Are we really listening anymore?

The delivery of the media has changed so much since I was a kid. I have seven kids. Some are in their 30’s while my youngest are 12 and 10. All my kids are really into music. No surprise. I had the privilege of seeing the older kids taste in music mature over time. I remember being sick of New Kids on the Block as much as I am of Ke$ha today. The older kids seem to enjoy a diversity of music today. My youngest enjoy listening on their Ipods to the latest “pop” hits, despite my constantly playing jazz or classical when ever I have them captive in the living room or car, they continue to resist adding the music I most appreciate to their listening drives. I have faith in them though. Once in a while I catch them by surprise imitating Ella or singing a Bealte’s tune in unison. But when it comes to the future of music today, I worry a little. Not all kids have parents or musical influences in their lives. I agree with will at Gadgets Technology and Photos, that the depth of really listening to an artist isn’t quite the same as it used to be when I was young. Are we in this world where the Record industry is actually encouraging A D D? Listen to more, buy more. It seems like who is singing or composing as not as important as how the tune moves the listener for the moment? What about the nuances of the writer? The depth of their art and how it relates to where I am at today? Are we becoming less musically tolerant, more musically tactile or responsive. That may have a place in music, but it is far from the richness and value of the entire art form or process. Did this all matter when I first heard the Beatles or Duke Ellington or other artist? Actually, I think, looking back on things, it did. I got to know the artist by the collection of works they produced, the B side of those 45’s, or track 3 on that Thelonius Monk LP. It wasn’t necessarily my choice to learn in depth about the artist, but, in part, by the old technology that forced me to listen to everything. Today, these are not the most played works on iTunes favorites. My favorites do not pop up in the search box until I complete the entire title or artist, if it does at all. It’s sad to think that so much is lost due to corporate music industry subservience to the mp3 players, ipods, and such.Young listeners may stumble across such gems as Stan Kenton’s orchestra playing “My One and Only Love, or the Beatles “Martha”, or Blind Faith’s “Presence of The Lord” or Frank Beverly’s “Joy and Pain”, but will they really get to really know, understand and relate, in a meaningful way, to the spirit behind such music ? How does one “tag” that? I remember listening to Chicago’s silver album straight for a month, and Led Zepplin’s first album, the entire album, daily for months. Today, kids are walking around with ipods filled with 2,000 to 3,000 tunes. Do they even have that kind of time to take in all those tunes? Are we really listening anymore?

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