For almost as long as humans have been around, music has captivated us all. Music holds the power to invoke all emotions from lifting our mood, to making us cry and gives a sense of freedom and escape from the stresses of the real world. It is safe to say that everyone has their own preferences of genres, and this has been true throughout the decades, but each decade shows an overwhelming preference for certain genres and it is clear why. We are united in the fact that music is a universal coping mechanism, and we can see why in the current pandemic. Live music pubs have been changing constantly to follow the latest trends. So what was favoured during the tragedies of the past few decades?
Let’s first look at the 1920s, this was a trying time for many people, especially in America. Not only were many countries dealing with the aftermath of the first world war, but this was also the height of prohibition. This, along with the great depression of the 1930s saw a favour for swing and traditional pop due to its upbeat nature that provided a short and much-needed sense of freedom. However, the great restrictions at this time made it difficult to access music, as watching live performances was the favourite way to listen.
The start of the second world war in 1939, continued the favour for upbeat music, leaning more towards swing, jazz and blues. During the 1940s the goal of Free Piano Sheet Music shifted to keep the morale of the troops and those waiting at home high. The 1950s marked the start of a new era, with the war, the great depression and prohibition over, the regular folk were able to enjoy their newfound freedom and explore new genres. The famous Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry helped the rise of Rock N Roll, which was very popular among rebellious teenagers. Rock N Roll continued to thrive in the 1960s, which also saw the emergence of Motown and ‘The British Invasion. Artists such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and James Brown were popular due to their outspoken message of love and kindness.
This was appealing to the adolescent demographic during a time of the fight for civil rights giving a feeling of social war. The 1970s also favoured messages of peace and harmony due to the large anti-war and peace movements. Motown and R&B were highly popular, unsurprisingly along with disco. Notable artists during this time were Elton John, Marvin Gaye and Queen. Although the 1980s did have a conflict with the cold war, it was a more exciting time for the public as a whole as many Americans were focused on the space race.
The 1980s also saw the high popularity of iconic movies, such as Footloose, which have just as iconic soundtracks. There was also the creation of MTV which shifted the marketing of music to include music videos. Micheal Jackson rose to fame partially because of the, at the time, unique Thriller music video. However, music videos were not the only claim to fame, under-produced music reached a new height with artists such as Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston. The popularity of music videos also increased the public fame of artists, with their face rather than their voice also more commonly known, and as such, this saw a huge increase in overdose and other deaths of famous artists.
The 1990s saw an increase in grunge, alternative and rap music. The 21st century, however, was the start of many genres, with artists from across the world providing a fresh approach. Since then the creativity of the music industry has continued to rise, with the development of the internet providing a platform for aspiring artists to display their talents. Currently, there is less of a dominant genre, as streaming services allow listeners to try a range of music as they please rather than having to purchase their favourite CD or record, but nonetheless live music does seem to be a favourite.