Musical Concussion Conclusion

Day 107 Week 16 Q2 Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Ever noticed that the words’ conclusion’ and ‘concussion’ are like long-lost twins? Just take out the L from ‘conclusion’ and add a second S, and voilà, you’ve got ‘concussion ‘. It’s like they’re playing a game of Scrabble with our minds! 

The word concussion is not always associated with a medical traumatic condition. The second dictionary definition is  “a violent shock as from a heavy blow”. The word conclusion has its first definition, which is the end or finish of an event or process.

So, a concussion conclusion would be: “a violent shock as from a heavy blow causing the end or finish of an event or process”. I assume in addition to describing the demolition of a building, this could be metaphorically applied to the demolition of an idea or model that no longer deserves to exist.

Most ideas do not survive indefinitely, especially in the arts, where new rhythms, harmonies, and instruments change the landscape of music every generation. Today’s contemporary music differs substantially from that of twenty, forty, and sixty years ago.

Genres have a much longer half-life than styles, even though the words are sometimes used interchangeably. The genre of classical music has been around for hundreds of years, jazz for 100 years, and even hip-hop is 50 years old. There have been numerous musical concussion conclusions through these time frames.

Musical styles seem to have evolved from small ensembles to huge ones, and now, they are back to small ones once again. One of the first major musical concussions was electricity. Instead of requiring a large number of musicians’ instruments to get a loud performance, you could have a three-piece band with a bunch of amplifiers that were louder than a 100-piece symphony orchestra.

Recently, another musical concussion is the impact of digital technology. This provides an incredible amount of control. We are by a small number of musicians who cannot only sound as loud as a large number but have such a variety of tunnel qualities as to also emulate an orchestra.

Even solo artists who can fill a stadium are not uncommon. As hybrid virtual events increase in emotional relevancy, new business models for the music industry are already emerging.

Of course, this democratization of technology has not made it easier to live as a musician and support oneself. There has been no cost of living adjustment to accompany these musical concussion conclusions. Sure, the people at the top are making a fortune, but the people at the bottom have to pay to be heard, and the people in the middle barely make enough to survive.

There have been many musical concussions impacting conclusions during the last 100 years. The net result has been that, at first, musicians earned their living performing. Then, for a fairly brief time of a few decades, they were able to earn their living on royalties from the intellectual property they created. Those days are mostly over, and musicians once again determine their living by performing, not composing or recording.

I wonder when and what the following sizeable musical concussion conclusion will be.