Fotina Naumenko  

The times they are a'changing: Music in 2020!

Fotina Naumenko
October 3, 2019

Editor's Abstract (Click to Hide)

This "article" is a series of 3 papers written by students in an Entrepreneurship in Music course. The topic of the paper is "Music in 2020." In other words, where do you think music will be in 2020? What will be new? How will the musical landscape have changed and evolved, and how should we prepare for that now? The three authors all express unique ideas and perspectives on the future of music. I suppose none of us know with certainty what the future will hold, but with innovative thinking and careful planning, perhaps we can influence that future just a little bit!

- Stephen Danyew

The times they are a’changing: Music in 2020!

In the year 2020, technology will become an increasingly more integral part of classical music. Our audiences have already been treated to technological additions to the traditional concert/performance: television screens at orchestral concerts, supertitles for operas, electronic music. In many ways, classical music will follow popular music in the amount of technology used to enhance performances.

In 2020, even more than in 2010, people will be starved for time, and arts organizations will need to cater to this. In 2020, concerts will be marketed as a way to relax and get away from hectic lifestyles, in a more social setting than just switching on the TV at home. People used to go to the opera or symphony because it was a social event—this will be a good marketing strategy to get people to come to concerts in 2020, because humans need to see each other face to face sometimes too! We are social animals.

The definition of art is something of value that stands the test of time. In our culture, and in the culture of 2020, we are much too used to instant gratification, and put value into thing which catch our attention because of shock value or novelty. These things don’t last, but create momentary entertainment that manages to engage our ADD minds. Classical music comes from a time when value and time was put into the craft, instead of modern insta-stardom like American idol, for instance. In 2020, classical music will still be around and kicking because of its complexity. Complex music lasts longer than a hit song (with about 3 chords that stays on the Top 10 chart for maybe a week or two), because it engages people on an intellectual as well as emotional level. Classical musicians in 2020 will market this as a reason to keep the genre around!

One aspect of classical music will always remain the same, in 2020 or any time in history: the human and emotional element. Why don’t we get a robot to play the clarinet instead of that orchestral musician who requires a salary every year? The robot could play the longest phrase ever written without running out of breath, perfect every single time….

And yet, classical music is not about this. It is the fact that a person plays the impossibly long phrase that makes it interesting and exciting. Humans are fascinated with human achievements, and we love it when someone pushes the envelope of something that doesn’t seem possible. Just look at the Olympics—athletes are continually breaking records that would have seemed impossible only a few years earlier! Machines or recordings could easily replace athletes or musicians...but it loses its spark once the human element is taken away!

Human emotion is another thing that will always remain, and no matter how much technology we are surrounded with, we will all still want to have that personal, human connection with each other. In 2020, audiences will become less and less content with the separation between audience and stage. People will want to have personal connections with the musicians—people will be curious about the whole experience, not just sitting and listening to the performance. Performers will have to talk to the audiences, engaging them on a personal level.

In 2020 there will be increased awareness of our human bodies, and more and more will be discovered about the human brain. Because of this, we will become more aware of what helps the brain develop, and how music plays into this. There have been some studies of how music study positively affects development in children, but all of this is still vague—once more conclusive proof is found, there will be more incentive to keep music education in schools.

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