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Will We Ever Run Out of New Music? (Vsauce Video)

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Technically speaking, we are running out of music.

If you dumb music down to a simple matter of 12-step tonality based on the Well-tempered system and don't take into account rhythm, meter, timbre, tempo, harmonic relations, alternative song structures and so on, it is difficult to see anything original in music since there is only a very limited and closed system.

For anyone who is older than 40 and only listens to pop music, it's pretty easy to believe that we not only will run out of musical ideas, but in fact are starting to show signs of it. But those who are a bit more eclectic or otherwise prone to seeing nuances within similar songs within a given style, we haven't gotten to that point yet.

Technically speaking, music is like anything else in this world in that it is finite. However, the concept of being finite subsumes anything between 0 and infinite, so it's a pretty useless observation given all the variables in play.

“My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday.” - G.K. Chesterton

Skeeter Davis bump.

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

You need to get into Bob Schneider:

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

When you add... ambient/space music or post-rock, where 'endless' drifting through a soundscape or the sampling of any manner of sounds are used, seems like the possibilities are even greater. Becomes not just about melodies and harmonies and rhythm, but also timbre, texture.

Just when you think "all of the good music

is already made,"

along comes a Pale Horse, who takes that thought to it's grave":

If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

reminds me of the Library of Babel by Borges

The whole universe is "just" a finite library.

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran
"The Perfect Man has no self; the Holy Man has no merit; the Sage has no fame." - Chuang Tzu

Love all the sources

Linked in the video.

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

jrd3820's picture


way to freak me out with a giant panda of death!

I nearly ruined my best chair...

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

Only need four chords to make a hit song

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ~J. Swift

not sure if this is awesome

or depressing

mountaincat's picture

Straight up

He should stick to math. I think he is missing a few variables.
Maybe he needs some harmony.

Did you by any chance see the (1998) film Pi?

I love that movie. It's really intense!!! Almost surreal. I'll put the trailer below. The trailer is good, but I'd say it's edited so as to be a bit misleading. And that's good! It doesn't give away the story/moral of the story. Well, what I thought to be the moral of the story. If I recall, at the time there was some debate over that in our family. :) Anyway, seeing your comment reminded me of the film. I think you'd like it, too.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

mountaincat's picture

Looks very interesting.

It definitely got my attention.
I'll find out if it can keep it.

jrd3820's picture

That was fun

I like that guy. I'm going to check out the 4 chords thing he talks about also.

I noticed that in a way when I was working with kids this past fall. It seemed like every single kids song we learned or sang sounded the same.

'You swear you've heard it before...."

Intersting remarks and statistical findings, thanks for posting

Maybe this is why I like music that pushes the envelope; because it's not "familiar" to me.

Here's the same song scored to King Kong!

Positive stuff.

Here's your positive.

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

Could the compression theory be expanded to a karaoke theory?

The compression theory described in the video says that complex songs that are not easy to compress aren't that popular, white noise being the extreme.

Easily compressed songs, the extreme being a single tone, are not popular either.

Popular, familiar, time-tested songs are somewhere in the middle.

Could then:

Karaoke or any sort of covering of a popular song is done well when it is both different and unique from the original, yet also most true to the original?????

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

This explains why 'Don't Worry Be Happy' is the same melody as..

'What's Up?' by 4 Non Blondes,

'Blueberry Hill' by Fats Domino is 'On Top of Old Smokey,' and my personal favorite:

'Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off' by Joe Nichols is Bob Seger's 'You'll Accomp'ny Me.'


Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

What about...

The theme from 'Green Acres' and 'Purple Haze'?

"Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos!"- Homer Simpson