Throughout the progression of humanity, music has played a pivotal role in the culture and values of all different races and ethnicities. Dating back to prehistoric ages, even the most isolated tribal groups have had a form of music. As humanity has evolved over thousands of years, music has continued to be a fundamental constituent of human life.
Fast-forwarding to the modern era, music still plays an influential role in people’s daily lives. Whether it’s listening to your favourite artist when you’re taking a shower or shuffling through the radio stations on your commute to work, people are consumed by the rhythmic sensation that music provides. There are thousands of individual moments that have attributed to changes in music over time, yet three moments seem to stand out from the rest:
1. 1954 – Elvis Presley records at Sun Studios. Elvis quickly became music and cultural phenomenon as he was often heralded as the “King of Rock and Roll.” His singing, dancing, and sanguine attitude took the world by storm, introducing a new age of music known as Rock n’ Roll. His style was fused from country-western music from the south with the rhythm and blues from African American melodies. His music introduced a new wave of youth culture, tore down the restrictive oppression of sexuality, and ended the horrors of racial segregation.
2. 1964 – The Beatles arrive in America. The band had many effects on popular music as their commercial and critical success was referred to as the “British Invasion.” To this day, the band still holds the most number-one hits on the Top 100 with a total of twenty. With the release of their iconic albums; “Let it be” and “Revolver,” among others, album sales became the dominant form of record consumption over singles.
3. 2001 – Apple introduces iTunes. Steve Jobs ushered in the digital age of music providing a new application that transformed the way people interacted with music. Additionally, with the development of the iTunes store two years later, the focus of music altered from compact disks and cassettes to mp3s. Apple would take a reigning hold on the music industry that continues today.
As humanity continues to evolve, new and radical progressions in music will parallel changing social and cultural values. Who and what will be next?
Main image source: Sonico Music