Music- Whats its role today?

Music is evolving throughout our lives, but due to the coronavirus, its appearance has changed throughout the last few months.


Music is evolving throughout our lives, but due to the coronavirus, it’s appearance has changed throughout the last few months.

Lily G., Writer

Ever since Governor Newson announced on March 19, 2020, that the state of California would go under lockdown, our world has changed. First, the coronavirus, followed by murder hornets, then the Black Lives Matter movement, and now our upcoming election. In the midst of all this, where does music stand? What is its place in our culture today? 

“Music is a way that people unite, and it’s a way to unify people. And in the world right now, where everyone is so segregated, because we’re afraid to touch each other or even stand close to each other, and rightfully so, music is definitely a way to bring people together,” said Darren Elpant from Silverlake Recording Studios. 

And what about the artists? Making music is how artists make a living for themselves and their families. COVID hasn’t left much untouched as the recording industry works to pursue its passion. Wearing masks, following social distancing guidelines and closing all nonessential businesses has not proven ideal for singers, songwriters and musicians.

“Unfortunately where artists are struggling during the pandemic, is in live (performances). There’s no live shows anymore. That’s a way a lot of artists make their money,” said Elpant. “Without live events, not only do the artists suffer, but the people behind the scenes suffer. The people who provide the venue where (artists) play, people who are doing the staging, the lighting engineer, the video engineer, the audio engineer. All those people are suffering.”

In a perfect world, artists would go to a studio to record their music. The artist would record the rhythm, the foundation to any song, onto its melodies and harmonies. A track would be perfected by the studio, and released onto platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and Youtube. But what does this look like in an international pandemic where people are discouraged from going anywhere that is not absolutely necessary? In a world of masks, how are singers, songwriters and musicians managing to make music?

“I’ve noticed, well in the beginning of the pandemic, everyone wanted to do things remotely via zoom. What’s really interesting, is in today’s digital age. I’m in Los Angeles. I would record drums, send them to my friend in Nashville, and he would do guitars, and then we would send it to a buddy in New York and they might do another instrument. That’s how music was done. But now, as the pandemic has gone on, people are loosening up a little bit. Even though the pandemic is still happening, people are getting a little itchy and it’s starting to slowly go back to normal. (It’s) a good thing, but it’s also a scary thing,” said Elpant.

Since there are no longer live shows or in-person interviews, social media has become far more instrumental, providing a limited opportunity for artists to attract people to their music and get their name out.

“I feel that the normal means (of music promotion), the internet, social media, all of that stuff has been huge,” said Elpant. “I’ve seen bands do record releases through social media with streaming live on Facebook and such.”

In the end, it’s all about staying safe. Singers, songwriters and musicians are determined to do whatever is necessary to pursue their passion, while working to keep themselves and everyone around healthy and happy. 

“I literally clean my studio (constantly). People leave, I clean it instantly,” said Elpant. “So, it’s a little tough, but at least we’re trying to get back to normal.”