There’s been much discussion about the death of CD & the freedom this will bring musicians & this has got me thinking what does this freedom entail & what possibilities will be created. For the last 50 years the vast majority of LP driven music (e.g. pop) has been constrained to 40-70 minutes of music consisting of individual songs which have no connection with each other. That’s certainly what the record buying public expect & seem to like so why change. There have been notable exceptions such as the concept album beloved of prog rock but really most music today is just a collection of random songs but does it have to be & I would contend that this has been driven mainly by the format they are published in.
I listen to a fair amount of classical music where there are standardised forms which often consist of connected movements e.g. a symphony typically has four movements which are intended to be played together in sequence. There are song cycles, e’g Schubert’s Wintereisse which link together songs around a common theme or collection of poems, again intended to be sung as a complete performance.
Now the tyrrany of the fixed format has been supeceded is this new freedom going to encourage song writers to explore the writing of suites of music or is it going to be business as usual with the normal random collections.