Read that. It says that songs have been studied based on 3 aspects: Timbre, Pitch, & Loudness. All 3 of these have worsened. Timbre, or the tone quality has decreased to such a level that basically pop songs are all the same. Pitch was decreased to where it is basically a boring, one melody song. And Loudness has gone up, which has come at the cost of the dramatic effect of dynamic changes emphasizing different parts of the songs.
It is not worse because of the musical community... It's bad because back in the late 90s the corporate music scene did not embrace the Internet... This action caused the breakdown of the quality of music as we know it... Illegal downloading has contributed to the quality of music as we know it.. Recording budgets are smaller, and instead of getting the former industry standard of four albums to hit, you have to come out of the gate with 2 singles or you will be dropped from the label. This partnered with the conglomeration of radio stations and the lack of outlets for different styles of music makes the industry as a whole just horrible.....
To me, I think that newer music is awful. The new pop music is ruining our society, the new country music is not even real country! It is pop country and older country just doesn't even exist anymore! I love listening to country music (older not newer) and I find that the newer stuff is just pain to my ears.
This is an impossible question to answer. Of course it has and has not. As a professional musician I must admit bias. I believe that music is getting better on the whole. There are more bands, singer-songwriters, and solo artists than ever before so there is a lot more to sample from. People will always gravitate to simple, catchy tunes and the only reason the quality of these has appeared to go down is because we idealize the past. Back in the 1950s there was a high percentage of garbage music on the radios. However 60 years later we only listen to the absolute best from that era. The same will be done for our current era, 60 years from now.