How Social Factors Affect Our Alternative Of Music

How Social Factors Affect Our Alternative Of Music

The music business has always been notoriously unpredictable, and the old A&R maxim that the cream always rises to the highest is way from a given. For any one band that makes a living out of their music, there are not less than a thousand that by no means will - and the proportion of musicians that actually turn out to be wealthy by way of their work is smaller still. There may be, nevertheless, a normal feeling (if not an precise consensus) that those musicians who do make it are there because they are in a roundabout way intrinsically higher than the swathes of artists left of their wake.

This is paying homage to Robert M. Pirsigs interrogation of quality - what makes something good, and is there really any goal normal by which such quality will be measured? Most individuals would say there is, as they will easily inform if a band is superb or a bunch of expertiseless hacks - but when it comes all the way down to it, this quantities to nothing more than personal style and opinion. Although one can level to certain technical qualities like musicianship, structural complexity and production values, music is more than the sum of its components - one can not dismiss the Sex Pistols for not having the technical genius of Mozart, no more than one can successfully rank the music of Stockhausen above or under that of Willie Nelson. It seems that on the subject of music, it must be instilled with a Philosophiok Mercury which is as intangible as it is unpredictable. The only barometer by which we will judge is whether or not we like it or not. Or is there something more?

Current history is littered with examples of works and artists that are actually considered classics (or have not less than grow to be enormously well-liked) which have been at first rejected offhand by talent scouts, agents or industry executives. Harry Potter, Star Wars, the Beatles - all fall into this class, as does Pirsigs traditional work Zen and the Art of Motorbike Maintenance, which was rejected 121 times. If phenomena of this magnitude may very well be overlooked, then what chance do merely moderately talented artists have of ever being noticed? On the other hand, the entertainment sphere is packed full of artists who might never hope to be anything close to moderately talented. So does the leisure trade really know what its doing, when so many of its predicted hits fail miserably and rejected unknowns keep popping up with chart-toppers? Recent research would seem to suggest not.

Now that Web 2.0 is in full flight, social media networks are changing the best way we access and understand content. The digital music age is upon us, and the ease with which new music from unsigned bands could be obtained has created a new economic model for distribution and promotion. Buzz itself is the latest buzz, and word-of-weblog/IM/e-mail has develop into a very highly effective tool for aspiring artists. Combined with the truth that single downloads now rely towards a songs official chart place, the promotion and distribution cycle for new music can happen totally online. But does such bewebbed convenience make it easier to predict what's going to turn out to be a hit?

The usual approach of major labels is to emulate what's already successful. On the face of it, this appears a wonderfully valid strategy - in case you take a woman who looks type of like Shania Twain, give her an album of songs that sound just-like, a similarly designed album cover, and spend the identical sum of money promoting her, then surely this new album may even be successful. Usually, nevertheless, this shouldn't be the case - instead, one other girl who possesses all these characteristics (with music of a simlar quality) appears from nowhere and goes on to enjoy a spell of pop stardom.

This method is clearly flawed, but what is the drawback? Its this - the belief that the tens of millions of people that buy a particular album do so independently of one another. This will not be how people (within the collective sense) consume music. Music is a social entity, as are the individuals who listen to it - it helps to define social teams, creates a sense of belonging, identification and shared experience. Treating a gaggle of such magnitude as if it have been just a compilation of discrete models fully removes the social factors involved. Whilst a single individual, removed from social influences, might choose to listen to Artist A, the same particular person in real life goes to be introduced to artists through their pals, both locally or online, and can instead end up listening to Artists C and Ok, who may be of the same (or even inferior) high quality however that isn't the real point. Music can be as much about image as about sound.

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