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Avoiding the idea of pop music, and replacing it with popular music really changes things. A lot of the popular modern music I listen to (mostly Alternative and Alternative Rock) has developed more musically than I would have expected. ......almost all of them under the age of 25 - lots in the 18-20 year old range. In the past 12 months specifically, I've began to notice something very unusual. When they put on music, its no longer just your top 100 billboard songs. They are listening to Lo-Fi, neo-soul, groove style music, or even pulling up old jazz and talking about how much they enjoy it over the modern music being released. Of course this is a small sample size of the world, but it does provide hope.
Yes, exactly. I do not think this is so small a percentage of young music fans, actually....I think (and I think it has always been this way, actually)...the notions of top 40 or Billboard 100...has always been something which the industry has jammed down peoples' throats...I have my doubts that any of the current pop-pop stuff is 'popular' based upon people choosing to listen to it, as it is 'popular' in the sense of a corporate product with an inescapable presence.
In my experience, kids these days are far more omnivorous in terms of musical taste than I was at that age. One daughter loves classic rock, from the Beach Boys to Queen. The other loves the newest hip-hop and dance music. But they listen to EVERYTHING from sea shanties on TikTok to whatever music is on Just Dance.
No question about it. I think it all has to do with accessibility. Our kids' generation(s) have pretty much any genre at their fingertips. Earlier generations were more shackled by what was heard on the radio, and what was available on vinyl or CD. Our exposure to what was out there was somewhat controlled and limited by certain factors.
Less so today.
I remember when my daughter was growing up and we moved from the phase of buying CD's and listening to the radio in the car ...to being able to access single tracks online. Fast forward only a year or two later and she and all of her friends were creating their own playlists which...to me....seemed absolutely random, genre-wise (we can call it 'eclectic' if you wanna use a euphemism).
Yet to them, there was some kind of continuous thread which binds it all together.
THAT, IMHO, is a really POSITIVE way to experience music.

As for popular music, my two teenage daughters have kept me fully aware of the the latest and greatest music pop culture has to offer. I have little interest in listening to any of what modern popular music provides regardless of whether the saxophone is included or not.
Okay, I just want to offer that you may be missing something there, then...and by loosening up a bit, you may come to realize that there is some good musicality present in a lot of contemporary stuff (but again, notsomuch the corporate pop stuff).

I remember when I was a teen, and I was a developing Jazz Snob (this is not directed at you, btw)...and the popular music at the time was early New Wave. My good friend and guitarist both in school bands and our own fusion combos was the only guy in our circle who was listening to rock-pop, and sometimes I would be over his house and we'd be listening to records and he'd throw on early Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, Squeeze, Cars, etc...and I would start trashing it (from a highfalutin' jazzer point of view) and he really would get on me about that...and basically say (and show me) that if I dropped that attitude and just listened to what they were doing I'd see that there was some very creative stuff going on there.
It took me a couple of years to actually do that, but I am really glad I did because had he not really kept on me, I would have missed a LOT of good stuff which was happening in real time, all around me. I would not have gone to those concerts when these artists were in their prime if not for him opening my eyes wider.
And that would have been pretty tragic, had I just dismissed all of that while it was contemporary.

There's great, musical stuff going on in contemporary bands, worldwide...stuff even a musician who is immersed in one or two classic genres can appreciate if they just give it a chance. It will NOT be the most 'accessible' pop, but it will be 'popular' whether regionally or within a certain demographic or whatever...

Likewise, being in bands with 20-somethings for the past decade, same idea....they bring in or suggest material which the other over-40 members of the group would never have even considered, much less ever heard, and it made our repertoire stronger, and the bands better.

Just something for consideration.
 

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Yes, exactly. I do not think this is so small a percentage of young music fans, actually....I think (and I think it has always been this way, actually)...the notions of top 40 or Billboard 100...has always been something which the industry has jammed down peoples' throats...I have my doubts that any of the current pop-pop stuff is 'popular' based upon people choosing to listen to it, as it is 'popular' in the sense of a corporate product with an inescapable presence.
No question about it. I think it all has to do with accessibility. Our kids' generation(s) have pretty much any genre at their fingertips. Earlier generations were more shackled by what was heard on the radio, and what was available on vinyl or CD. Our exposure to what was out there was somewhat controlled and limited by certain factors.
Less so today.
I remember when my daughter was growing up and we moved from the phase of buying CD's and listening to the radio in the car ...to being able to access single tracks online. Fast forward only a year or two later and she and all of her friends were creating their own playlists which...to me....seemed absolutely random, genre-wise (we can call it 'eclectic' if you wanna use a euphemism).
Yet to them, there was some kind of continuous thread which binds it all together.
THAT, IMHO, is a really POSITIVE way to experience music.
Okay, I just want to offer that you may be missing something there, then...and by loosening up a bit, you may come to realize that there is some good musicality present in a lot of contemporary stuff (but again, notsomuch the corporate pop stuff).

