Friday, May 10, 2013

Young Musicians: Old Music?

After recently seeing a 13-year-old guitar player perform a righteous rendition of Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water during an open invite recital of our local music school, are young musicians the only ones capable of appreciating “old music” these days? 

By: Ringo Bones 

Whether or not you consider it a “disturbing” trend will likely depend on how you seriously cherish the contemporary music back in the time that you have come of age. But have notice lately that it seems only young musicians that are able to appreciate music that were originally released  20 or 30 years before they were born? 

In my neck of the woods, it is extremely rare for a non-musician aged 13-year-old or younger to appreciate 1970s era classic rock like Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple. Although seeing a 13-year-old electric guitar student doing a righteous rendition of Smoke on the Water in 2013 is more likely to remind me of seeing a 13-year-old piano student performing a righteous rendition of Allemagne by JS Bach or Rachmaninoff’s “Rack Number 3” in a piano recital back in 1988. Although, it still pisses me off – just a bit – when anyone aged 40 or older with an extensive music collection draws a blank every time my music-buddies and I talk about Budokan and how Cheap Trick made their best concert ever there and how Scrawl – a newer alt-rock band that got startrd around the mid 1980s – wish they could perform on the iconic Budokan. 

Are young people these days no longer listening to old music on a recreational basis? It seems like it, but it has been observed a few years ago – around 2009 – that when kids aged 13 to 17 began playing with that famous musical instrument oriented video game called Guitar Hero, views of “classic rock” music videos archived on You Tube – like Pat Benatar’s Heartbreaker and Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing began to rise, not to mention the increased sales of classic rock albums following the success of Guitar Hero thanks to the new generation of guitar players. And another “weird” trend happening these days that a growing number of kids on Facebook admiring their parent’s old music collection. Now if only we can entice these kid to become hi-fi enthusiasts and rare vinyl LP collectors.  

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