In what ways have music and radio shaped American culture and its values?
When one style of music becomes thoroughly known, the best musicians seek the challenge of creating a new style and a significant portion of the audience will be happy to follow them, for boredom afflicts us all. [ This is one kind of process when the new style is more sophisticated than the old, as was the case when jazz moved from traditional to swing, and then from swing to bop (Benzon,
1993b). Just why living systems of all kinds evolve toward more sophistication and complexity is not well understood, but that it happens is obvious (cf. Benzon and Hays, 1990a; cf. Csikszentmihalyi, 1993). However, we also see evolution from one state to another with no increase in complexity. Much of the stylistic change in music is of this kind. Independently of the imperatives of ethnic identity, such stylistic change would occur through a combination of boredom and the free flow of cultural ideas made possible population movement and by the various twentieth-century media.
As for the weakening of the music at the hands of white adaptors, there is nothing surprising in this. However much white audiences and musicians may admire black music, they are have a different cultural background. When creating their own music they will borrow as much as they can and suit it to what their background will permit them. As John Rockwell has noted (1983, p. 167) this is a free choice, not something imposed on the white public by nefarious music moguls (cf. Ressner, 1990). And, in the last analysis, we have to acknowledge that some white adaptors- Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, the Beatles come to mind- have made music that need apologize to no one. .......... ]
There are no new answers.