I remember when I was a teen, and I was a developing Jazz Snob (this is not directed at you, btw)...and the popular music at the time was early New Wave. My good friend and guitarist both in school bands and our own fusion combos was the only guy in our circle who was listening to rock-pop, and sometimes I would be over his house and we'd be listening to records and he'd throw on early Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, Squeeze, Cars, etc...and I would start trashing it (from a highfalutin' jazzer point of view) and he really would get on me about that...and basically say (and show me) that if I dropped that attitude and just listened to what they were doing I'd see that there was some very creative stuff going on there.
It took me a couple of years to actually do that, but I am really glad I did because had he not really kept on me, I would have missed a LOT of good stuff which was happening in real time, all around me. I would not have gone to those concerts when these artists were in their prime if not for him opening my eyes wider.
And that would have been pretty tragic, had I just dismissed all of that while it was contemporary.

There's great, musical stuff going on in contemporary bands, worldwide...stuff even a musician who is immersed in one or two classic genres can appreciate if they just give it a chance. It will NOT be the most 'accessible' pop, but it will be 'popular' whether regionally or within a certain demographic or whatever...

Likewise, being in bands with 20-somethings for the past decade, same idea....they bring in or suggest material which the other over-40 members of the group would never have even considered, much less ever heard, and it made our repertoire stronger, and the bands better.

Just something for consideration.
I do appreciate and respect you sharing your experience and interest in expanding your musical awareness, but I'm plenty good with my musical interests. I haven't expressed adversity with contemporary and world music. I've simply expressed that I have a finite period of time to listen on a daily basis and the contemporary popular music is of little interest to me. I've also stated that I'm not at all interested in whether the saxophone is included in contemporary popular music; I really don't care. I would rather read, study, and listen to Gary Giddins' jazz selections and the like, and that's how I choose to occupy myself. I respect your musical interests; thanks for being and advocate for those interests.
 

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I think there are a lot of factors as to why there are less young people taking up "real" instruments today. The ease of making music electronically is certainly one of them. For me exposure led to inspiration and motivation. My dad grew up in the Big Band era and he had stacks of vinyl that he played relentlessly. I grew up listening to Swing, Big Band and Jazz. I remember my dad saying things like, "Lester leaps in and Lester leaps out." I can remember a specific solo played by Harry Carney on the bari sax that was on one of the swing anthologies that he had. I remember comparing the version of Sing Sing Sing that was released in the 30s to the version that was on Goodman's Live in Sweden album from 1970.

Around that same time I had a dentist who was also from the greatest generation and had the same love for music that my dad did. He had a reel-to-reel deck sitting on the counter in his office and he would play big band music all day. During one office visit a tune came on and I said, "Huh, Begin the Beguine." He damn near dropped his mirror and probe and turned to the dental hygienist and said, "Did you hear that? Did you hear what he just said? How do you know that song?"

Anyone, regardless of age, has the ability to love and appreciate good music. They just have to be exposed to it. If I hadn't grown up hearing this music I never would have developed the love for it, and never would have taken up an instrument and played in the band in school. And so time marches on. To quote Rutger Hauer in Bladerunner, "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
 

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I do appreciate and respect you sharing your experience and interest in expanding your musical awareness, but I'm plenty good with my musical interests. I haven't expressed adversity with contemporary and world music. I've simply expressed that I have a finite period of time to listen on a daily basis and the contemporary popular music is of little interest to me. I've also stated that I'm not at all interested in whether the saxophone is included in contemporary popular music; I really don't care. I would rather read, study, and listen to Gary Giddins' jazz selections and the like, and that's how I choose to occupy myself. I respect your musical interests; thanks for being and advocate for those interests.
And I completely respect that, and I think for the most part most folks are going to spend most of their listening time listening to things that they already like and are familiar with....
I was just suggesting that next time the opportunity arises to listen to what your kids like, perhaps approaching it a bit differently will result in hearing it a bit differently....
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Music is a subjective thing. When someone says "it's music to my ears" it usually means something they like is happening. Usually, there are a somewhat equal number of people that would say the opposite. (Example: the Bulls and Bears of the stock market.)

I find that I like man of the old standards, Jazz Ballads (but not free form jazz), the artistry and talent of a musician (Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Benny Goodman, Chicago, Clapton, Leon Russell, Charlie Parker or Leo P - doesn't matter to me.) There is something about the performance and how it moves me. It's very subjective.

Though we live in different times, I try to move with them. My 20 yr/o daughter introduced me to the head banging alt rock band MUSE and I really liked them. Enough to take her to a concert. I then picked up my guitar and learned some of the lead riffs and melodies to the DRONES album. (I stink at it but had a lot of fun while my daughter played the Drums.)

