If music be the food of love, do I get fries with that?
Talking about the music of the future is an
exercise in pure frustration because what you are dealing with, in
essence, is the future of art. You may be able to predict what
rockets, robots, or computerised shoes will be like in Future Past,
but art? The only thing you can say for certain is that no
matter what wins the Turner Prize it will probably be something that
the cleaning lady will mistake for an overturned litter bin and chuck
out two days later.
Depictions of future music therefore tend to fall
into three groups:
First, you have the idea that music in the 21st
century will be pretty much the same as it is today. If
you're looking from the 1950s, then it'll be show tunes.
If it's the '60s, then it'll be Beatles retreads. If it's
today... It doesn't bear thinking about.
there are the predictions that focus on the technology. The
future may be pop, classical, or polka calypso fusion, but whatever it
is, it'll be played on computerised electronic mandolins lit up with
neon piping and a voder back-up
singer thrown in and that's what's important.
third is, of course, Star Wars cantina gags-- which the above
illustration by Emsh shows wasn't all that original in the first