Assignment 1 Blog 5-The Importance of Music Radio for Music Industry in Digital Age

Rickman is the programming director for URBan Radio Group in Tuscumbia, he states that Although the internet is more popular for listening music, radio still is a important way to help people find new artists and songs. In the period of digital, radio is no different from many business that are experiencing changes (Taking it Back to the Roots!, 2016) As the digital age rise sharply, the music industry occurs a huge altering. Most of people shift their attention into digital music.

Allison notes that record companies are a big part of the music industry, while the other is made up of radio stations. Record companies and radio stations must work together to succeed. Record companies must let radio stations broadcast the music of the artists they represent, and radio stations need to provide new material for their listeners. Record companies make money by selling records and radio stations make money by broadcasting advertisements. Radio needs listeners, advertisers will buy time. If the record company can provide radio station music so that the audience can sell airtime. So everyone obtain what they want. There is a process that the record companies and radio stations go through in this way.  (HowStuffWorks, 2016)

Pirate radio basically refers to an illegal and unlicensed which have a huge number in United Kingdom. Pirate radio was first popular in the 60s and then later in the 80s and 90s. There are about 150 pirate radio stations in the United Kingdom and a large proportion of these operating in London. Pirate radio is a good thing, but only with it being pirate. If it was all legal, then rules and regulations would have to be followed and the raw experimental progression which makes pirate radio so good would be lost. The energy surrounding pirate radio, and the sheer love of music, which required these people to buy new transmitters and transmit for free is probably also somewhat involved in the power it had to progress music. (Roberts, 2016)

It might be possible that Digital radio is the music delivery method of the future. But that future remains pretty far off. Right now, finds a new report, the largest share of music listening is still happening through that most traditional of means, the AM/FM dial. In fact, no other form of music listening is even close. That’s according to Edison Research, which conducted a study of more than 8,500 Americans ages 13 and over to determine where their time spent listening to music is spent. It found that 44 percent of listening time was via AM/FM radio, by far the largest share. The No. 2 share of listening time, at just 18 percent, was spent listening to music that had been purchased, such as CDs or digital downloads. (, 2016)

As a result, music radio still plays an important role for music industry. It is cheaper that the new artists can propagate themselves and still have some classic music radio station introduce some great music for people. There are many benefits that the music radio can offer and people should dig some suitable music radio into their life.



 Taking it Back to the Roots!. (2016). Radio still plays key role for music industry. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Dec. 2016].

HowStuffWorks. (2016). How Record Labels Work. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Dec. 2016]. (2016). When people listen to music, radio is still the top choice. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Dec. 2016].

Roberts, j. (2016). Importance of Pirate Radio. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Dec. 2016].


Assignment 1 Blog 4-Is Recording Still Important During the Period of Digital Music?

According to the CNN:’’ Apple launched the iTunes Music Store on April 28, 2003 that the music industry is changed. Americans bought 943 million CD albums, and digital sales weren’t even a blip on the radar. By 2007, however, those inexpensive digital singles overtook CDs — by a wide margin — generating 819 million sales to just 500 million for the CD. (Covert, 2016) Although more than 20,000 lawsuits filed against music fans in the years since they started finding free tunes online rather than buying CDs from record companies, the recording industry has totally failed to stop the decreasing of the record album or the rise of digital music sharing. (Fisher, 2007) Now most of people think the CD is unnecessary because they can listen music from the internet whether it is legal or illegal. Apparently, it looks more convenient to listen music.

In terms of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), digital sales only eclipsed CDs for the first time in 2014, That year, global sales of physical music (most of which are CDs) totaled $6.82 billion, which declined almost eight percent from the year before. Billboard reported in July of 2015 that in the first half of the year, CD sales decreased from the last half of 2014, but still totaled 56.6 million units. (Motherboard, 2016)

The reason of why audiophiles are willing to CDs due to the sound of quality of CDs. In 2014, Cambridge Silicon Radio Limited(CSR) published a study of 2000 people who listen to music at home which shows that seventy-seven percent of at-home-listeners intended to a sound quality from their music. (Motherboard, 2016) People want CDs fully for the sound quality.

