100 Years of Music

The shift of music from the early 1900s to 2010

Click on the link at the end of the article to see the entire timeline.

Maddie roman and Arin Enders

Music has been a part of our culture for as long as we can remember. As society has changed, the music around us has changed along with it and pushed different cultures to rise.  In the last one hundred years, music has surged and many new genres have arrived on the scene leaving an impact on society.

“Whenever there is a new style, direction, or movement in music, we will usually witness an impact on the upcoming decade,” said Vincent Martini, the guitar and CME teacher at Vista del Lago. However, this isn’t always the case. Mr. Martini describes how some movements in music, “disco, for example,” are short-lived and have little impact.

Cultural observations and struggles are often the trends in music composition. “As of recent, artists have been stepping up to talk about the issues of today like police brutality and discrimination with more outright mentions of leading figures,” said Vista junior Andrew Sonico Eugenio.

Music does have an effect on people, mostly for the better. Many people believe that songs have meaning, speaking in their own language. “Music can lift one up when they are feeling down, pump them up with enthusiasm and anticipation, inspire empathy, or even help focus concentration,” said Vista senior Gemma Gabbett. “For me, personally, when I can’t calm down and feeling awful or generally just need a place to go inside my head, I listen to my favorite bands and it brings be to an inner sanctuary.”

“Some may say that some songs of this sort are completely meaningless, talking about butts, money, and wearing pants lower, but I believe that in that, by definition, holds meaning,” said Eugenio. “Music defines the fashion and attitude of this counterculture and is truly what makes this phenomenon explode with the upper class. We don’t really relate to this music at all. It’s just fun to listen to, and once we listen we take in the message.”

Both Martini and Eugenio feel indifferent towards today’s record industry. However, while Martini does see both the positives and negatives of the music industry, he states one thing he loves about it: “We have evolved into a ‘do it yourself’ music world. Anyone can start a YouTube channel and promote their music. Anyone can start their own label and promote their music. Anyone can create an affordable home recording studio and promote their own music.This wonderful phenomenon has brought forth some amazing artists who may have never been heard in the music/record industries of the past.”

In contrast, Eugenio expresses his belief on the music industry’s downside. “I think it’s still hard to find a way up and that too much talent isn’t being recognized and too much lack of talent is being recognized,” said Eugenio. “I haven’t put too much thought into this, but that’s all I have, singers are overrated and true musical talent and real musicians aren’t being recognized enough.”

Not only do music genres play out their individually sick tunes, they also have an impact on upcoming music genres and the general future of music. Many can say that most music genres had some sort of impact on future music, big or little. Which genre made the biggest impact is a debatable topic.

Martini believes that the 1950s early rock and roll and R&B had the biggest impact. “The majority of music I listen to can be traced back to [the 1950’s] emergence of influential artists and styles. [In this decade], music became louder, more abrasive, more powerful. The simple use of electricity contributed to the strengths and contributions of this decade’s music,”  said Martini. “[This decade’s music also] became more blended, using the strengths of different cultures.”

For Eugenio, it’s hip-hop and rap that’s made the biggest impact on music and society. “Hip hop is relevant and entertaining. You don’t see emo, rock, classical, jazz or even pure pop challenges trending on Vine or Instagram,” said Eugenio. “Nothing today has the pull and allure of hip-hop, which makes it so powerful in today’s age and the perfect medium to speak out.”

Music has been a source of entertainment for people since the beginning, staying relevant and making its impact on society. Looking the past hundred years, music has made big progress from ragtime and skiffle music in the 1910s to today’s hip-hop and vaporwave. To see the change in music over the century, click the link below. For an amazing experience, click the 3D option on the bottom left corner of the timeline.

100 years of music timeline