is a great question that is probably currently open for debate. There is certainly plenty of reason to see
limitations on what there is left to compose.
Frank Zappa said “All the good music has already been written by
people with wigs and stuff.” The last
decade has seen pop music seeming to fall in on itself with nowhere to go. Contemporary classical music reaches only a
very small audience, and the esoteric sounds can leave people confused or wondering
exactly what they have heard. Modern
jazz as well tends to move into ever more esoteric realms, sometimes leaving
behind all but the hard core followers of a certain style or “far out”
harmonic progressions. So much music
has already been written that it may seem there is little music left to write
that is new.
in another sense music and composition is as fresh as it ever was. Composing a song is just a personal
expression of feelings and ideas, telling a story that starts somewhere,
takes listeners to another place, and brings them back. Since every individual has a unique view of
the world, there is little reason why new composers cannot keep expressing
new things, unique to them. Perhaps
they use many of the same tools—harmonic progressions, scales, etc.—that were
used in the past, but the way they are connected together can draw up
entirely new ideas.
probably if you write a song that sounds like another familiar song, maybe
that is a good thing. Do not stop
there—instead, take it and see what you can make of it. What new individual thing can you bring to
that idea? How can you change those
old ideas and make them your own, make them relevant to your worldview, and
to current trends? It would seem there
is no limit to the number of new things that could be built on old ideas.