The same research suggested that at home listening to music, seventy-six percent of people believe that when choosing a new audio system, ease of use is “very important.”. Frankly, for less digital-savvy music lovers, there are fewer contemporary technologies more direct than popping in CD and hitting play. (Motherboard, 2016) It is undeniable that digital music is the fashion, but CD bring the value which the digital music can not give it to people. For instance, most of CD have their own style. (Yoyousastore, 2016)

Most recent CD covers feature airbrushed or edited photos of the artists, whereas collectible covers are far more creative in that they reflect the attitude, mood and feel of the music they promote. The most striking cover designs are those that depict the essence of the music as well as grab the buyer’s attention. For collectors in particular, striking cover designs make a huge difference and subsequently increases the demand for the particular artist and their music. A stunning collectible CD cover makes browsing CD’s an enjoyable experience that reaches far beyond the album itself in many instances. However, the value of cover art is very subjective and personal and such collections are never complete. Browse through the exclusive catalogs online where you are guaranteed to find some of the rarest collections of CD covers and music. (Yoyousastore, 2016) Obviously, CDs still mean a lot of things for people. People should not let the recording industry die. It might be a treasure in the future.




Covert, A. (2016). A decade of iTunes singles killed the music industry. [online] CNNMoney. Available at: [Accessed 9 Dec. 2016].

 Fisher M. Download uproar: Record industry goes after personal use[J]. Washington Post, 2007: M05.

Motherboard. (2016). Why Are CDs Still a Thing?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Dec. 2016]. (2016). The value in buying CD’s and collecting CD covers –. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Dec. 2016].

Assignment 1 Blog 3-Why Grime Music is getting popular

Shabir Jobanputra stated that the Grime is a powerful culture as a youth movement right now. Dj Semtex said that the essence of Grime is anti authority. Urban music radio station BBC 1xtra pointed that its messages are representative of a youth that feels disenfranchised and disconnected. Grime offers voice to the voiceless. Grime has become emblematic of a new era of self-reliant music-making. “It has got more popular because some key artists have figured out a path that works for them,” DJ Semtex says. “Hip-hop culture has taken 40 years to get to where it is today. Grime has only been around for 13 years. It is still trying to find its way.” (Ft, 2016)

Grime is becoming popular in United Kingdom, the music industry heavyweights and people began to trust Grime as a credible addition to the culture of British music, something to be proud of, a scene to respect. It is a lifestyle, to be pioneered by the working class struggle, such as Wiley, Kano, and Dizzee Rascal to give a voice to children who were otherwise marginalised and silenced by a society that didn’t attempt to get to know them. (Platt, 2016)

Grime developed apace with the recordings of Dizzee Rascal (real name, Dylan Mills) who is primary star of Grime and his album, Boy in the Corner which won the Mercury Music Prize, described as ‘a jagged, disenfranchised world alien to the experience of most Britons’ (Campion, 2004). The rapid-fire raps of Rascal reflected the urban environment he grew up within: the East End of London and more specifically, the South Bow council estate. This was an urban space characterized by deprivation and street violence, as the lyrics for the track ‘Brand New Day’ illustrate with rhymes that stress teenage violence between rival estates and gun crime. Later in the song, the social horizons and life chances of living in such an area are further emphasized with a potent tinge of social hopelessness. (Barron, 2013)

In the Europe of the Middle Ages, where music might keep hugely the same for hundreds of years. Selwyn Duke stated that the cultural is able to influence the music. And it is no coincidence that in medieval times something else also keep quite constant: culture. It is obvious to people that changes in music hew closely to changes in society’s consensus worldview. This is why musical tastes change so rapidly today. (sonicbids,2016)

The popular music of our day reflects the culture of our day. As the spirit of grime music culture which express the emotion of the east London who live in there and not only the east London, there are still many places where are very dark and the Grime music is straight forward to people’s heart.  that is why this genre of music can rise in the world. Although the parole of Grime music is dark, people should think deeply why Grime music express this kind of emotion and find the reason, then change it.


