There are a few American folks whose music, two hundred years from now, will still be played. I believe Jimmy Buffet, Snoop Dogg, Tim McGraw and Justin Timberlake will not be on that list.
There were surely a lot of composers from Beethovan’s era whose music faded away with time. They were the average ones, whose ideas and approach may have been popular, but were not timeless.
I saw Tom Petty last night, and kept thinking how timeless his music and themes are. Why is his stuff timeless? The songs are simple. They’re not indicative of an era, like Mr. Dogg’s songs. The themes of self-reliance, inner conflict and love are themes that large swaths of folks can relate to.
Beethovan’s tunes weren’t simple, were definitely indicative of an era and had more deft themes than self-reliance. So apples to apples, my criteria doesn’t wash. Maybe the ultimate timelessness of Beethovan, like Petty, Dylan and Springsteen, is just that it’s damn good music.