By Caelum Villarreal
During Self-Directed Learning time at Summit Denali high school, classrooms are often filled with students typing away on Chromebooks and working on recent assignments. However, a closer look will show most students have earbuds in and are listening to music, either on their phone or their computer.
With the increase of phones and streaming apps, music is more relevant now than ever, especially for teenagers who spend most of their time online. Today, they witness the effects of technology on modern music.
There is no doubt technology has impacted music. Whether it be music production, listening format or the ever-changing music industry, technology has opened the doors to many different genres and opportunities.
Recently, the pandemic caused many people to work and learn online within their own homes, making the possibility of seeing concerts live nearly impossible. However, through social media and online concerts, fans were able to feel more connected than ever with their favorite musical artists.
For students at Summit Denali, music is an important part of their lives. “I like listening to music because it’s comforting,” Summit Denali freshman Brittany Duenas said. “It connects me to other people who also like the same music; it can speak for me and say the things I can’t in words.”
Throughout time, music and poetry has acted as a voice and brought people together. It allows people to feel seen and represented through music.
Duenas commented on how technology can be helpful to both musicians and listeners, saying that it creates platforms for people to make or share music, such as Spotify, Apple Music, or Youtube, while also helping people discover new music.
By promoting their work on social media or music platforms, independent artists can easily grow and extend their audiences. Compared to music marketing in the past, when a band’s popularity depended on how many records or albums they sold, nowadays bands can profit by simply having their songs streamed on apps like Spotify or Apple Music.
Another Summit Denali freshman, Chloe Fagan, added, “It can add special effects, and if there’s a one-person artist or band, they can still make music because the technology can do all the background music and instruments.”
One of the major developments in music through technology has been freedom within production. With the help of computers, artists now have access to millions of sounds and beats. It’s also made the process of producing a lot more efficient, allowing many young and independent artists to create songs in the comfort of their homes.
Technology has benefited music in many ways, but can it have too much of an influence on music? Fagan believes it can. “It’s influenced music by creating autotune, which is kind of like auto-correcting your voice, and I think that a lot of artists use too much autotune,” they said. “I think it’s bad because it creates a bad standard and makes it seem like you have to have a perfect voice to make music.”
Autotune has been a useful tool since it was invented in the late nineties, especially within the current pop music industry, where mostly all singers use it to correct their pitch. However, the overuse of autotune in songs is known for leaving negative impressions on listeners, causing many to believe it not only makes songs sound inauthentic and robotic but also creates unrealistic standards for vocal talent.
Although the future of technology within music will never fully be uncertain, the progression of different sounds and genres is likely to continue. As technology changes, music changes, and for young teenagers, music will always have an important part in today’s culture.
As Fagan explained, “Music is always changing and because it’s a sort of art, it has its own creativity and is unlimitless; eventually, it will go its own way.”
Featured Image (at the top of the post): Technology has a huge effect on modern music PHOTO CREDIT: Pixabay