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Music: Culture and Soul

As a music student, I reflect on rock music, it’s impact on society, and its difference to the popular music of today.

Music. The most important thing in the world (apart from breathing of course). But in this age of auto tuning and technology so advanced that no musicians have gone near it, I struggle to think of what music will soon become.

Growing up, my father was my idol. He brought me up on rock music: Motörhead, Alice Cooper, and Led Zeppelin to name a few. It’s the music of my childhood, and still the music I listen to today. I can remember when my father said I was finally old enough to see Alice live, it was the best night of my life. Then came Download festivals, and seeing The Stranglers and Motörhead every year. I loved those times, huge highlights in my memory. But one thing I do also remember is being embarrassed when people asked what I listened too. I often would say pop, which I did on occasion, and would submerse myself in indie bands to feel as if I could talk about music with my friends. I wish children knew that whatever you listen too, as long as you’re listening to something, you’re amazing.

When I finally began to feel ok with myself and my music taste, I discovered other children at my school had also been brought up the same! In high school I met people who grew up on Thin Lizzy, and AC/DC too. Of course, the majority thought it was just a racket, and often judged us. But people will judge you for whatever, so you might as well do as you please!

The best part of this revelation was that I felt part of something. People had the same interests as me and wanted to go to the same gigs. I also discovered new bands, and with an open mind, began to branch out properly to new genres such as indie rock and alternative rock. 

Of course with my dad, I listen to the classics, but every so often I’ll find a gem and show him and I see his eyes light up by the prospect. Artists such as Royal Blood or The Black Keys who sound very similar to T-Rex in my dads eyes. 

I still find it amazing that music that was created in the 70s, by real musicians in a recording studio, is still been listened to today: not just by that generation, but younger ones too. 

My issue with ‘pop’ music, is that it doesn't have the same relevance somehow to rock. I know I’m being very stereotypical here, and there is some pop music like Madonna etc that stand the test of time. But pop music from five years ago—can you remember any of it? I find a lot, that the popular music of today is for commercial gain only, rather than the music itself.

Lemme always said that the music they wrote was for them, and if the public liked it, that was a plus. Music should be enjoyed, not just for a week, but for decades, by the creators and the admirers.

Being a musician myself, studying music at university, I find it very intriguing how the music industry changes and evolves over time. Music that is wrote by musicians, who do it for the love of the music rather than the money, seem to last in our minds a lot longer.

Personally I think you can hear it in the music too, that passion and expression. Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir with Robert Plants screeching voice is a master piece, not only musically, but emotionally. 

Of course, as music evolves so does technology, and rock music now entwines the newest tech and sound effects just like any pop music. But the heart, and the soul of the music is still there.

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Music: Culture and Soul
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