Imagine a room full of people laughing and having a good time. No television, no iPod, not even a radio are present in the room and yet the party does not need these things. The room fills with the sound of a grand piano and then the soft sweet sound of a woman’s voice. The people sit and sip wine while the woman sings.
That is how it was in the early 1800s. Today music is not shared in this way. People put their headphones on and shut out the other people around them. The intended community of music has been lost to modern conveniences and perhaps just the laziness of today’s society. It is easier to flip a switch then to sing together as a group for the satisfaction of the human need for other people.
In the early 1800s music was a community event. People would gather together with their instruments to entertain themselves and others. It was a way of communicating feelings and emotions in an open way with friends and family. It was a way to become closer with people while at the same time being entertained. However the very purpose of music from it’s origins was to share it. Composers took extra time to write a song down in order that later it could be played or sang by someone else or at a social function. Today music is not so much of a community event. Music is more personal, something that is not shared with others. iPods have become super popular making listening to music a one man show. Music has become more of a white noise for people. People don’t focus on it’s lyrics which are about the human condition. It is simply something to block out the silence while doing everyday activities
In the 1800s music was a sort of refinery. It was a statement of wealth and social status. Only the wealthy could afford the instruments needed to create music. To listen to music was to make a statement that one was successful in the world. It meant more than just entertainment. Today music is something that is accessible to all people. Radios are inexpensive luxuries and any song imaginable can be bought from iTunes for ninety-nine cents. Music still creates a statement according to the genre that one listens to, but it is no longer a statement of wealth and refinery.