Barron L. The sound of street corner society: UK grime music as ethnography[J]. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 2013, 16(5): 531-547. (2016). What Kind of Impact Does Our Music Really Make on Society? [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 Nov. 2016].

Campion C (2004) Inside grime. The Observer, 23 May. Available at:,,1223537,00.html [accessed 29 Nov.2011]. (2016). Mercury prize for Skepta puts grime in the mainstream. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 Nov. 2016].

Platt, P. (2016). ‘Grime’s new middle-class fans need to realise the genre isn’t just about music’. [online] The Independent. Available at: [Accessed 29 Nov. 2016].

Assignment 1 Blog 2-Music Heritage of Culture Memory and Culture Identity

Culture enables people to relate to certain social values beliefs religions and customs. This allows them to identify with other people’s similar mentality and background. Cultural heritage can give a unified sense of belonging within a group, enabling us to better understand the previous generations and historical places where we from. (culture, 2016)

Frith (2004) has pointed at the inherently nostalgic properties of popular music, a point fortifled by DeNora (2000) in her highly instructive work on the propensity of music both to connect individuals with their past and to emotionally ground them in the present. In a regular sense, the untimely deaths of rock and pop icons. For instance, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, and Kurt Cobain have activated mass mourning that forcibly proves the extent to which such artists come to signify the complex interplay of generational identification and collective generational memory. However, it is not just popular music artists themselves but rather the vast array of music-related objects, images, texts, and places that become inscribed with memory. (Tandfonline, 2016)

Music heritage is the member of cultural memory. People should pay attention to it which is human beings’ treasure. In recent years, many countries are trying to protect their heritage. Ullrich Kinne is the deputy Head of Mission of the German Embassy who states that “Since 1981, Germany has supported the protection of cultural heritage on a global scale as part of the Federal Foreign Ministry’s cultural conservation program. The purpose is to enhance people’s sense of national identity and establish a cultural dialogue based on the spirit of partnership. In Namibia, they have supported more than $13 million in cultural conservation projects, “many years ago, when independent of 1990, they are difficult to trace, and in danger of disappearing altogether. This period is of high interest due to the special difficulties of black popular music under apartheid. Many recording conditions in vinyl, compact cassette or sound reel is crucial. The protecting of these audio objects is very urgent, because it represents the popular music culture in Namibia. The loss of these data will be the loss of cultural identity. This initiative aims to protect Namibia’s heritage and the document of cultural heritage at risk. (The Namibia Economist, 2016)

The United Kingdom has made magnificent contributions to popular music culture worldwide. Its youth culture spawned punk, dance and pop music, and festivals and venues of United Kingdom attract millions of music lovers every year. The economic contribution of all this should not be underestimated. In December 2013, the trade association of United Kingdom music, published a study displays that in 2012 the core of the music industry contribution to the UK economy is 3.5b in GVA, 1.4bn in exports, and over 100000 full-time job. At the same time, the music industry has created a huge opportunity for the development of music heritage tourism, which contains other means to create economic and cultural value. (Thecreativeindustries, 2016)

Music heritage should be protected due to it is human beings’ history. It represents a crystal of wisdom. Meanwhile, it brings wealth to people that can use it to make money and offer many job opportunities. People should find and incorporate culture into our lives, if people can understand the value that will learn to care for a culture and eventually enjoy it. With more enjoyment, people will want to learn and understand more.


Cultivating Culture. (2016). The Importance of Cultural Heritage – Cultivating Culture. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2016].

Frith, S. (2004). Popular music. 1st ed. London: Routledge.

Gammon, V. (2001). Music in Everyday Life by Tia DeNora. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. 181 pp. British Journal of Music Education, 18(01). (2016). Popular Music, Cultural Memory, and Heritage: Popular Music and Society: Vol 39, No 1. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2016].

