Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Homogenisation (good for milk, bad for music)

Everyone is familiar with the rivalry that exists between what has been labelled as 'mainstream' music and that which is considered alternative. This conflict has raged on since the advent of the first record company and will likely continue on for the foreseeable future. For the most part this is good clean fun and the topic of much heated debate. However, there does appear to be a darker and potentially more dangerous side to this issue, at least in my humble opinion.

Music is an art form, and one which has diversified as time has gone by. At one time, the type of music you would hear would be entirely dependant on geography and cultural heritage. However, as centuries have passed music began to be shared and new methods, styles and instruments were developed. These days any one person can be listening to any variety of incredibly different kinds of music. The genres and artists out there are uncountable.

However, in a time of such delicious variance, there is also a further influence which comes in the form of industry. The music industry's sole purpose is to make money. The people who run it are not influential musicians with creative minds and a thirst for new sounds but entrepreneurs who know how to sell a product.......and know how to make you want it.

Thus, radio, TV and music magazines have become saturated with an incredibly narrow spectrum of musicians leaving many new and interesting artists in the dust.

Occasionally something truly unique will break through, however history has shown this will invariably be followed by record contracts being dished out to countless artists or bands who simply replicate the sound.

The most satisfying thing about music for me is to hear something new which inspires and my concern is that, as music becomes more homogenised, this is an experience which will become increasingly more rare.

Perhaps, therefore, it is not the tastes of individuals that should be the focus of concern but the neglectful attitude that has developed around what is arguably one of our species' most precious creations.

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