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How Social Factors Affect Our Choice Of Music
How Social Factors Affect Our Choice Of Music

Author: How Social Factors Affect Our Choice Of Music

The music business has always been notoriously unpredictable, and the old A&R maxim that the cream all the time rises to the top is much from a given. For anybody band that makes a residing out of their music, there are a minimum of a thousand that by no means will - and the proportion of musicians that actually change into wealthy by means of their work is smaller still. There's, however, a normal feeling (if not an precise consensus) that these musicians who do make it are there because they're not directly intrinsically better than the swathes of artists left in their wake.

This is harking back to Robert M. Pirsigs interrogation of high quality - what makes something good, and is there really any goal standard by which such high quality may be measured? Most individuals would say there's, as they'll easily inform if a band is amazing or a bunch of expertiseless hacks - however when it comes down to it, this quantities to nothing more than personal taste and opinion. Though 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't dismiss the Sex Pistols for not having the technical genius of Mozart, no more than one can effectively rank the music of Stockhausen above or beneath that of Willie Nelson. It appears that evidently in the case of music, it must be instilled with a Philosophiok Mercury which is as intangible as it is unpredictable. The only barometer by which we can judge is whether or not we prefer it or not. Or is there something more?

Current history is littered with examples of works and artists that at the moment are considered classics (or have no less than become enormously well-liked) which were at first rejected offhand by talent scouts, agents or industry executives. Harry Potter, Star Wars, the Beatles - all fall into this category, as does Pirsigs traditional work Zen and the Artwork of Motorbike Maintenance, which was rejected 121 times. If phenomena of this magnitude may very well be missed, then what probability do merely moderately proficient artists have of ever being seen? Then again, the entertainment sphere is packed full of artists who may never hope to be anything near moderately talented. So does the entertainment business really know what its doing, when so lots of its predicted hits fail miserably and rejected unknowns preserve popping up with chart-toppers? Latest analysis would appear to suggest not.

Now that Web 2.0 is in full flight, social media networks are altering the way we access and perceive content. The digital music age is upon us, and the ease with which new music from unsigned bands can be obtained has created a new financial mannequin for distribution and promotion. Buzz itself is the latest buzz, and word-of-blog/IM/email has become a very highly effective tool for aspiring artists. Mixed with the fact that single downloads now rely towards a songs official chart position, the promotion and distribution cycle for new music can take place totally online. But does such bewebbed comfort make it simpler to predict what's going to turn out to be a hit?

The usual method of major labels is to emulate what's already successful. On the face of it, this seems a superbly legitimate strategy - for those who take a woman who appears to be like kind 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. Often, nevertheless, this is just not 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 strategy is clearly flawed, but what's the problem? Its this - the assumption that the hundreds of thousands of people who buy a selected album achieve this independently of 1 another. This will not be how folks (within the collective sense) consume music. Music is a social entity, as are the individuals who listen to it - it helps to define social groups, creates a way of belonging, identity and shared experience. Treating a bunch of such magnitude as if it had been just a compilation of discrete models utterly removes the social factors involved. Whilst a single individual, removed from social influences, may choose to listen to Artist A, the same person in real life is going to be launched to artists through their pals, either locally or on-line, and can instead find yourself listening to Artists C and K, who may be of an identical (or even inferior) high quality but that isn't the real point. Music could be as a lot about image as about sound.
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