How Social Factors Influence Our Choice Of Music

How Social Factors Influence Our Choice Of Music

The music industry has all the time been notoriously unpredictable, and the old A&R maxim that the cream all the time rises to the top is way from a given. For anybody band that makes a living out of their music, there are a minimum of a thousand that by no means will - and the proportion of musicians that really grow to be wealthy via their work is smaller still. There's, however, a common feeling (if not an precise consensus) that these musicians who do make it are there because they are not directly intrinsically higher than the swathes of artists left of their wake.

This is harking back to Robert M. Pirsigs interrogation of high quality - what makes something good, and is there really any objective customary by which such high quality may be measured? Most people would say there may be, as they will simply tell if a band is wonderful or a bunch of talentless hacks - however when it comes all the way down to it, this amounts to nothing more than personal taste 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 Sex Pistols for not having the technical genius of Mozart, no more than one can successfully rank the music of Stockhausen above or below that of Willie Nelson. It appears that evidently in relation to music, it must be instilled with a Philosophik Mercury which is as intangible as it's unpredictable. The only barometer by which we can decide is whether we prefer it or not. Or is there something more?

Recent history is littered with examples of works and artists that are actually considered classics (or have not less than turn into enormously popular) which have been at first rejected offhand by talent scouts, agents or industry executives. Harry Potter, Star Wars, the Beatles - all fall into this category, as does Pirsigs classic work Zen and the Art of Bike Maintenance, which was rejected 121 times. If phenomena of this magnitude could be overlooked, then what chance do merely moderately gifted artists have of ever being observed? Alternatively, the entertainment sphere is packed filled with artists who might 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 hold popping up with chart-toppers? Recent analysis would appear to counsel not.

Now that Web 2.0 is in full flight, social media networks are altering the way in which we access and understand content. The digital music age is upon us, and the benefit with which new music from unsigned bands may be obtained has created a new economic model for distribution and promotion. Buzz itself is the latest buzz, and word-of-blog/IM/e mail has turn out to be a really powerful device for aspiring artists. Mixed with the fact that single downloads now depend towards a songs official chart place, the promotion and distribution cycle for new music can take place entirely online. However does such bewebbed convenience make it simpler to predict what is going to become a hit?

The usual strategy of main labels is to emulate what's already successful. On the face of it, this appears a perfectly valid strategy - if you take a woman who seems to be sort of like Shania Twain, give her an album of songs that sound just-like, a similarly designed album cover, and spend the same amount of money promoting her, then absolutely this new album will even be successful. Usually, nonetheless, this is just not the case - instead, another girl who possesses all these characteristics (with music of a simlar quality) seems from nowhere and goes on to get pleasure from a spell of pop stardom.

This approach is clearly flawed, but what is the drawback? Its this - the assumption that the millions of people that purchase a specific album do so independently of 1 another. This is just not how individuals (in the collective sense) devour music. Music is a social entity, as are the individuals who listen to it - it helps to define social teams, creates a sense of belonging, id and shared experience. Treating a gaggle of such magnitude as if it have been just a compilation of discrete items completely removes the social factors involved. Whilst a single particular person, removed from social influences, might select to listen to Artist A, the identical person in real life is going to be launched to artists via their mates, both locally or on-line, and can instead end up listening to Artists C and K, who could also be of an identical (and even inferior) quality but that is not the real point. Music may be as much about image as about sound.