Friday, September 17, 2010

Twenty Second Century Blues

I was in a pub chatting with some of my colleagues, all of whom know and consume a diverse bunch of music and plenty of it.

The question came up "What music from today will survive a hundred years?"

Drmmer Dave reckoned folk music, having already survived several centuries, was good for a few more. What else ?

Stanetta has a 73 year old song "They Can't Take That Away From Me" on her Spotify playlist. Not sure if the lesson here is that the Gershwins' songs or Sinatra's singing has lasting merit.  She also has the 45 year old "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone, so there's two songs already likely to outlive me.

Here's my guesses - if you're reading this in 2110, feel free to laugh if the only music from our age that you're still listening to is Rick Astley "Never Gonna Give You Up"and "The Macarena":-

(1) Religious music, whether gospel or that new-fangled Christian Rock. I can't abide it, but I suspect that they'll still be singing "Amazing Grace" in various styles right up to the heat-death of the Universe.

(2) Instrument-related Music - people buying guitars will always play "Stairway to Heaven" in the shop. Pianists will always play "The Entertainer". As long as these instruments survive, the copyright
on these pieces will be infringed for millenia.

(3) Karaoke Favourites- if you fancy yourself a singer, you will want to measure yourself against Ella/Nina/Frank/Tom (delete as applicable). In this category I nominate "Suspicious Minds" by Elvis Presley. Although sad, creepy, overweight, middle-aged guys in open-necked shirts will definitely still insist on singing "Delilah".

(4) Roots - Rock music is just a creole of Blues, Jazz, Gospel with a bit of Folk and Country. Modern musicians of any age have phases where they check out the origins of their style of music. I have no doubt that 22nd century musicians will look back and find Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago" and think "Oh. This Works. Why would we want to make it more complicated than this ?!"

(5) Dance music - the dances will change, but would anyone bet against "Dancing Queen" being played at weddings 100 years from now ?

And finally, whatever bands are playing in 2110, I'll bet the roadies play "So What" by Miles Davis while they're setting up.

No comments: