How Social Factors Influence Our Selection Of Music

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How Social Factors Influence Our Selection Of Music

How Social Factors Influence Our Selection Of Music

The music trade has all the time been notoriously unpredictable, and the old A&R maxim that the cream all the time rises to the highest is much from a given. For any one 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 truly turn into rich via their work is smaller still. There is, nonetheless, a normal feeling (if not an actual consensus) that these musicians who do make it are there because they are ultimately intrinsically higher than the swathes of artists left of their wake.

This is harking back to Robert M. Pirsigs interrogation of quality - what makes something good, and is there really any goal customary by which such high quality will be measured? Most individuals would say there is, as they can easily tell if a band is superb or a bunch of talentless hacks - however when it comes all the way down to it, this amounts to nothing more than personal style and opinion. Though one can point to certain technical qualities like musicianship, structural complexity and production values, music is more than the sum of its elements - one can not dismiss the Intercourse 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. Plainly in relation to music, it must be instilled with a Philosophiok Mercury which is as intangible as it's unpredictable. The only barometer by which we can decide 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 at the moment are considered classics (or have at least become enormously common) 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 Art of Bike Upkeep, which was rejected 121 times. If phenomena of this magnitude could be missed, then what likelihood do merely moderately proficient artists have of ever being seen? Alternatively, the entertainment sphere is packed full of artists who may never hope to be anything close to moderately talented. So does the leisure industry really know what its doing, when so lots of its predicted hits fail miserably and rejected unknowns preserve 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 altering the way we access and understand 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 become a very highly effective instrument 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 happen solely online. But does such bewebbed convenience make it simpler to predict what will develop into a hit?

The standard strategy of major labels is to emulate what's already successful. On the face of it, this appears a superbly legitimate strategy - in the event 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 money promoting her, then surely this new album may even be successful. Often, however, this just isn't the case - instead, one other lady who possesses all these traits (with music of a simlar high quality) appears from nowhere and goes on to take pleasure in a spell of pop stardom.

This approach is clearly flawed, but what's the problem? Its this - the belief that the millions of people that buy a specific album accomplish that independently of one another. This just isn't how folks (in the collective sense) eat 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, id and shared experience. Treating a bunch of such magnitude as if it have been just a compilation of discrete units utterly removes the social factors involved. Whilst a single individual, removed from social influences, would possibly select to listen to Artist A, the identical individual in real life goes to be introduced to artists by means of their associates, either locally or on-line, and will instead find yourself listening to Artists C and Okay, who could also be of a similar (or even inferior) quality however that is not the real point. Music could be as much about image as about sound.