On-line piracy has opened more doors than closed for musical creativity. While not all the changes we are seeing are positive, we can expect to see many great acts emerge in the near future. ‘Post-digital’ sentiment will keep live performances popular and as electronic music becomes increasingly sharp in production thanks to modern software, producers will be forced to try untested techniques as well as combine classic methods in order to find new sounds.
Unfortunately for music, the real damage to creative exposure is still being dealt by the notion of profit. This is desirable depending on whether you see music as a form of expression or a business opportunity. Recent developments in production techniques including ‘brickwalling,’ triggering the ‘loudness war’ are arguably changing the way that people regard music. Mainstream labels will always sanction songs that they think guarantee a high amount of sales rather than how artistic or intelligent they supposedly are.
One can complain about how the mass media broadcast an overwhelming majority of allegedly unsophisticated, kitsch and generally uninspiring music to accompany advertising, entertainment shows and events but in reality this has always been the case. The listener will always have their own unique taste in music and it is up to them what they deem ‘creative.’ On-line piracy can still be regarded as theft but so was recording songs off the radio using cassettes during the 1980s. The Internet and all the changes it has brought along with it have only changed the way we access music, and it certainly hasn’t taken any strides to limit its creative development.