How Social Factors Influence Our Alternative Of Music

How Social Factors Influence Our Alternative Of Music

The music trade has always been notoriously unpredictable, and the old A&R maxim that the cream at all times rises to the top is far from a given. For any one band that makes a dwelling out of their music, there are not less than a thousand that never will - and the proportion of musicians that really grow to be wealthy through their work is smaller still. There is, however, a normal feeling (if not an actual consensus) that those musicians who do make it are there because they're in a roundabout way 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 could be measured? Most individuals would say there is, as they will easily tell if a band is amazing or a bunch of expertiseless hacks - however when it comes all the way down to it, this amounts to nothing more than personal taste and opinion. Although one can level to sure technical qualities like musicianship, structural complexity and production values, music is more than the sum of its parts - one can't dismiss the Intercourse Pistols for not having the technical genius of Mozart, no more than one can effectively rank the music of Stockhausen above or under that of Willie Nelson. Evidently in the case of music, it must be instilled with a Philosophik Mercury which is as intangible as it is unpredictable. The only barometer by which we will judge is whether we prefer it or not. Or is there something more?

Current history is littered with examples of works and artists that are now considered classics (or have at the very least change into enormously fashionable) which had been at first rejected offhand by expertise scouts, agents or business executives. Harry Potter, Star Wars, the Beatles - all fall into this category, as does Pirsigs classic work Zen and the Artwork of Motorcycle Upkeep, which was rejected 121 times. If phenomena of this magnitude may very well be overlooked, then what likelihood do merely moderately gifted artists have of ever being seen? However, the entertainment sphere is packed filled with artists who might by no means hope to be anything near 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 appear to recommend not.

Now that Web 2.0 is in full flight, social media networks are changing the way in which we access and perceive content. The digital music age is upon us, and the benefit with which new music from unsigned bands can be obtained has created a new economic mannequin for distribution and promotion. Buzz itself is the latest buzz, and word-of-weblog/IM/e mail has grow to be a really powerful device for aspiring artists. Mixed with the truth that single downloads now rely towards a songs official chart position, the promotion and distribution cycle for new music can happen completely online. However does such bewebbed convenience make it easier to predict what is going to turn into a hit?

The standard strategy of main labels is to emulate what's already successful. On the face of it, this appears a superbly valid strategy - for those who take a woman who seems type of like Shania Twain, give her an album of songs that sound just-like, a similarly designed album cover, and spend the same amount of cash promoting her, then surely this new album may even be successful. Often, nonetheless, this will not be the case - instead, another lady who possesses all these traits (with music of a simlar quality) seems from nowhere and goes on to take pleasure in a spell of pop stardom.

This strategy is clearly flawed, however what's the drawback? Its this - the idea that the tens of millions of people that purchase a selected album do so independently of one another. This is not how folks (in the collective sense) eat music. Music is a social entity, as are the people who listen to it - it helps to outline social teams, creates a way of belonging, identity and shared experience. Treating a group of such magnitude as if it had been just a compilation of discrete items completely removes the social factors involved. Whilst a single particular person, removed from social influences, would possibly select to listen to Artist A, the identical particular person in real life goes to be launched to artists through their friends, both locally or on-line, and can instead find yourself listening to Artists C and K, who may be of the same (and even inferior) quality however that is not the real point. Music can be as much about image as about sound.