The Declining Value of Music in a Digital Age


Music today has increasingly little value, not only because of online services which make it cheap or free for the listener, but also because of the sheer volume of music available at present. In a matter of seconds one has within reach enough music to last a lifetime, or even several.

In the distant past, in order to listen to music one had to attend a concert in a concert hall or listen to a singer in a tavern. More recently, inventions such as the radio and stereo has allowed music to become a more solitary things, and has also mainstreamed it in a manner not previously possible, and consequently has shaped the cultural zeitgeist to an increasing degree. With the arrival of the internet, I believe this is vaning. I hold that there are no musical artists today that shape the cultural landscape. Undoubtedly, there are popular artists, but none of them capture an entire generation like The Beatles did for the Baby Boomers, or Nirvana did for Gen X.

This development is of course not wholly negative, I certainly don’t want to give that impression. The internet age has given artists which would previously have been confined to a small underground following a chance for more widespread recognition. It also makes finding rare music much easier (and certainly cheaper). The internet has made things very convenient, but I fear that this convenience will lead to a devaluing of musicians and their creation.


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