Thursday, November 6, 2014

My Understading of Postmodernism in Music

"Postmodernism is everything but isn’t anything...” This actually makes my brain swell because it makes no sense. When we first started “Goon Squad” I spent hours looking for a simple definition for what postmodernism was. I couldn’t even find a simple example of it. I eventually had to go up in front of my class and explain what I thought postmodernism was. So since postmodernism is everything I have my own definition of what it is when involving music. Postmodernism is merely an opinion and is different for each person. 
What makes music postmodern? Is it the genre, the band, group or artist?  Let’s face it, most of the music made after 2010 was terrible. Compared to music from the 50s-90s we have a lot let downs. See some would argue that a “classic” song is postmodern and a modern song isn’t. Like a song by Led Zeppelin is postmodern but a song by Taylor Swift isn’t. What confuses me is the word “post” meaning “after” and “modern” meaning “present or recent time.”  So combine them “postmodern” meaning “after the present?” meaning the “future”.

Yes this concept is very confusing and insane but I guess since postmodernism is nothing you can't really think about it so much. But if music before the year 2000 is considered postmodern, then I would totally argue that all music after the year 2000 is also considered postmodern. See every musician has some type of inspiration or teacher than makes them who they are. Every musician has used an original style and turned into something more advanced or sometimes even better. It could be a drummer practicing a rhythm that’s he’s learned from John Bonham (Drummer from Led Zeppelin) or a singer trying to match the same pitch as Freddie Mercury (Lead Vocalist from Queen).

I think postmodernism is a concept that only you as yourself can figure out on your own. But I will conclude that postmodernism (when it comes to music) is “everything because everything has little pieces of each other combined to make something better.” Really think about that, and try to think about what it means.  


  1. Personally, I'm with you, Kendale. I don't think putting tons of thought into postmodernism is necessary. It's really more a trap than an actual concept--it's simple, but it entices you to think deeply about it and put greater weight to it than it actually has. So it really does mean exactly what we put into it. Great post, man, definitely an outlier for you.

  2. I agree with the both of you. Postmodernism is a weird thing that makes less and less sense the more you think about it. I find it better to just attempt to accept it for whatever each individual perceives it to be.

  3. Each of us has our own sense of what postmodernism is. Yes, we think of postmodernism as something funky, futuristic, and different. And yes, by definition music pre-2000s would technically be "pre-modern" by definition. But it's all about perspective.

  4. I agree! I do not think that there can be one definition to postmodernism. There is somewhat of an outline of what it is, but it is ultimately up to the individual to create a definition.