Assignment 1: Blog 1 – Music of the times (music and materiality, listening, identity and consumption)

For years there have been debates on the minuscule royalties or remuneration to artists from online streaming (The Guardian, 2015) and downloading a freemium model, that allow access anytime anywhere. There is a lack of transparency and appreciation of musicianship and artistic integrity creating a value-gap. Robinson (2013) argued that art is coming to resemble economic production, albeit at a delayed pace, connected to the idea of authenticity. This encompasses the issue of music and materiality – physical object vs cyberspace lists. (McCourt, 2005)

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Source; http://www.nch.com.au/golden/

Music signified as a ‘thing’ has personal significance to individuals and centrality in everyday life there is never a day that ends and I haven’t had interaction with music through; alarms, driving, worshiping etc. According to Bennett and Rogers (2015), say sound has an ambient presence in our lives. Both in space and time. The idea of a ‘music industry’, ‘consumer society’ and ‘identity’ engage aspects of social discourse around how music is produced, packaged and listened to. However, Walter Benjamin (1968) argues that when something becomes mass-produced it loses its aura (value). Similarly, Ardono (1947) argued that art and industry cannot be intertwined and considers this passive culture or low culture

The inextricable short history of musical recordings and palpable mediums such as vinyl (LP)-Cassette-CD-iPod-MP3 in the past fast eclipsed each other within the music business. I grew up in a home with a large collection of vinyl which am proud my parents have kept unfortunately due to technological advancement we have nowhere play these but each one carries precious memories. For forty odd years, vinyl had been an obsolete medium having lost commercial clout and value. However, different music sub-cultures in various locales such as Jamaica, New York, Detroit, Manchester, and London reshaped and invigorated the survival of the vinyl record as an essential medium and object of consumption in the recycling and flowering of music genres such as Dub reggae, Hip-hop, Trance, and Hardcore. Bartmanski and Woodward (2014) describe the vinyl as a ‘cultural’ and ‘auratic’ object. “Records are inanimate until you put a needle in the groove, and then they come to life” (Eisenberg, 2005, p.3).

According to McCourt (2005) the controversial disembodying digitalised interfaces, (which impact resolution), this is like photocopied document), however, allows reproduction of music into various forms, impacts what we hear, our perceptions, and engagement. Commercialisation means consumers will accept inferior ‘goods’ (Ardono, 1998) as these alter the sound quality, compression, bit-rate in order to achieve a reduced tactile and visual aspects, which in the modern society, can be viewed as more practical, portable and fits in a pocket. Research by Taylor (2015) shows that most people actively make a conscious choice to purchase vinyl and cassettes as it correlates with the notion that it is a retro-cool and a hybrid artefact that adds emotion by carrying a story. This connects with the culture and practice of Physicality, collectability, convenience and participation in the scene. Concurrently Miller (2012) states its important to understand how and why people consume, in order to understand the kinds of cultures they inhabit and create. These views have also been echoed has also been Frances Moore chief executive of IFPI in their 2015 annual report.

Re-emergence of vinyl and cassettes as physical objects are to be kept for memorabilia, nostalgia and sentimental reasons giving meaning and identity through a historical connection, which I can relate to our own collection. Collecting (archival) and deliberately purchasing these, appreciates and recognises the creator, musical and artistic integrity, however, this ritual experience in now lost in the modern generation of downloads and streaming.

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Source;www.gizmodo.com

In light of this online (downloads and streaming) allows musicians to organically grow, reach a wider audiences and,- creates followers at the click of a button. However, this adds extra work for musicians, as they have to create schedules and consistently upload content on various social networking platforms to engage audiences in keeping with the times. This ‘Catch 22’ situation leaves musicians in a predicament to offer music that is of poor quality because of the sampled information, compromising the artistic integrity and authenticity this is something most people don’t realise that there is a distinct difference from analogue and digital. In my opinion the Intangible media like downloads and streaming which are infinite cyberspace list restricts the income to artist. In contrast physical objects like vinyl or cassettes bring greater benefit to the creators (merchandise) they also have more intimate listening experiences for fandoms.

 

 

References

Adorno, T. W. and Simpson, G. (1998) On popular music: I. The musical material. 2, pp. 17–48. Available at: http://www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes/DATABASES/SWA/On_popular_music_1.shtml [Accessed 10 November 2016].

Bartmanski, D. and Woodward, I. (2013a) The vinyl: The analogue medium in the age of digital reproduction. Journal of Consumer Culture, 15(1), pp. 3–27. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1469540513488403.

