Assignment1 Blog2-The Ideology of Independence 

Weekly covered:  DIY Music Cultures&Cultural Activism

In the late 1970s, and early 1980s British punk and post-punk artist and companies absorbed the ideology of independence into their do-it-yourself aesthetic (Anderton C., Martin J. and Andrew D., 2013). After the digital age arrived, a new generation of indie music waves have even blossomed around the world.

The introduction of a do-it-yourself aesthetic may be interpreted as the democratization of the recording industry. For example, many of punk and post-punk companies adopted unconventional business practices in line with their anti-corporate beliefs. Indies are often characterized as giving complete autonomy to their artists, who are then free to develop their own creativity rather than be pressurized into producing overtly chart-friendly music (Fonarow, 2001:35).Basically, the majors were considered to be profit-oriented and musically conservative whilst the independents were regarded as more diverse in their music output, and willing to take risks on creative and innovative artists(Anderton C., Martin J. and Andrew D., 2013).

Independent music in Taiwan can be traced back to the earliest underground band and the period of time when indie  had risen all around the world in 2000. Approximately in 2000, the term “independent music” in Taiwan gradually replaced the word “underground band”, became the name of the non-mainstream music.When Taiwanese rock band “Lutan” won the Golden Melody Award and “Mayday” has gained huge commercial success, underground band began to be widely known. The indie music has been presenting the increasing visible atmosphere and continuous improvement of momentum, some people began to advocate that the band should be able to move forward on the ground, perform their own recordings and hold their own activities in order to actively promote themselves of the fame to audiences and attracting more people to join them. This ideal combined with the European and American “independent label” concept then soon made the birth of Taiwan’s indie music.

If indie music refers to the production process which including the creation, recording, publishing, all completed by the musicians or the band themselves, then independent music should not merely represent one musical style. It can be psychedelic rock, post-punk, post-rock, rap, death metal or any other types of music. Therefore, the definition of indie music could be “the mode of making music” rather than the style of music. In fact, The concepts of indie can be seen in other fields. In addition to music, we can find the similar ideas are in the publishing, art, games and other related fields such as independent bookstores, independent art galleries, independent games.  

Independent music, as part of the sub-culture, has its unique status and value. Even today, the evolution of digital technology continues to affect the relationship between people and music, and this wave of indie music is still expanding. Independence is not simply described in music; it relates to the process of self-pursuit. Therefore, independence can also be set up as a phenomenon in the culture and other aspects. Independent film, independent musicians, independent artists are the different forms of indie ideology. However, this distinctive word can certainly be used but should not be abused (Vincent ,2015).

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One thought on “Assignment1 Blog2-The Ideology of Independence 

  1. The idea of independent (indie) bands getting more attention not just from Western society but also from around the world is a very interesting topic. I would maybe add a few names of contemporary indie bands in Taiwan, with magazine interviews about how they formed the band, their way of making music, who inspired them to be “indie”, do they struggle to make revenue? On the other hand, maybe give another insight of how and why the audience shifted from popular music into a more independent, Do-It-Yourself music.

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