How Social Factors Influence Our Selection Of Music

How Social Factors Influence Our Selection Of Music

The music trade has at all times been notoriously unpredictable, and the old A&R maxim that the cream always rises to the highest is far from a given. For anyone band that makes a dwelling out of their music, there are at the least a thousand that never will - and the proportion of musicians that truly change into wealthy through their work is smaller still. There is, nonetheless, a normal feeling (if not an precise consensus) that these musicians who do make it are there because they're ultimately intrinsically better than the swathes of artists left of their wake.

This is harking back to Robert M. Pirsigs interrogation of quality - what makes something good, and is there really any goal customary by which such quality might be measured? Most individuals would say there's, as they will simply inform if a band is wonderful or a bunch of expertiseless hacks - however when it comes all the way down to it, this quantities to nothing more than personal taste and opinion. Though one can level to certain technical qualities like musicianship, structural complexity and production values, music is more than the sum of its parts - one can not dismiss the Sex Pistols for not having the technical genius of Mozart, no more than one can effectively rank the music of Stockhausen above or beneath that of Willie Nelson. Evidently relating to music, it have to be instilled with a Philosophiok Mercury which is as intangible as it's unpredictable. The only barometer by which we can judge is whether or not we prefer it or not. Or is there something more?

Recent history is littered with examples of works and artists that are now considered classics (or have at the very least grow to be enormously fashionable) which had been at first rejected offhand by expertise scouts, agents or business executives. Harry Potter, Star Wars, the Beatles - all fall into this class, as does Pirsigs basic work Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which was rejected 121 times. If phenomena of this magnitude might be missed, then what chance do merely moderately talented artists have of ever being observed? Alternatively, the entertainment sphere is packed full of artists who might by no means hope to be anything near moderately talented. So does the entertainment business really know what its doing, when so many of its predicted hits fail miserably and rejected unknowns hold popping up with chart-toppers? Current research would seem to counsel not.

Now that Web 2.0 is in full flight, social media networks are altering the way in which we access and perceive content. The digital music age is upon us, and the convenience with which new music from unsigned bands can be obtained has created a new financial mannequin for distribution and promotion. Buzz itself is the latest buzz, and word-of-blog/IM/email has become a very highly effective instrument for aspiring artists. Combined with the fact that single downloads now rely towards a songs official chart place, the promotion and distribution cycle for new music can take place totally online. But does such bewebbed comfort make it easier to predict what will turn out to be a hit?

The standard strategy of major labels is to emulate what is already successful. On the face of it, this seems a superbly valid strategy - if you take a girl who seems to be form 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 certainly this new album will also be successful. Usually, however, this just isn't the case - instead, one other woman who possesses all these traits (with music of a simlar high quality) seems from nowhere and goes on to enjoy a spell of pop stardom.

This method is clearly flawed, however what's the downside? Its this - the belief that the hundreds of thousands of people that purchase a specific album do so independently of 1 another. This shouldn't be how people (in the collective sense) consume music. Music is a social entity, as are the people who listen to it - it helps to define social teams, creates a way of belonging, id and shared experience. Treating a group of such magnitude as if it were just a compilation of discrete units fully removes the social factors involved. Whilst a single individual, removed from social influences, would possibly choose to listen to Artist A, the identical individual in real life goes to be introduced to artists by means of their buddies, both locally or online, and can instead end up listening to Artists C and K, who may be of an identical (and even inferior) quality however that is not the real point. Music can be as a lot about image as about sound.