The Oxford Dictionary defines Evolution as the gradual development of something.Well we can always replace that ‘something’ with matters more relevant to us.In terms of music this term is probably the most ‘thrown around’. Be it the ‘scene’ or entire fraternity, genre irrelevant.The second most thrown around term would be the term ‘Poseur’ which is something more subjected to the heavy-metal genre/sub-genres.Evolution in terms of music is exactly the way Darwin would have put forth if he was in the death-core scene and not the science ‘scene’.
The drum kit that we all see now is an amalgamation of different smaller instruments which were used in the orchestra of the early days.The bass guitar that we enjoy being slammed and plucked was first a huge instrument which needed one person to hold and one person to play.So basically the change or ‘compactness’ that was induced in the music fraternity was to ease the making/playing of music. So is Evolution in the music fraternity solely subjected to making everything easy? 90% of us would disagree saying that the drum kit is now even more complex as well as a limitless instrument in terms of variation. The advent of electronic samples/programmed instruments and recording wizardy makes the making of music easy but subsequently difficult to churn out something worth cherishing.
So does Evolution mean ‘to grow out of something’ ?How many times have you heard someone making a straight face and saying ‘Oh i was into this band/artist ,but then i grew out of it’ .Or the shame that engulfs when you find a old-school track in a new-age playlist and the person defensively says – ‘ baaah! long time back bro! ‘The time when Linkin Park hit Indian shores everyone was engulfed into the Nu-metal rap-rock marriage that the guys brought.Korn which is credited to lot of nu-metal along with Limp Bizkit are also loved by all and equally scorned at for going ‘dub step’.With the modern music desperately trying to go more ‘different’ and going ‘odd-time’, how many times have we gone ballistic on bands which ‘sucked at production’ or ‘are a thing of the past’.knowingly or unknowingly we all have done it. We may not accept it but masking our rants under the word ‘Evolution’ we ruthlessly bash out bands who’s music we once relished and downloaded for free.
Music is definitely evolving. But this evolution is like different people in different parallel universes.Categorizing people (although it is a wrong ritual) , into Musicians, Listeners and Producers – each have their special share in shaping up this evolution in their own universe.While some may shed a tear going back to a band which carry nostalgic memories , some may laugh at their musical choices they nurtured few years ago – all in their own space.
The moral of the whole term is how you use it. Defaming bands/musicians/artists just because they have not gone ‘new’ or staying ‘old school’ is wrong. Calling new-age crusaders as ‘stupid and art destroyers’ is also wrong.But if we actually look at Evolution of Music as a gradual process similar to the Human Life-Cycle it would do nothing but benefit the fraternity.Its like , music is made, music dies, but the ones who made a mark – are always remembered and cherished.