Uh oh. AI is giving music consumers the apps to make their own tunes—or at least make ABBA sing like chipmunks. In today’s show, Charlie rides a rollercoaster of emotions. He loves to play with the new tech but has the blues over the effortless nature of modern music-making tools. With a few text prompts, anyone can create a hooky pop song in 60 seconds—easy as ordering a latte. You don’t even have to spell Taylor Swift right, let alone know music theory.

Contributing to today’s episode are music educators Matthew White, associate professor and chair of jazz studies at the University of South Carolina, and Thavius Beck, assistant professor in electronic production and design at Berklee College of Music. They reveal how musical academia has evolved to encompass classical/jazz proficiency and digital innovation. However, what constitutes essential music literacy is still being debated.

Susan Stewart from the Recording Academy also tells us if AI-composed music gets to sit with the cool kids at the Grammys. Spoiler alert: There’s a human dress code.

Special musical guest, bassist, and singer-songwriter Scott Mulvahill exemplifies the merger of old and new schools, blending his mastery of upright bass and songwriting with cutting-edge technology.

In summary, this episode challenges listeners to consider the implications of some mind-blowing technological advancements for both current and future musicians and music consumers who increasingly engage in creating music themselves. Charlie weaves engaging discussions with poignant “in-the-studio” examples and invites us to reassess the essence of musical talent, imagination, and creativity in the digital age. The big, meaningful question: Does easy access to making music enhance or undermine the true art of music and the culture that loves and supports it?

Get comfortable, adjust your headphones, and let’s decode whether music’s new production tech leads to a satisfying crescendo or a cacophonous catastrophe.

“Music and Meaning” is a production of Christianity Today
Executive Produced by Erik Petrik and Matt Stevens
Produced and Written by Charlie Peacock and Mike Cosper
Associate Produced by Raed Gilliam
Mixed by TJ Hester Original Music by Charlie Peacock
Additional studio and remote engineering by Bridget Ashworth
Show theme, “Sound of the Room,” composed by Charlie Peacock, featuring bassist John Patitucci

Information on Charlie's latest books and music, including his own "drag and drop" producer sample pack, is available at charliepeacock.com

Special guests on this episode:

Matthew White, associate professor and chair of jazz studies, the University of South Carolina; Thavius Beck, assistant professor in electronic production and design at Berklee College of Music; Susan Stewart, senior managing director of the Songwriters & Composers Wing for the Recording Academy; and musical guest, bassist, and singer-songwriter Scott Mulvahill.