Home Arts & Culture Is Contemporary Music a Style in Its Own Right?

Is Contemporary Music a Style in Its Own Right?

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‘Contemporary music’ is a very vague term. It means different things to different people. In fact, governments around the world have actually brought specialists together to try and create a definition of what it is, and they have so far struggled to come up with something that is acceptable to everybody. Most, however, have defined it as being music that is being performed, recorded and written in the present time. As such, it can include any type of genre, such as country, blues, dance, electronic, folk, experimental, funk, jazz, hip hop, pop, metal, roots, rock, world and more. In fact, even classical music can be included in it, so long as it is written, recorded and/or performed today.

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What Do You Learn at College?

A lot of people interested in learning about music are considering entering contemporary music college. But considering the vague and wide definition listed above, it becomes very unclear what they will actually learn while they are there. You may be surprised to find out, therefore, that you will earn a huge variety of different things and that you will have many choices in terms of the programs you can follow.

Perhaps you are interested in performance programs, for instance, of which there are many. This will teach you how to take to the stage and actually become a performing artist. It is up to you to decide the genre and instrument or instruments you would want to play on stage. While you will learn about contemporary music performance, much of the curriculum will be based on traditional disciplines of music, which still influence the world today.

Or perhaps you are more interested in working in the entertainment industry. Not everybody who is interested in contemporary music wants to be a composer or performer, after all. You may be far more interested in the actual creation of music that is written by others. Perhaps you want to start a recording studio or manage a band, for example.


There are also alternative programs, which are far more flexible. These are an opportunity for you to pick and choose the elements that you are personally interested in, creating a program that is all about you and your own strengths. Because contemporary music is so wide-ranging, it stands to reason that degree programs are equally wide and flexible.

These are just a few of the options available to you. It is important to understand that contemporary music is a true discipline that people learn about. It has transcended the world of Julliard, for instance, where people learn about classical music and techniques in today’s world. While that is still important and relevant, it is equally important to bring the modern world into the classical, thereby creating a new discipline in which the music of Mozart is as important and valued as that of Beyonce, for instance. Music is a form of art and a form of expression, in which all genres are valued equally.