All that being said, it does sadden me that lead solos - whether sax or guitar - are diminishing in modern music.We don't get to experience the really talented msicians out there. It still happens even today though. For example:


So keep the faith and practice because when the masses realize there's more to music talent than singing and dancing on video or using Garageband on an iPad to make dance beat music you'll need to be ready. Heck - even Star Wars had a woodwind Jazz band in the bar scene a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
 

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I didn't want to hijack this thread with something off topic, but thought I'd obliquely way in on some of the conversation regarding new music.

Check out this new thread...

 

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I read an interesting article today that I thought would be of interest to others on the forum. It described a very top-level history of how saxophones have lost their appeal in modern music given their popularity over the ages.


It will be interesting to hear the general sentiment of saxophone aficionados here on the forum.
I read an interesting article today that I thought would be of interest to others on the forum. It described a very top-level history of how saxophones have lost their appeal in modern music given their popularity over the ages.


It will be interesting to hear the general sentiment of saxophone aficionados here on the forum.
I think the author was dumped by a sax player.:)
 

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In my experience, kids these days are far more omnivorous in terms of musical taste than I was at that age. One daughter loves classic rock, from the Beach Boys to Queen. The other loves the newest hip-hop and dance music. But they listen to EVERYTHING from sea shanties on TikTok to whatever music is on Just Dance. And honestly, saxes are more present in current music than they were in the popular music of the 90s that I listened to in high school. Between Kendrick Lamar and Bruno Mars, we have horns and horn sections.

And don't get me wrong--I spent the morning listening to Max Roach and Clifford Brown. But the musicality of today's pop music is at least as sophisticated as pop music from the 70s, 80s, or 90s. Live instruments are still there--check out almost any hip-hop or pop Tiny Desk Concert from the prepandemic days. My elementary school son just chose to do a report on Trombone Shorty as part of Black History Month. And honestly, the idea of production supplanting performance? That was late-period Beatles and Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys.
Yep. The youngers have a lot lot more influences to call on. As will their children.
I for one love to peruse our local ,ie national indie music scene and occasionally I am struck by examples of inovation and creative use of both old and new technology and instrumentation.

But this is art for arts sake .When money is involved. ie the product is part of a sales pitch or social interaction ( not common now as result of Covid-19) then there would seem to be a desire to reduce the number of pieces of the pie.
The Grandad's/Dad's rock and jazz phenomenon probably does not get much help in the cool factor with the weekend / open mic gang flaunting their ultra expensive equipment on yet another pink floyd cover it whatever.
Also education has a part to blame as alluded to all ready.
Then the instrument manufacturers who continue target wealthy boomer types instead of making their products more accessible to schools and individuals to buy cheap.

Its not the sax that's getting past it and outmoded it just us guys. Start seeking out inovation and the youngers doing their stuff and I can vouch that whilst you might not be transported back to your hayday but will discover fabulous new music with real instruments.
To quote the Who
The kids are alright
 

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As a matter of fact, the following was published right around the time of the OP's linked article:

That’s a great article. So very true. What’s interesting is how Covid has bumped a guitar sales back up. Not sure if it’s electric and acoustic both.

Here’s an interesting article that posted today. Says some thing about the direction of music.
 

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Wheezer put out OK Human, no electric guitars, full 23 person orchestra, not including doublers, and not a single saxophone.
 

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I don't care...I'm about to try learning the Sax for the first time in my life and I'm 63. Will be doing it for my pleasure and no other reason. N.B. computers can't play with passion :)
 

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Ah - I thought of this thread listening to a song the other day. An upcoming (and very popular) talent from UK, Bakar, has a great tune (IMO) titled "Hell N Back" which features a horn section, including sax part . Even has a feature soli part for all the horns! Also really enjoy the groove of the song, and the guitar part. Instrumentally, it's pretty diverse - but the song is very simple.


@2:30 seconds features more horn part through the chorus, @3:05 horn feature! (those times are from the actual song, which may not match the video on Youtube - Unable to check that as youtube blockedhere at work.) Here is a link to the song I used for those times: https://music.amazon.com/albums/B07...KX0DER&musicTerritory=US&trackAsin=B07XF7GYHW
 

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I have little interest in listening to any of what modern popular music provides regardless of whether the saxophone is included or not. As for whether the saxophone is a museum piece, from what I saw and heard on the streets of New Orleans pre-Covid, no. The saxophone is alive and well. And it will be again once Covid restrictions are lifted. But whether it’s alive and well in the top 10 charts of popular music— I just don’t care. I have a lot more to say, but I have an appointment at 11:30. Best, Ben
Well said Ben! My thoughts exactly. Since about the age of 15, top 10 pop music has never appealed to me. What's out there now is worse than ever. While still in high school, the night I saw and heard Albert King playing the blues live at the Fillmore and shortly after that, heard Sonny Rollins at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, I never looked back. Those early experiences taught me what real music was, and that was reinforced 1000 x over in numerous clubs and live music venues over the years.

I could care less about the noise called 'pop' music these days; it's not at all surprising the sax has no place there.
 
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