Top five artists worldwide
- Ed Sheeran
- The Weeknd
- Kendrick Lamar
- The Chainsmokers
But they also have the very promising list of:
Biggest emerging genres
- Melodic power metal
- Chaotic black metal
- Trap Latino
- Future funk
- Cinematic dubstep
- Vintage swoon
Now I'm sure you can pick out the odd-man-out in that list? Which of these is not like the others? I'm guessing serialism is the one. It is also the only one that I actually know anything about. "Chillhop," "Trap Latino" and the others are a complete mystery, though I have to confess a curiosity about "Vintage swoon." Would that be, like, Puccini? In any case, the folks over at the Guardian do a little question and answer schtick on serialism:
Age: Has its origins in the early 20th century.
Appearance: The next big thing.
I know about this – all melted watches, people with apples in their faces and whatnot. That’s surrealism. This is serialism, a form of modern musical composition that began with Arnold Schoenberg’s 12-tone technique.
And what’s that when it’s at home? Essentially, it’s a system that uses repeated patterns to ensure that all 12 notes of the chromatic scale are given equal importance, thus avoiding the constraints of keys and traditional harmonies.
I’m no expert, but it sounds like a hard listen. It may be difficult for the uninitiated, but serialism of one kind or another was the dominant classical music form of the first half of the 20th century.
I’m still confused. Can you give me an example? Of course. Are you familiar with, say, Le Temps Restitué by Jean Barraqué?
I’m not sure. Can you hum a few bars? I’ll try: hmmmnyiunnnnnhhhmmmmioooohnnnymyhmmmmmmmmm…
Are you OK? You sound like a dog that has been hit by a car. It’s difficult to reproduce.
Let's have a listen to Mr. Barraqué's piece:
It is really amazing how similar all those pieces from the post-war serialist phase sound. I suppose a real expert could distinguish Boulez from Stockhausen, Pousseur, Barraqué and others, but the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic style, from this perspective, forces them all into a very similar musical space. Of course I may have just revealed myself to be a complete dolt! But what I am listening to is not so much the technical devices, as the aesthetic result. Sameness.
If you dig around on Wikipedia you can find a lot of lists of musical genres, all of them very ill-defined, with a lot of hilarious names. At least we know what serialism is, even if we doubt that it is a "hot emerging genre."