The Namibia Economist. (2016). Preservation of music heritage important. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2016]. (2016). Music Case: Music Heritage Tourism. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2016].

Assignment 1: Week 5 – Virtual Reality and the future of live gigs

Virtual reality, ultimately condensing time and space and allowing music consumers to have the feeling of “being there even though, in fact, you are still here” (Duckworth, 2005, p77). With VR headsets becoming more commonplace and easily accessible, and designs on allowing people to become ‘part of the band’, as well as being in the audience at gigs for bands / artists who no longer exist, how does that affect our sense of reality? In terms of Baudrillard’s work on hypperreality and simulacra, it may be something that is damaging to our grasp on meaning and music and render the ‘real’ a long lost utopia. In terms of Benjamin’s view of art as losing authenticity and aura in a capitalist age, we are also forewarned of the loss of the unique and present that is integral to the ‘original’. If our everyday lives and realities are full of the enhanced simulation of the virtual world, will the real and authentic become something we simply dream of? How can Abba give their name to something when the avatars portrayed are merely computer simulations? Alternatively, are the new technologies and experience-enhancing music platforms coming into play simply an offering of choices that empower us as consumers. Philosophically-speaking this is a can of worms that cannot be fully analysed in 500 words, but nevertheless it is interesting to scratch the surface of a few of these debates, in the hope of briefly exploring some of the debates that we are faced with.


Using two examples of forthcoming virtual reality in music models, how can the work of Benjamin and Baudrillard prove relevant? The first example is the plan to offer consumers the chance to be in an orchestra, a heightened experience that has been tested and claims to offer a more authentic insight and more enveloping experience for the listener, who would not otherwise get the chance to fully immerse themselves in an orchestral setting. The second example is the plan to offer Abba gigs in 2018 using artificial intelligence to create a whole new live and virtual experience.

Benjamin was concerned that contemplation within art had been replaced with distraction, replacing viewers thoughts with moving images and stop them thinking. The question is, do they want to think? The parameters set up are designed to enhance feeling, condensing temporal and spacial restraints and ultimately offer experiences that accessible for all. For Baudrillard, there is a charm that is lost in the replacement of the real with ‘signs of the real’ (1983, p4) which leaves no room for the imagination. The holographic Abba characters and the holograms of the consumers are examples of cloning that “neatly puts an end to the charm and the intelligence of music” (Baudrillard, 1994 p106).
Fundamentally, new virtual ways of consuming music have been evolving since it began. On the one hand, we are offered an enhanced experience that defies temporal and spatial boundaries and get to access artists and art which would otherwise not be available at all, potentially “adding meaning to music” by making it more engaging as a commodity. On the other hand, the personal experience of the authentic ‘real’ that allows for an imaginary element is rendered less accessible.


Bibliography and references:

Baudrillard, J. 1983, Simulations, Semiotext[e], New York

Baudrillard, J. 1994, Simulacra and simulation, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Duckworth, W. & Farrell, N. 2005, Virtual music: how the web got wired for sound, Routledge, New York;London

Hann, M., 2016. Abba announce new ‘virtual and live experience’ for 2018 [online]. The Guardian. Available from:

Hickling, A., 2016. You’re in the band: virtual reality’s orchestral future [online]. The Guardian. Available from:, 2012. Jean Baudrillard: Hyperreality and Implosion [online]. Ceasefire Magazine. Available from:, 2013. Walter Benjamin: Art, Aura and Authenticity [online]. Ceasefire Magazine. Available from:

@T. B., 2016. Virtual reality may soon change gigs forever [online]. The Conversation. Available from:

Assignment 1: week 4 – Bare faced chic and going incognito – Two ways that female pop stars are counterracting Pop imagery

Madonna’s “Woman of the Year 2016” acceptance speech discusses her struggles with image and feminism, eventually accepting herself as ‘a different kind of feminist…a bad feminist”.


