The sound of music has changed as society has changed over the years. For this reason we can surmise that the change in the sound of music is really a reflection of cultural evolution as apposed to personal preferences.
In the beginning music writers made music that closely resembled the sounds they heard around them in nature in terms of tones and repetitions. In Indigenous cultures, music played a role in ceremonies and tradition. Traditional instruments were played, and lyrics were often strongly linked to nature and religion. The sounds of music reflected this close association that indigenous cultures had with the land and its wildlife. Over time, modern society has lost said connection and we can see this in the changing sound of the music and in the changing lyrics of current songs that are written.
With time, more musical instruments have been developed and played together which resulted in more sophisticated and complex sounds being produced. The beats, rhythms, tempo and lyrics of songs all changed along with the change in cultures.
Although some indigenous cultures such as many of the African tribes, Native American tribes, South American ethnic people, and Australian aborigines still retain the playing of their indigenous music, there have been influences from the western world incorporated into some of the music.
Features of the sound of music have changed over the decades. The sound has definitely gotten louder. The pace and rhythm in many cases has become faster, possibly reflecting the fast pace of the modern world that we live in today. However the feature of music bounciness (how spiky and energetic the music feels) has become less today when compared with the music of the1980s. Techno and reggae music are typical examples of what is known as bouncy music.
The advent of the computer led to an even greater diversity of computer generated and enhanced sounds. Modernization has led to different approaches to how tempo is implemented in music. Electronic dance music for instance has beatmatching where DJs can alter the speed of one piece of music to match that of another piece of music. They create a blended sound by doing this.
Some music aficionados complain that music has lost its organic feel since the invention of electronic devices. They complain that this has unfortunately resulted in a more mechanical feel and tone to the music of today that is less natural and less appealing than music of the past.
This less acoustic sound has become increasingly common in music today. Musicians and singers have recognized that people miss the acoustic sound so that often they will make a track that is also acoustic, so that customers who want this sound can access it. You can often find a non-acoustic and acoustic track for a particular song that is made today.
The sound of music has become more complex over history mainly due to the increased migration of people and their exposure to new elements. Today much of music has sounds with elements from more than one region. The increasing tendency for music artists to collaborate today is another reason we see more complexity and diversity in how music sounds.