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(ReadWith) HipHopIsJazz, PopularMusicHistory, FutureOfMusic

Quora Answer : In a few hundred years from now, would music have hard distinctions? Distinctions in past music is secular and sacred. Would our music just be labeled "Pre-Modern" like other eras (Baroque) or would they keep the distinctions (hip hop, rock etc)?

Jun 11, 2019

In 200 years, this will be known as the "jazz age".

And "jazz" will, rightly, be seen as a shift in music driven by and characterized by three interrelated things :

  • recording technology (and effects, amplification, computer manipulation etc.)
  • "feel" : recording captures the quirks and idiosyncrasies of the performer and performance, leading to a new musical emphasis on
    • the virtues of improvisation
    • "swing" and "groove" (ie. hard to notate rhythmic feel), and
    • personal style (particular qualities of a singer's voice or a rapper's flow. Or the exact tone that a rock guitar god gets from the fingering style plus the strings and body of the guitar plus the effects.)
  • a focus on music as a vehicle for personalities and characters. Music actually becomes a kind of pantomime or theatre where your personality (musical but also extra-musical) becomes part of the reason for people to listen to and enjoy your music.

Other modern genres : rock, soul, funk, punk, disco, hip-hop, rnb, house, techno, jungle, drum'n'bass, garage, metal, dubstep, trance, EDM, trap etc. etc. will ALL be seen as simply offshoots and subcategories of jazz. All being examples of music that is driven by the same logic : recording technologies; "feel" (which is captured and manipulated by that technology) becoming as important as the "musical" (ie. tonal / harmonic etc.) structure; and personalities.

Possibly, for musicologists this "jazz" music will be subdivided into categories according to instrument. Eg. you'll have "guitar jazz" (everyone from Django Reinhardt to Jimmy Hendrix to My Bloody Valentine). And "computer jazz" (from Herbie Hancock's early synth experiments to basically all modern EDM and hip-hop / trap production) and "wind jazz" (from early big bands to modern ... er ... big bands, taking in horn driven soul and funk). And "vocal jazz" (pop music)

The future may also note that the emphasis on social dancing and music as youth culture, while not actually new (music has been used for dancing and "getting off" for thousands of years), did become extremely important and prominent in the age of jazz.

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