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What is Contemporary Music?

We all know the various music genres that exist in today’s world. They can all be categorised under contemporary music. Contemporary music came after the modern era. The modern era is largely influenced by the use of unconventional music structures. Contemporary music was born out of modern music. It broke the musical rule of modern music and merged two or more musical styles. Unusual playing combinations were used on the musical instrument as well.

When did contemporary music emerge?

No musical style ever emerged in isolation or location except for hip-hop (which started in New York). Modern music influences led to the emergence of contemporary music. The emergence of any new music genre or era is a gradual process with no strict delineation of beginning and end.

Modern music was preceded by the classical era, which had departed from the standard tonal to atonal compositions during and after World War two. It might be tempting to say contemporary music began around 1945, but it would be safer to place its emergence in the early 1900s. Since no one can really point to when a music era really started.

What musical style is contemporary music?

Contemporary music does not belong to any particular music style. Rather, it refers to a period of music. Therefore, contemporary music does not encompass a certain style or pattern.

Contemporary music allows the synergy of more than one original music style. The use of dissonance is also present in contemporary music, such as the use of blue notes, especially in jazz. Contemporary music includes music that violates age-old musical laws - those opposed especially to classical music.

What does contemporary music consist of?

Contemporary music is harmonic in nature even though dissonant sounds are often a part of it. The dissonance of contemporary music gives it an unusual sound, often found in electronic, rock and metal music.

Complexity also makes up contemporary music. It may draw inspiration and sounds from indigenous music but its rhythm is more complex, and not as predictable as many classical music pieces.

Contemporary music often uses percussion and makes extensive use of electrophones and synthetic sounds from a variety of equipment such as computers. 8-bit sounds can also give the music an unusual form.

How is contemporary music different from classical?

Although classical music is definitely not contemporary, the similarity between them consists of complex harmonies and chord progressions. Contemporary is not completely tonal like traditional classical music. But like classical music, the melodies are complex. However, it depends on percussion and rhythm instead of harmony and orchestration.

Contemporary music is constantly growing and evolving as each generation brings their own sounds and culture into this growing music era. Blues, jazz, rock, electronic pop and pop music are all classes under contemporary music. By contemporary, it means the music is still relevant and up-to-date in today’s ever-evolving world. Contemporary music is not something that will go out of fashion or style anytime soon.

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