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Write Now: Decade Shaped The Way Music’s Embraced

I set out to write about songs that would reflect the soundtrack of my life, but I realized I like too many songs from too many genres.

And I couldn’t narrow down the soundtrack to maybe five songs.

So I started thinking about music and how it has shaped my life over the years. Sometimes there are songs compiled from each decade — best of the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and so on. I like those compilation sets, but also realized that music that I grew up with wasn’t contained in one decade, but rather it was contained in two decades. I would have to say my formative years of music began in 1975. I was 10, but I thought I knew more about music than most students my age.

I began learning about music by counting down the hits with American Top 40 with Casey Kasem, and by watching what few video promotional clips that were made available through the late 70s.

What I did recognize was that from 1975 to 1985, there were many genres of music that became very popular thanks to MTV. AT 40 only provided the music, but MTV was instrumental (no pun intended) with providing some video footage of bands playing in a live venue. That footage was pure gold because one could see how the song was played on different instruments. I remember watching MTV when it was in its infancy, and seeing live musicians. If one was learning how to play guitar, electric bass, keyboards or drums, then one saw a musician playing a portion of a song — maybe a solo, maybe just chord changes — that opened new avenues to one trying to learn the song. I know visual learning struck a chord with me (again, no pun intended).

Because of MTV, my somewhat expanded musical tastes were expanded even more. I never worried about what other people listened to or to what cliques those people belonged. I had my own clique of one and it was fine with me.

During the transition from the 70s to the 80s, I was introduced to disco, punk, new wave, hard rock, album oriented rock, southern rock, mainstream pop, arena rock, and progressive rock. Bands in each genre competed with each other, and all had their place on video thanks to MTV.

Now the Internet rules music, and there are more genres than ever.

With more genres than ever, the Internet rules music. I guess there is no brand building, so to speak. A band can record, produce, and release a song in one day. The next day, the band can stream a live session. The music world is ever changing.

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