Poster or Presentation Title

Making Music in the Modern Era: How Hard Can It Be?

Presenter Information

Brandon CofferFollow

Access Type

Open Access

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Start Date

April 2017

End Date

April 2017

Department

Music

Abstract

Although for many it may feel as if making popular music in today’s world takes a lot of knowledge and skill, the truth is that there has never been a simpler time for music composition, production, and distribution. With the intent of improving music pedagogy, the purpose of this research was to examine the process of creating music from the standpoint of low-budget, 21st century musicians. The particular problems of this study were to (1) compare popular songs from past generations with modern hits; (2) analyze the theory and instrumentation used in today’s songs and (3) compose a track based on the discovered principles.

The variation in chord progression of Ludwig von Beethoven’s (1770-1827) Piano Sonata No. 28 in A major and the tender, sweet melodies of Victor Herbert’s (1859-1924) song You Belong To Me contrast harshly to the simple and often vulgar characteristics of music in the modern era. Serving as an example, Big Baby D.R.A.M.’s (b. 1988) chart topping hit Broccoli featuring rapper Lil’ Yachty (b. 1997) gained over 180 million views in less than a year after its release in July of 2016. This popular hit demonstrates how simplicity can be a key to artistic success in today’s world.

Faculty Mentor

Chris Magee

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Making Music in the Modern Era: How Hard Can It Be?

Although for many it may feel as if making popular music in today’s world takes a lot of knowledge and skill, the truth is that there has never been a simpler time for music composition, production, and distribution. With the intent of improving music pedagogy, the purpose of this research was to examine the process of creating music from the standpoint of low-budget, 21st century musicians. The particular problems of this study were to (1) compare popular songs from past generations with modern hits; (2) analyze the theory and instrumentation used in today’s songs and (3) compose a track based on the discovered principles.

The variation in chord progression of Ludwig von Beethoven’s (1770-1827) Piano Sonata No. 28 in A major and the tender, sweet melodies of Victor Herbert’s (1859-1924) song You Belong To Me contrast harshly to the simple and often vulgar characteristics of music in the modern era. Serving as an example, Big Baby D.R.A.M.’s (b. 1988) chart topping hit Broccoli featuring rapper Lil’ Yachty (b. 1997) gained over 180 million views in less than a year after its release in July of 2016. This popular hit demonstrates how simplicity can be a key to artistic success in today’s world.