Interesting Tim O'Reilly article.

From: Lawrence Walker <>
Date: Sat Dec 14 16:21:01 2002

 One of the problems about the response of most people to music is
that if you hear a piece of music often enough and have little critical
musical facilities, it becomes familiar and comforting. At one time the
now-common interval of a 3rd was considered discordant in western-
world music by most people only used to unison, 4ths, or 5ths.

 So if you hear the current industry "playlist" often enough, you
decide you like song x . You are "programmed" by Sony and the
"music" industry. If you combine that with the "show-biz" stage and
video presentations, Bingo ! , you have a hit.

 One of the good things that happened in the late 50s and 60s was
that for a time the "Biz" got out of control of an industry that had
fallen behind the current musical tastes. Whoops, correction made
by the mid-sixties, and rigid enforcement and standardization of play
lists brought "pop music" (and R&R for that matter) firmly under their
control once more, and the independant recording companies were
either bought out or marginalized. The result of course was the
present ill-health of most music and the poor quality of musicianship.

  One of beacons that is encouraging is the indie labels and self-
produced CDs, as well as the disdain for present product that is
growing not only among an older generation but also among many
younger musicians and fans.

 That I would suspect is a spectre haunting industry execs more than
Napster and pirated CDs. It also relates to their efforts to control the
i'net a potentialy very dangerous distribution rival.


On 14 Dec 2002, , Jeffrey Sharp wrote:

> > My belief is that Sony et al are not worried about bootlegs of
> > Brittany Spears as much as having NO CONTROL over who the public picks
> > as the next pop start.
> You think the *public* has control over that? Yeah, yeah, people vote
> with their wallets, but before they do that the candidate CDs have to be
> made available for puchase. The record companies control that, and they
> also control the amount of promotion that a particular candidate gets.
> Promotional agencies like MTV play right into the herd mentality of pop
> music buyers, convincing a few that the herd is buying album X. Those
> few buy album X, and then the rest of the herd follows suit. Essentially
> people are *told* what to buy.
> Do you think that P2P is going to damage this control system?
> I'm not too distressed by that control, though. It's still a free enough
> country that I can buy something else if I want to. What truly
> distresses me about the (pop) music industry is this:
> - Everything's a love song. Yawn.
> - Everything's so simple and easy to understand. Yawn.
> - Performers are sex symbols first, and musicians second if at all. -
> Nobody writes their own songs. - Nobody cares about albums.
> So when I'm not listening to Beethoven, Mahler, et al, I listen to Rush,
> Dream Theater, et al.
> --
> Jeffrey Sharp
Received on Sat Dec 14 2002 - 16:21:01 GMT

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