A reader who teaches history in a public high school with mostly American-born, English-speaking Latino students writes:
My students in the back of the class are constantly sticking their iPods in their ears and blaring their music so loud that everybody else can hear it. What I'm amazed by, however, is that when I have to point and yell at them to turn off the music, how often the loudest instrument we can all hear is .. an accordion. Who would have thought that the wave of the future was accordion music?
For much of the 20th Century, pop musical styles in the English-speaking world changed at a breathtaking pace as each generation rebelled against not just their parents but also their older siblings. For example, the punk movement of 1977 was explicitly against the 1960s generation -- "Your generation don't mean a thing to me" sneered Billy Idol in Generation X's attack on The Who's "My Generation," "Your Generation."
And then not too many years after 1980, musical innovation slowed down. Most notably, African-Americans, who had been so stylistically fecund, got stuck with rap.
I wonder whether increasing ethnic diversity has played a role in the Great Slow-Down. To dislike accordion music because your dad and grandma like accordion music is now not just rebelling against other generations, it's rebelling against your own race.