Dredge, S. (2016) How much do musicians really make from Spotify, iTunes and YouTube? The Guardian, 13 October. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/apr/03/how-much-musicians-make-spotify-itunes-youtube [Accessed 11 November 2016].

Eisenberg, E. (2005) The recording angel: Music, records and culture from Aristotle to Zappa, Second edition. 2nd edn. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

iainataylor (2015) From analogue to digital, from pragmatism to symbolism – the cassette tape as a hybrid Artefact in contemporary popular music. 1 July. Available at: https://iainataylor.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/from-analogue-to-digital-from-pragmatism-to-symbolism-the-cassette-tape-as-a-hybrid-artefact-in-contemporary-popular-music/ [Accessed 10 November 2016].

McCandless, D. (2016a) How much do music artists earn online? — information is beautiful. Available at: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/how-much-do-music-artists-earn-online/ [Accessed 11 November 2016].

McCourt, T. (2005) Collecting music in the digital realm. Popular Music and Society, 28(2), pp. 249–252. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03007760500045394.

Miller, D. (2012) Consumption and its consequences. Malden, USA: Polity Press.

Robinson, A. (2013) Walter Benjamin: Art, aura and authenticity. 14 June. Available at: https://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/walter-benjamin-art-aura-authenticity/ [Accessed 10 November 2016].

 

Bibliography

Adorno, T. W. and Simpson, G. (1998) On popular music: I. The musical material. 2, pp. 17–48. Available at: http://www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes/DATABASES/SWA/On_popular_music_1.shtml [Accessed 10 November 2016].

Barlow, S. and Schofield, S. (2015) Cover Taylor Swift photo. . Available at: http://www.ifpi.org/downloads/Digital-Music-Report-2015.pdf [Accessed 11 November 2016].

Bartmanski, D. and Woodward, I. (2013a) The vinyl: The analogue medium in the age of digital reproduction. Journal of Consumer Culture, 15(1), pp. 3–27. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1469540513488403.

Bennett, A. and Rogers, I. (2015a) Popular music and Materiality: Memorabilia and memory traces. Popular Music and Society, 39(1), pp. 28–42. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03007766.2015.1061339.

Dredge, S. (2016) How much do musicians really make from Spotify, iTunes and YouTube? The Guardian, 13 October. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/apr/03/how-much-musicians-make-spotify-itunes-youtube [Accessed 11 November 2016].

Eisenberg, E. (2005) The recording angel: Music, records and culture from Aristotle to Zappa, Second edition. 2nd edn. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

iainataylor (2015) From analogue to digital, from pragmatism to symbolism – the cassette tape as a hybrid Artefact in contemporary popular music. 1 July. Available at: https://iainataylor.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/from-analogue-to-digital-from-pragmatism-to-symbolism-the-cassette-tape-as-a-hybrid-artefact-in-contemporary-popular-music/ [Accessed 10 November 2016].

McCandless, D. (2016a) How much do music artists earn online? — information is beautiful. Available at: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/how-much-do-music-artists-earn-online/ [Accessed 11 November 2016].

McCourt, T. (2005) Collecting music in the digital realm. Popular Music and Society, 28(2), pp. 249–252. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03007760500045394.

Miller, D. (2012) Consumption and its consequences. Malden, USA: Polity Press.

Morgan, B. (2016) Four key digital challenges for the music industry in 2016. Available at: http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2016/01/25/four-key-digital-challenges-for-the-music-industry-in-2016/ [Accessed 10 November 2016].

PEIM, N. (2008) Walter Benjamin in the age of digital reproduction: Aura in education: A Rereading of ‘the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction’. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 41(3), pp. 363–380. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9752.2007.00579.x.

Pocket-lint and Betters, E. (2016) High-res audio: What is it and which streaming services offer it? Available at: http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/133842-high-res-audio-what-is-it-and-which-streaming-services-offer-it [Accessed 11 November 2016].

Robinson, A. (2013) Walter Benjamin: Art, aura and authenticity. 14 June. Available at: https://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/walter-benjamin-art-aura-authenticity/ [Accessed 10 November 2016].

Smith, J. A. (no date) Music has its destiny on collecting audio in a digital age. . Available at: http://www.iaml.info/sites/default/files/pdf/jeremy-smith.pdf [Accessed 10 November 2016].

 

 

 

 

 

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