2011 is coughing and wheezing its way to its demise, with only a few days left before 2012 is birthed and gets its life underway. It is a perfect time for a bit of reflection on the ending year. I am certain that other thoughts will be written on the meaning of and trends in the world of music circa 2011, but here are a few of mine:
Trend 1. Access to music in every form, genre, stylistic rendering, with every orchestration, as preformed by any and every group, has never been greater. The world of music is, quite literally, at our fingertips at every moment. Makes you kind of dizzy, doesn’t it?
Trend 2. Music continues to provide us with a soundtrack for our lives and this soundtrack will continue to be refined, defined and underlined with greater and greater specificity for each person’s unique, individual life. And this copacetic task will only get easier as the digital delivery systems’ (both subscription-based and free) music management software gets better and better. So whatever you are doing and whenever, there is a great tune for you, and you can find it right now.
Trend 3. For those who write music and live from its produce, the words of David Bowie spoken in 2002 seem relevant and only a little extreme: “The absolute transformation of everything that we ever thought about music will take place within 10 years, and nothing is going to be able to stop it. I see absolutely no point in pretending that it’s not going to happen. I’m fully confident that copyright, for instance, will no longer exist in 10 years, and authorship and intellectual property is in for such a bashing.”
My observation is that as the access to music grows and grows, a great confusion as to ownership has (and will continue) taken place in the public’s mind. The struggle to retain the meaning and effects of the music copyright has been an ongoing battle in 2011 and will continue into 2012 and beyond.
Trend 4. MySpace is dead, or at least moribund. Who uses that social site anymore? Well, 61 million people visit MySpace each month, according to an accounting by Google, which may seem like a lot to some, but that visitation count puts MySpace at merely the 24th most visited site. All things considered, pretty weak.
Trend 5. Another trend to be expressed with lucent harshness in 2011 is that the CD is dead. Most labels have announced this year (or have already moved to this policy) that they will no longer produce that artifact. Personally, I like the CD. But, I also like the LP and have over 700 of them. That does not change the fact that in order to participate in the joys of Trends 1 and 2 (see above), CDs just don’t work. But, hey, the buying public has known this for at least 10 years. In 2011 the Labels finally caught up.
Lastly, what, you may ask, about the actual music itself, the specific songs, albums, singers and groups of 2011? Let me refer you to a wonderful site that addresses the winners and losers in the 2011 world of music:http://www.metafilter.com/110652/2011-In-Music
So, 2011 is soon to be gone. Long live 2012!