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Thread: How many generations does it take for a social phenomenon to become 'traditional'?

  1. #1
    Elitist as Hell.
    Einzige's Avatar
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    How many generations does it take for a social phenomenon to become 'traditional'?

    As I write this, I'm listening to Jefferson Airplane's song "3/5 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds", off their hit 1967 record Surrealistic Pillow. In quality I'd consider it to be at least the equal of any Mozart piece I've heard, and very nearly rivals my beloved Wagner in quality:



    The record was released forty-six years ago - nigh-on a half-century. Now, from my reading, most pop-sociologists peg a generation as being about twenty years long: from the time it takes a person to be born until that person begins popping out the newest members of the next generation. By that reckoning, it's been right at two and one-fourth generations since it was released. In comparison, forty-six years before the release of Surrealistic Pillow, big band music was in bloom and jazz was the hottest thing on the block.

    Now, I don't think anyone would dispute big band and jazz are 'traditional', at least in the brief American context. Is Surrealistic Pillow also then 'traditional', a part of Western civilization which Must Be Defended At All Costs? If not, how long does it take for any work to become 'traditional'?
    Last edited by Einzige; 02-23-13 at 04:58 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: How many generations does it take for a social phenomenon to become 'traditional'

    With music that is indeed a tough call. The term classic comes to mind more than tradition. IMHO, musical styles are traditions while songs/artists seem to be called classic. With the addition of electric guitar, synthesized keyboards and amplification musical traditions certainly gained a lot of potential; 3 or 4 musicians could do it all. Surely the Jefferson Airplane/Starship will be remembered for quite some time, more so for the song White Rabbit.



    The PBS show Austin City Limits has had quite a few classic performers featured, as Austin fancies itself as a (the?) musical capital.



    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

  3. #3
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    Re: How many generations does it take for a social phenomenon to become 'traditional'

    Perhaps the best definition of tradition/classic is when others choose to play your music/style (and credit you). For example Stevie Ray Vaughn performing a Jimi Hendrix tune.



    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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    Re: How many generations does it take for a social phenomenon to become 'traditional'

    Then there are many tradtional/classic 3 man rock bands...



    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

  5. #5
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    Re: How many generations does it take for a social phenomenon to become 'traditional'

    And some bigger traditional/classic rock bands, I am all the way to Z now...





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    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

  6. #6
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    Re: How many generations does it take for a social phenomenon to become 'traditional'

    From a genealogical standpoint thet answer is between 3 and 5 and for those who dont know thats 75 a to 125 years.
    "Those who do not learn from history and condemned to relive it".

    "There are those who will debate the necessity of wilderness, I will not, either you know it in your bones or you are very very old". Aldo Leopold - Sand County Almanac

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