How Social Factors Affect Our Choice Of Music

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How Social Factors Affect Our Choice Of Music

How Social Factors Affect Our Choice Of Music

The music business has at all times been notoriously unpredictable, and the old A&R maxim that the cream at all times rises to the highest is much from a given. For any one band that makes a residing out of their music, there are no less than a thousand that never will - and the proportion of musicians that truly turn into rich via their work is smaller still. There may be, however, a general feeling (if not an actual consensus) that these musicians who do make it are there because they're ultimately intrinsically better than the swathes of artists left in their wake.

This is reminiscent of Robert M. Pirsigs interrogation of quality - what makes something good, and is there really any goal commonplace by which such quality might be measured? Most people would say there may be, as they'll easily tell if a band is amazing or a bunch of talentless hacks - however when it comes down to it, this quantities to nothing more than personal style and opinion. Though one can point to sure 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 appears that evidently when it comes to music, it should be instilled with a Philosophiok Mercury which is as intangible as it is unpredictable. The only barometer by which we will choose is whether or not we like it or not. Or is there something more?

Recent history is littered with examples of works and artists that are now considered classics (or have at the least grow to be enormously in style) which have been at first rejected offhand by talent scouts, agents or trade 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 could be overlooked, then what chance do merely moderately talented artists have of ever being noticed? Alternatively, the entertainment sphere is packed full of artists who could never hope to be anything near moderately talented. So does the leisure 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 counsel not.

Now that Web is in full flight, social media networks are altering 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 could be obtained has created a new financial model for distribution and promotion. Buzz itself is the latest buzz, and word-of-weblog/IM/electronic mail has grow to be a very highly effective device for aspiring artists. Combined with the truth that single downloads now count towards a songs official chart place, the promotion and distribution cycle for new music can take place totally online. But does such bewebbed convenience make it easier to predict what is going to develop into a hit?

The standard strategy of major labels is to emulate what's already successful. On the face of it, this seems a perfectly valid strategy - when you take a woman who seems to be sort of like Shania Twain, give her an album of songs that sound just-like, a equally designed album cover, and spend the identical amount of cash promoting her, then surely this new album will even be successful. Usually, however, this is not the case - instead, one other woman who possesses all these traits (with music of a simlar high quality) seems from nowhere and goes on to get pleasure from a spell of pop stardom.

This approach is clearly flawed, but what is the downside? Its this - the idea that the millions of people that buy a particular album do so independently of one another. This isn't how folks (in the collective sense) devour music. Music is a social entity, as are the individuals who listen to it - it helps to define social groups, creates a sense of belonging, identification 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 individual, removed from social influences, might select to listen to Artist A, the identical person in real life is going to be introduced to artists by way of their associates, both locally or online, and can instead end up listening to Artists C and K, who could also be of an identical (and even inferior) high quality however that is not the real point. Music can be as much about image as about sound.