Week 1 – Popular Music as Culture

My name is Khashayar Zarringhalam and i have recently graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Music Technology. My initial thought on popular music culture is that it can have a unique meaning to each individual. I believe that the popular aspect of the culture implies that it is followed or liked by masses of people. Therefore, the creators (artists) of this music tend to influence the clothing style of their followers as they are often seen as idols. As well as that, depending on the genre of music, some ‘popular’ artists also influence the way people talk and walk.

There are three sections that the topics in the weeks ahead of this module will fall under, they are production, distribution and consumption. The first week mainly falls into the consumption category as the history of popular music can be consumed through various sources. Week 2 potentially fits all three aspects as they are all required to form a rich historical heritage. Week 3 looks at popular music and archives, which again could fit under all three. from the production of the archives to them being distributed and consumed by people interested. Week 4 fits mainly under the consumption category as the meaning of popular music can be consumed differently to others. Week 5 fits into all three aspects again from the production of popular music to the distribution of the film/video followed by the consumption of it being viewed. Week 6 looks into how physical and digital artefacts of popular music are distributed through various platforms and how it affects the way we consume it. Week 7 primarily fits the consumption section as the identity given to popular music and culture is formed by how it is consumed. Week 8 could essentially fall under all three categories as the DIY part could suggest a form of production and it has to be distributed in order to be consumed and become an active force in social and political change. Week 9 is about the consumption of digital music and data. However, this is done through the distribution of digital data through several platforms such as Apple Music and Napster. Week 10 seems to focus mainly on the production side of the recording industry and song writing.

I have been involved in all aspects of these categories. I spend several hours in my home studio creating tracks of various genres and distribute them to vocalists for them to put in their albums/EP’s/mixtape’s that will then also be distributed and consumed. I also DJ part time and mix with tracks that i produce myself meaning the music that i play live is instantly consumed.

It is difficult to decide what to believe when watching documentaries on the history of music genres. The people that gathered the information to represent the history you are witnessing may have had an input on what is shown and what is not, therefore the history may be their portrayal of that music genre. It is extremely difficult to truly look into the actual origins of a genre without finding some biased/contaminated information. However, depending on the genre, certain aspects of history are undoubtedly undeniable. The same could potentially apply to the Crass band. Their history may be told in factual truth if told by the members themselves. But their views on the history of Punk music and what they believe happened throughout the growth of the genre may be opinionated. It is also hard to understand how the entire history of the Crass has been limited to an hour time-slot. By doing so they may not have had time to add in other parts or stories that had influenced their song writing and fame. But instead, mention what they might believe is the most important parts that still fit into a conventional 60 min slot on a TV channel.



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