What Will the Future of Music Sound Like?


You parents called it noise. Your children will call it therapy. Music is older than agriculture. It’s older
than pottery. It’s older than the wheel. It’s something anthropologists call a cultural
universal. Meaning that you can find it in every society, from any point in time in history. Musical taste, however, is not so universal.
Which becomes abundantly clear as soon as you go through your roommates’ old vinyl collection
and see that they enjoy listening to stuff like Jefferson Starship, and Olivia Newton-John,
and, uh, whatever this is. *music playing* I think I’m actually going to keep this one. In 2012, digital music accounted for about
55.9% of all US sales. Now in 2008 it was only 32% percent, so you see the trend is
rising. And with things like cloud storage and streaming services, we now have access
to more music than ever before, and it’s taking up less space on our actual, physical shelves. But I hear you all crying out, “Jonathan,
what does the future of music actually sound like?” New instruments are the birthplace of musical
revolutions. Take the electric guitar, which was invented back in the 1930’s. Just imagine
what the last sixty years of music would’ve sounded like without it. Now you can actually
find robot guitars that tune themselves. But if you really want to get crazy, let’s
talk about cutting edge! Take Jamie Oliver’s Silent Drum. Now this
is not a tight drumhead that you bash with sticks. Instead it’s a flexible membrane that
you manipulate and change the rhythm and pitch of music that’s playing. Or the Roli’s Seaboard, which is a piano with
special rubber keys that allows the piano player to bend notes, just as a guitarist
would bend the guitar string. But some music makers are taking this digital
mandate to a whole new level. Take Brian House for example, with his Quotidian
Record. Now he has managed to generate music using location tracking data. Literally, the
artist’s movements are turned into song. A weird hypnotic song as it turns out. You could
do this with any kind of data. It could be your home’s energy consumption, it could be
what’s trending on Twitter. The cool thing about this is this experience transcends music,
it actually starts to describe our own human behavior. But that’s not the only way that music can
transcend just a pure entertainment experience. Think medicine. There’s evidence to show that music can help
stroke victims recover verbal memory, focus, speech, even the ability to walk. The more
we learn about the neurophysiology of music, the brighter the future looks. And we’ve got a question for you. If you were
to invent your own musical instrument, how would it work? Let us know in the comments below. And make
sure you “like” this video, and subscribe to our channel. We’ve got a lot of great videos
about the future coming up really soon!