There seems to be a dichotomy present in mainstream pop when it comes to the concept of female empowerment. Whilst eighties pop stars such as Madonna and Annie Lennox have used image-changing costumes, makeup and Bowie-esque gender-blurring videos to express their female identities, Sinead O’Connor went down the route of forsaking the use of image-enhancing makeup and and clothing, choosing to present herself as herself, rather than a chameleon. Looking at the images of Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keyes and Sia, how can we evaluate the image choices of female popstars in 2016?

Miley Cyrus and her “movement” documentary cites Madonna and Brittney Spears as big influences in her evolution into the ‘bad bitch that she really is’. She wants to shock, blur gender boundaries, and MTV and her diehard Hannah Montana fans are right behind her. Presented in an almost wholesome way, the documentary which accompanied her release, ‘We Won’t Stop’, showcases her journey from her double Disney alter ego to ‘being herself’. The point that this is all her own creation down to every detail, from her twerking with what look like drugged teddy bears and dwarves, to her working with top name Hip Hop producers, is reiterated throughout the documentary.

Sinead O’Connor, who is surely her polar opposite image-wise, came into Miley Cyrus’ heady mix in a rather unexpected way when she was cited as her inspiration for part of her controversial Wrecking Ball video directed by Terry Richardson. It resulted in an ‘open letter’ from Ms O’Connor to put the record straight on their artistic differences.

In stark contrast, Alicia Keyes does seem more akin to the imagerial ethos of Sinead O’Connor, choosing to go makeup free on all appearances, to let go of the constant struggle to be captured as a perfect chameleon, stating that she doesn’t want to cover up anymore. Her alternative stance towards makeup has become a counterculture, beckoning a different kind of movement that drops the disguise of the ‘contour’ generation.

Sia on the other hand has opted for full disguise, appearing live as a dress, and using giant wigs and bows to conceal her identity. Daft Punk have adopted a similar stance, but are not urged to ‘show their face’, perhaps pointing to some of the fundamental differences in expectations of male and female artists. Using dancers and staging to create visual imagery that avoids her having to show her own identity, she uses videos not featuring herself at all.

Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys and Sia’s portrayals of femininity and sexuality in 2016 are very different. Cyrus adheres to the MTV ethos, seen as liberating in the ways of sexual awareness and identity and getting everything out of the closet and into pop culture. The Daily Mail’s 2010 article, “How pop became porn” highlights Liz Jones’ exposure to watching 24 hours of MTV (Hesmondalgh, 2013, p78) I would argue that this has now become the predominant discourse in pop. The Madonna-esque boundary-pushing has has lead to the normalisation of sex in the media. Whether or not such displays of sexual liberation are a help or a hinderance to feminism is another debate altogether, with Hesmondalgh arguing that videos may be more evidential of narcissism than objectification and not necessarily the damaging and moral concerning degradation that they are presented as (2013, p79).

According to Rosalind Gill, the shift from an “external male judging gaze to a self-policing narcissistic gaze” (Hesmondhalgh, p81) is evident. Though Alicia Keyes, Sia and Miley Cyrus’ music is on a par creatively, with all three artists working with similar producers and having similar levels of success, and recording essentially love songs, their choices for how to present themselves alongside those bodies of work is drastically different, and apparently self-regulated.


Anon., 2016. Miley Cyrus’ ‘The Movement’ Documentary: 10 Things To Watch For [online]. Billboard. Available from:

Anon., 2013. Sinéad O’Connor’s open letter to Miley Cyrus [online]. The Guardian. Available from:

Elan, P., 2016. Why Alicia Keys’ #nomakeup look is not quite as ‘real’ as it seems [online]. Shortcuts. Available from:

Hesmondhalgh, D. 2013, Why music matters, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, West Sussex, UK

@flavorwire, 2013. Let’s Blame Terry Richardson — Not Miley Cyrus — For the Awful “Wrecking Ball” Video [online]. Flavorwire. Available from:, 2016. The Movement: Miley Cyrus Prepares for World Domination · Guardian Liberty Voice [online]. Guardian Liberty Voice. Available from:

