Point well taken about Dynamic Range here.
Beethoven's fifth symphony is the classic example of excellent dynamic range. Disco music is the antithesis. Nothing is dynamic about disco. The beat is the same, the mix of instruments is the same, the volume is the same, etc., etc. So really this dynamic range thing goes beyond just volume. It gets into the texture of the sound, the instruments being played, the character of the singing, single voice vs. harmony, constant beat vs. programmed pauses, etc., etc.
Funny you should bring this up on a martial arts forum, Meta. The problem exists BIG time in Uechi kata performances as well. And who is at fault? The teachers. Getting everyone to do kata in groups "on count" absolutely kills the individuality and dynamic range of forms. And it's particularly bad when you get generation after generation teaching this way, and homogenizing their practice. Before long, we might as well bring in the disco queens in their latex and have them do Uechi aerobics.
BTW, not all modern music *****. I have Jet in my car CD player right now. Check out this album
. These guys rock. Sometimes they remind me of early Who, sometimes of early John Lennon. Their style has range, there is range within a song, and the lead singer's voice is the most amazing I've heard in a long time. Talk about going from soft to "scratch" in a second...
It's also worth mentioning that music with excellent dynamic range requires a most excellent sound system. You need mega-wattage, and you need a subwoofer.
Unfortunately most modern music is "dumbed down" to the lowest common denominator - those infernal iPods that can't possibly give you the full music experience. All they're capable of doing is killing hair cells in your ears.