Musical ideas. Can we say that music is original?
As the title says I’d like to discuss a bit about the notion of musical ideas. Lots of times we feel frustrated with the state of the music industry and say something like “Man,all these songs and artists sound the same, they’re all shit”.
But there are certain moments in our life that we think we hear something completely new and original. But is it truly that way?
Let’s go back in time a bit: Chuck Berry, the inventor or rock n roll.
There is no denial that Mr.Berry is a great musician and a great songwritter, but he admited that he did nothing new (watch Hail! Hail! Rock n Roll). His “mentor” was a well known blues musician by the name of T-Bone Walker. Chuck Berry got his music style from his mentor. The brilliant thing he did though was to adapt. He learned everything he could,he sped it up and there you go,you have rock n roll.
Further down the line you have the Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards (he’s somehow still alive). It is a known fact that he is a Chuck Berry fanatic, he knows every song and he can play every guitar lick. He brought a part of Chuck Berry’s music to the band and the influence can be clearly seen, especially during their early period.
If we think like this, everyone that picks up an instrument and learns the songs of their favorite artists, also continues their work. They don’t just learn some songs. They study them and in a certain way reinvent them. The way blues gave birth to rock and then it was adapted to create punk, heavy metal etc. Who knows what future genres we will get to hear in the future based on the music that exists today?
So , to conclude, no piece of music is completely original. But that’s allright, that’s the beauty of it. People pay their dues, learn from the musicians before them and then they adapt their knowledge in order to form something new.