The More it Changes the More is Stays the Same (Part 2)

My experience watching the performances at our university festival got me wondering whether there is any genre in music that stays 100% true to its own original sound and ethos, and I couldn’t think of any. Several examples however, spring to mind immediately when it’s the opposite. Or rather, I can think of a genre where the sound may have changed but they still represent the same spirit. I can also think a case where the songs may still be the same, but they represent a different kind of celebration.

I once went for a karaoke with a group of friends. There, I was chatting with this girl and I asked her what her favourite genre is. She answered: country. In my stupid out of time mind I imagined twangy guitars and cowboy hats. But of course, she meant Taylor Swift! Now at first glance, I couldn’t see the overlap, certainly not in how they sound. But I overlooked the essence that all country songs embody: A celebration of an American life.

The counterpoint to that is reggae. Style wise we can trace its origin as an off-shoot of ska. We all know the father of reggae, the one-and-only Bob Marley. But his songs are protest songs (just ask anyone who has watched any of his many documentaries). The same reggae songs may fit as easily at your beach-side barbeque party. My point here is that the meaning of a song is in the ear of its beholder.

So I barely touched on two examples where music may differ, yet they stay the same. But they are not enough to draw any conclusion from. Yet, with the advancement of technology and the progress in society, it is hard to see that we are going to get anything but evolution. This could be innovation in sound, or it could be a change in attitude towards a genre. Though as we have seen, it seems that when it comes to music, the more it changes, the more it stays the same.



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しかし、その逆の場合、すぐにいくつかの例が思い浮かびます。 むしろ、サウンドは変わっているかもしれませんが、同じ精神を表現しています。 また、曲は同じでも違う種類のお祝いを表しているというケースもあります。



その対極にあるのがレゲエです。 スタイル的には、その起源をスカの派生としてたどることができます。 私たちは皆、レゲエの父、唯一無二のボブ・マーリーを知っています。 しかし、彼の曲は抗議の歌です(彼の多くのドキュメンタリーを観たことのある人に聞いてください)。