For the longest time, sheet music was the one universal across music. Every type of instrument, from percussion to brass to strings, read sheet music. And in the Western world, this music has been classical for much of history. It is only in about the past century that newer forms of music have emerged, joined by the creation of electronic music production. With this new tool, musicians have been able to create music across all genres imaginable and truly extend the limits of creativity. This being said, I thought it would be interesting to analyze this new music from the perspective of early musicians.
For the sake of simplicity, let's look at the song "Gucci Gang" by Lil Pump, an 18-year-old rapper from Miami whose songs all seem to center around money, drugs, and girls (the classic mumble rap trio). There are a few things that the listener can recognize within the first 30 seconds of the song, the most apparent being that there are only four instruments. If one looks at the sheet music for the song, they can see that the piano, bass, drums, and vocal line are the only things notated. Classical musicians would most likely be critical of this extremely simple structure considering the average symphonic orchestra contains between 50 and 100 instrumentalists.
In addition to this fact, Lil Pump's vocal line moves between a total of 5 notes. While this can be very appealing to the modern listener, a more classically trained ear would very quickly become bored of this repetition. In only the first page of music for Mozart's Symphony No. 40, the bass clef can be seen moving between 11 different notes, as is characteristic of music from this time period.
Finally, the use of many chords in different inversions and forms can be easily found in classical music; however, in "Gucci Gang," a total of two chords are used (even average pop songs have at least four chords), and they are used in their standard positions. Based on this fact and all of the facts mentioned above, if Mozart were to look at the sheet music (not to mention the lyrics) for "Gucci Gang," he would, without a doubt, be baffled at how impressively the song is performing.
Despite the fact one of the most famous musicians of all time would've been extremely critical of "Gucci Gang," the song has racked up nearly 450 million plays on Spotify and the music video is nearing a billion views. As music has been diversified over the past century, it is clear that music tastes have been diversified as well. It would be difficult to find two musicians that are more polar opposites than Mozart and Lil Pump, yet there is something to respect about the fact that both have excessively large followings.