Jackson, G., 2015. Please Sia, don’t show us your face | Gabrielle Jackson [online]. Opinion. Available from:

Mossman, K., 2016. Sia: ‘Everyone in entertainment is insecure. We’ve been dancing our entire lives for your approval’ [online]. The Observer. Available from:

N. B. C. T. V., 2016. Sia: “Cheap Thrills” – The Voice 2016 [online]. YouTube. Available from:

Pollard, A., 2015. So Sia hides herself? So do Daft Punk. The only difference is she’s a woman [online]. Music blog. Available from:

Scott, A., 2016. The real reason Alicia Keys stopped wearing makeup [online]. Available from:



The completed list for the 59th Grammys Awards 2017 was recently revealed, and what is missing are the rock bands and baby boomer guitar acts (Willman, 2016). It is no surprise to everyone that The Grammys has been detached from rock since mid ‘00s (Brodsky, 2016). The 5 artists who are nominated for the Grammys next year are all R&B and hip hop artists, with Beyonce at the top with 9 nominations, followed by Drake, Rihanna, Kanye West and Chance The Rapper (Willman, 2016). The nominations for the album of the year could have been Radiohead or David Bowie but no rock band has been voted to the top, they do, however, belong in the Rock sub categories, alongside with “alternative” categories.

Another issue raised in the 59th Grammys lists are that the majority of Pop artists nominations are white, excluding a few nominations for Beyonce and Rihanna. The Best Pop Vocal Album includes Adele, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and Sia, who are white artists. Frank Ocean, a well-known R&B rapper and songwriter, has expressed his opinions about The Grammys not representing black artists, “That institution certainly has nostalgic importance. It just doesn’t seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down” (Adejobi, 2016). He added, only a few black artists have won the Grammys since 1987, the year he was born. We do not want to even bother to mention if any Asian artists have won the Grammys award. Inevitably, the problem about Grammys being racist has arisen for a decade or more, looking back on 2015, according to the Rollingstone magazine, there was no artists of colour nominated for Best New Artists or Record of the Year (Cepeda, 2015).

This raised awareness to the audiences and artists who are participating in the Grammy Awards, which is an American television programme for musicians to be voted, performed and achieved the titles. Does the award represent all aspects of the music industry or just the popularity? Who decide which album is the best album of the year? If we consider the issue of large recording corporate and radio station who are making millions out of their pop artists and catchy tunes rather than the real meaning of music itself. The Grammys is an example of how the hierarchy is established within the music itself, as popular songs are considered “good” because there are more votes putting into it, whereas other genres such as rock are put aside as they are simply not “pop”.

The Grammys Award presents music as a more visual medium, it serves the purpose of entertaining the audiences from all around the world. “Merchandisers came to rely on the Grammy awards as their sales cue, and began to aggressively promote nominees and winners. As a result of the retailers’ selective attention, Grammy award-winners began enjoying greater popular appeal through increased album sales” (Watson and Anand, 2006). Thus, there is a significant impact on whether the artists get their Grammy awards, it is not just a title but also a revenue. The problem of race and rock in the Grammy Academy needs to be addressed more seriously and hopefully in the future there will be more rock artists of colour to be represented in the list.


Willman, C. (2016) 2017 Grammy Nominations Signal a ‘New Reality’

Available at:  [Accessed by 14 December 2016]

Brodsky, R. (2016) The Grammys Still Have a Rock (and Race) Problem

Available at: [Accessed by 14 December 2016]

Adejobi, A. (2016) #GrammysSoWhite: Frank Ocean confirms Grammys 2017 boycott

Available at: [Accessed by 14 December 2016]

Cepeda, R. (2015) Do the Grammys Have a Race Problem?

Available at: [Accessed by 14 December 2016]

Watson, M. and Anand, N. (2006) Award ceremony as an arbiter of commerce and canon in the popular music industry, Cambridge University Press, Volume 25, Issue 1