Indeed, if there’s any movement in music that the Internet and social-media era has ushered in, it’s actually amateur music-making. As the musicologist Karl Hagstrom Miller has documented, sales of musical instruments actually skyrocketed in the 2000s and home recording proliferated as never before. People gave each other music lessons and collaborated on songs over YouTube, where they also posted endless cover versions of pop songs (which is of course how Justin Bieber was discovered), not to mention their own remixes, videos, Auto-Tuned news, memes set to music and all the other sorts of musical theatre indigenous to the medium. In the mainstream media they had Glee and American Idol and Susan Boyle and all the other musical contests and reality programming to encourage them. Some of these people are of course actually aiming at going pro, but for the majority it’s just a happy, sometimes obsessive avocation, participation in the grand activity that the great musicologist Christopher Small, who died in September, called “musicking.” As movements go this may not be a rupture-in-time event like punk rock, but it’s the real DIY.
— Carl Wilson, in “Retromania: A Roundtable” (via barthel)