those who like the same as the Lords and Ladies, the notable gentlemen and his most esteemed wife could be seen as reaching the all important social status they desire. For the others, and for those who wanted to make a stand against the common grain of society, there was folk music. Before popular culture took its grip on the world via media devices in every home, it was the community gathering that provided the entertainment. The traditional folk sounds of an area will of course differ with geography and the further afield we go, what was once folk becomes world music but in essence, it has the same root origin. Communities would pass ideas, stories, and melodies down the generational line as songs that would become ingrained in the consciousness of the given social network.
During the 1920's, when the radio became an instrument of media delivery, alongside the classical sounds of what was deemed to be acceptable music from traditional composers, new forms of music began to find its way into the playlist. Swing and jazz became players in the early music scene, and perhaps was the first societal subculture that could be distinguished as having a single origin. Ballroom music with extra energy allowed the younger generation to express themselves in new and exciting ways. Putting jazz and swing into the dance-hall allowed new musicians to experiment with all kinds of new techniques.
Rock n roll evolved in the 1950s from the origins of blues and rhythm based dance hall music, and another new breed of subculture came into being. Teddy boys took the titles for the first major influencer in the word of rock music, and the clean cut but violent image that came along with this trend brought in a new set of issues associated with alternative societal archetypes. Suits with ties, slick back hair, and an attitude for trouble gave this new generation of likely suspects an element of gangster affiliation that opened new doors for artistic expression.
Mods and rockers split as a distinct branching aspect on the society scene in the 1960s, and perhaps for the first time there was a direct competition marketed between two opposing viewpoints in the art world. As mod music took the noise and energy of rock n roll and concentrated it into something punchy and attitude driven, rock music managed to remain calm and remained true to the ballad and clean cut form that allowed it to stay distinguished despite this new wave of energy.
Rock caught on to the attitude it had so far lacked during the 1970s, when disco music had inspired a prolific wave of new synthetic sounding artists to produce variations on what music actually can be. A new energy brought rock music into the world of heavy metal and psychedelic rock as disco music began to give rise to new forms of dance based sounds such as funk that used traditional jazz form with new experimental rhythms.
The rift between mods and rockers evolved as rock music began to take on the attitude that would previously distinguish the two. In an effort to further inspire chaotic music and a breakdown of traditional flow, punk became popular as a strong alternative voice. Heavy metal differed from punk in many ways, but the theme of anarchy acted as an extra political motivator that metal doesn't use to brand itself.
In the 1980s the electronic music scene split into new romantic and goth music, with hip-hop making a splash shortly after. Heavy metal became commercialised and hard rock was the by-product of this fusion of corporate interest and the rock n roll ethic of rebellion and anti-establishment based expression. Punk music became diverse and soon also became targeted for commercialisation.
In the 1990s, heavy metal and rock music began to become largely alternative once more, and pop songs began to take more influence on softer and mixable content rather that straight songs. Everything began to standardise during the 90s for music, and with archetypes in place for so many genres, finding new roots was difficult. Disco evolved into techno, hardcore, and house, and the electronic music scene began the main field for the experimental musical projects. Rock began to form cross over sounds that took hip-hop, gothic, or techno sounds to make new fusion albums which produced varying results.
As the 2000s came about, the home studio and internet had really opened up what was doable and available for normal people. The amount of music on offer has magnified dramatically, as with the tools for making it. Subculture has reached neo-tribal levels with hundreds of thousands of people coming together for the love of one particular form of music. Each form of previous subcultural style has prevailed to this day and artists in every window are making new and fresh contributions to their genre.
As more creators make it into the scene with their angles, extra layers of culture are being formed, and perhaps on an interpersonal level, societal identification of self is no longer so limited to a handful of available archetypes presented by the media. As we each get to stand in our own shoes and present ourselves to many more people based on merit alone, it's becoming easier to self identify with common thinking without subscribing to one particular stereotype.
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