Okay, I know evolution isn’t the right word. But I’m using it in a common enough misusage to make my point.
Composers growing up in the mid-20th century had an experience unknown to previous generations: hearing music on stations. First radio stations; later on television. This new experience, as I’m sure has been noted elsewhere, had a potent impact on musical postmodernism, one of the hallmarks of which is jumping from style to style in seemingly random juxtapositions, as though flipping a dial from one station to another.
The contemporary version of this experience is webbing ones way through the perpetual LOOKATME of the internet, and I think that shift is audible in the music being made now, and will probably be even more evident in the music of the next 10 to 20 years, as composers who experienced the internet in full bloom during their childhoods master the art of explaining their worlds through sound.
So the reason I’m misusing the word “evolution” is because I think the experience of flipping through stations and current online equivalents are more closely related than not: as I say, an audible shift is taking place, but I hear a fair amount of fluency from one to the other, though others may be hearing a revolution.
How can we tell for sure? Stay tuned, as they used to say.