Selasa, 27 Desember 2011

Definition of Recorded Music

Relatively little attention has been given to music as a mass medium in theory and research, perhaps because the implications for society have never been clear, nor have there been sharp discontinuities in the possibilities offered by successive technologies of recording and reproduction/transmission. Recorded and replayed music has not even enjoyed a convenient label to describe its numerous media manifestations, although the generic term ‘phonogram’ has been suggested (Burnett, 1990) to cover music accessed via record players, tape players, compact disc players, VCRs (video cassette recorder), broadcasting and cable, etc.

            The recording and replaying of music began around 1880 and were quite rapidly diffused, on the basis of the wide appeal of popular songs and melodies. Their popularity and diffusion were closely related to the already established place of the piano (and other instruments) in the home. Much radio content since the early days has consisted of music, even more so sine the rise of television. While there may have been a gradual tendency for the ‘phonogram’ to replace private music-making, there has never been a large gab between mass mediated music and personal and direct audience enjoyment of musical performance (concerts, choirs, bands, dances, etc.). The phonogram makes music of all kinds more accessible at all times in more places to more people, but it is hard to discern a fundamental discontinuity in the general character of popular musical experience, despite changes of genre and fashion.

            Even so, there have been big changes in the broad character of the phonogram, since its beginnings. The first change was the addition of radio broadcast music to phonogram records, which greatly increased the range and amount of music available and extended it to many more people than had access to gramophones. The transition of radio from a family to an individual medium in the post-war ‘transistor’ revolution was a second major change, which opened up a relatively new market of young people for what became a burgeoning record industry. Each development since then – portable tape players, The Sony Walkman, the compact disc and music video – has given the spiral another twist, still based on a predominantly young audience. The result has been a mass media industry which is very interrelated, concentrated in ownership and internationalized (Negus, 1993). Despite this, music media have significant radical and creative strands which have developed despite increased commercialization (Firth, 1981).

            While the social significant of music has received only sporadic attention, its relationship to social events has always been recognized and occasionally celebrated or feared. Since the rise of the youth-based industry in the 1960s, mass-mediated popular music has been linked to youthful idealism and political concern, to supposed degeneration and hedonism, to drug-taking, violence and antisocial attitudes. Music has also played a part in various nationalist independence movements (e.g. Ireland or Estonia). While the content of music has never been easy to regulate, its distribution has predominantly been in the hands of established institutions, and its percieved deviant tendencies subject to some sanctions. Aside from this,  most popular music has continued to express and respond to rather enduring and conventional values and personal needs.


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