November 16, 2015
Filed In: Church and Culture
I'm fairly certain in every generation, as art pushes the boundaries of cultural norms and acceptability, there's always a crowd of people who assert that the new forms of art are unacceptable and in some ways corrupting. In modern society, as the boundaries of music are broken down and it's availability reaches its apex, so too has the sheer amount of music. New forms of music are emerging, as are new subforms. As we all consume more and more music, the importance of the message and impact becomes paramount.
What you eat, you become. The same is true for music. As music plays in the background of our lives, the message that it's sending us is important. It seems to me that music has become quite vapid. Lyrics are petty, beats are copied, and there’s nothing that calls us to greater levels of human existence.
I see music as being on par with literature. There is some truly tremendous literature on the shelves of libraries, homes, and offices, but there's also pandering literature and books that are complete garbage. The same is true for music. All music falls on a spectrum, but more and more lands on the garbage end.
The only harm that this new wave of vapid music is causing is self-inflicted. I choose what I listen to just as I choose what I read. If I read a philosophy book, I walk away a better person. If I read a raunchy romance book, I walk away no better of a person, if not worse.
Music tends to reflect the cultural attitudes of the day, and so I think it's fair to say that the music of today is accurate and appropriate to where we are at as a society. However, it's doubtful that in 30 years we'll be listening to 1Direction on a Classic Pop channel. When you listen to music, be cognizant of how it affects you and your thinking. Are you going to listen to something edifying and uplifting, or shallow and empty?