American music is changing constantly, and there are new trends being introduced every day. Comparing the modern music and the one which was popular, for example, thirty years ago, it is easy to see how different the modern music is. Nowadays, there is a very popular trend which can be noticed in many popular tracks. It is non-stop convergence of genres. By convergence, one means the connection between different genres when qualities and characteristics of one genre are used in the songs created in another genre. Basically, the modern American music does not have clear genres like rock or rap, because almost all the musicians are including different styles and influences in their music.
This trend has become widespread, because previously, musicians used to stick to the requirements which were expected from the genres they performed in. For example, rock stars were creating music with strong guitar sounding, percussions, and powerful vocals. Rock anthems did not include any rapping or pop elements, because the differences between genres were very vivid, and it was extremely easy to differentiate one genre from another. Even the clothes of musicians performing in certain genres were different strengthening the overall differences between genres. Now, the situation changed. Popular bands are experimenting much more comparing to the previous times. Rock musicians often include rap or R’n’B elements in their songs, and the same applies to the musicians performing in pop music style. They are influenced by various genres, and that makes music more diverse and open for different mixes.
There are many examples of popular songs and musicians who use music convergence to their advantage in order to attract more listeners. Such musicians like Maroon 5, Eminem, Coldplay, and many others who experiment in different genres try to make their music more diverse. However, people’s reactions differ. Some think that it is rather effective and makes the songs easier to follow and listen to viewing convergence as a good thing. Others believe that the convergence of different genres is a negative thing. It prevents people from listening to the music style they want since they have to listen to a mix, and they often have to accept new influences which do not always go along with their tastes in music. Nevertheless, despite people’s attitudes, convergence in music is an inevitable part of the transformation process. Music has to change depending on the time, because it has to be able to satisfy demands people have; it uses genre convergence as a tool for that.
It is worth to expand more on the reasons for genre convergence to become an important tendency in the American music. Firstly, it is necessary to reach a wider audience, which was mentioned before. When an artist invites another musician who represents another genre to perform a specific part in his or her song, it immediately attracts a wider attention. Basically, the song becomes interesting for people who listen to different types of music simply because it consists of elements from different genres. Thus, nowadays, many rock musicians use rap in their songs. This way, they are able to involve rap fans in their art. People who listen to rap music become interested in particular rock songs which use rap elements simply because they like this music genre. Thanks to the convergence, they are able to discover new songs, artists, and genres for themselves, and that enlarges people’s tastes in music.
Thus, the main reason for genre convergence in the modern American music is the necessity to increase popularity of the artists. Musicians want their albums to be sold and concerts to be attended by as many people as possible. They wish their names to appear as often as they can; that is why they often try different approaches for making themselves more popular and well-known to others. As a result, they make their music sound differently. They add new features from different genres into it, which what makes music more appealing to a bigger amount of people. Hence, the profit of genre convergence is the main reason why this tendency becomes so popular in the American music.
Another reason which is closely connected to the previous one is that the recording companies often work with musicians who represent different styles. Hence, it is easier for the companies to find various musicians who have contracts with these organizations instead of looking for those representing the same genre. Recording companies take financial matters into consideration while signing such deals; they analyze who needs to be promoted and use different artists for that. As a consequence, they comprise many different artists from different genres strengthening genre convergence even more.
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One more thing that makes genre convergence such an important trend in the modern American music is the fact that convergence is everywhere. It can be seen in the media with different formats and genres being combined as well as in technology. Music convergence started with convergence of different technological devices used in order to record and distribute music. Later on, the convergence revolution continued involving more and more aspects of music sector such as merging genres.
Finally, another reason of convergence is the fact that musicians as well as listeners have more access to different musical genres, songs, and melodies. With the introduction of Internet, YouTube, and other useful resources to people, it became much easier for them to listen to songs of different genres as well as borrow some elements from these genres. Previously, if a person wanted to listen to a jazz song, he or she would have to go to a store, spend a considerable amount of time there, finally buy a recorded cassette with it, and only after that, listen. There were no guarantees that a person would like the songs he or she paid for, so it was very difficult to open a new genre for anybody. If a person did not like what he or she bought, he or she would be very reluctant to listen to that genre again or use it while creating one’s own music.
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