Discuss how marketing and commercialization shaped the early development of rock and roll.

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Discuss how marketing and commercialization shaped the early development of rock and roll.

The Industrialization of Music Project description Write 1 paragraph for each of the following questions 1. After reading the article, “The Industrialization of Music” by Simon Firth and pp. 253-258 in your textbook, discuss how marketing and commercialization shaped the early development of rock and roll. What affect does commercialization have on your favorite rock band or pop performer? 2. Describe the two different paths that were established by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and how these two paths defined rock music and musicians for decades. THE INDUSTRIALIZATION s s 0 F IV] U SIC s i s r i?%f”~ Introduction THE CONTRAST BETW EEN music-as-expression and music‘-as-coinn3odity defines twentietlmcentury pop experience. It means that however much we may ‘_ – I ‘C1:.- ‘ -: i” use and enjoy its products, we retain a sense that the music industry is a bad thing bad for music, bad for us. Read any pop history and you will find in outline the same sorry tale. However the story starts, and Whatever the author’s politics, the – _ __ – _ E industrialization of music means a shift from active musical production to passive 7 I. pop consumption, the decline of folk or community or subcultural traditions, and 5_ a general loss of musical skill. . , . – . . _ _ I What such arguments assume (and they are part of the common sense of every rock fan) is that there IS some essential human activity, musiomaking, which has been colonized by commerce. Pop is a classic case of alienation: something human ‘ _’ – i is taken from us and returned in the form of a commodity. Songs and singers are ‘ 1 Fetishized, made magical, and We can only reclaim them through possession, via a ‘ ‘ 5 cash transaction in the market place. In the language of rock criticism, what is at . _ _ . _ . I stake here is the truth of music fl truth to the people who created it, truth to our . ‘- I ‘ ‘ 5’ experience. What is had about the music industry is the layer of deceit and hype and exploitation it places between us and our creativity. The flaw in this argument is the suggestion that music IS the starting point of the industrial rocess – the raw material over which ever one H hts – when it is, ,_ ‘ ‘ – – 3 in Fact, the final product. The industrialization of music cannot be understood as – ‘ _ . I something which happens to music, since it describes a process in which music itself 3;‘ is made – a process, that is, which fuses (and confuses) capital, technical and musical arguments. Twentieth-century popular music means the twentieth-century popular ‘_ _- -‘ Z __ – , i‘ .‘ 2 ecord; not the record of something (a song? a singer? a performance?) which exists II , independently of the music industry, but a form of Communication which deter- ff.: mines what songs, singers and performances are and can be. We are coming to the end of the record era now (and so, perhaps, to the end II of pop music as we know it) and so what I want to stress here is that, from a histor- ical perspective, rock and roll was not a revolutionary form or moment, but an evolutionary one, the climax of (or possibly footnote to) a story that began with E-E;-;__;__f_§:’: Edison’s phonograph. To explain the music industry we have, then, to adopt much wider perspective of time than rock scholars usually allow. . [T]his means II:I.:‘f,{;i.”I ..I’.:5:., focusing on three issues: f92??-Ié.IIEf-iii” EEIE 1 The gfirects of technological change. The origins of recording and the recording -I,I::I,,.= I ‘_ -1:_- industry lie in the nineteenth century, but the emergence of the grarnophone ‘If’;-I’_3_ . ;::_E record as the predominant musical commodity took place after the 1914-18 5 .5 ‘.:’:I _-:-:;=: _ war. The history of the record industry is an aspect of the history of the elec- trical goods industry, related to the development of radio, the cinema and ll. y , television 2 The economics of pop. The early history of the record industry is marked by I _ Cycles of boom (192os}, slump (19305) and boom (194-Os). Record company practices reflected first the competition for new technologies and then the 1: _ ‘if, _ _ even more intense competition for a shrinking market. By the 19505 the record ZI business was clearly divided into the ‘major’ companies and the ‘indepen- dents’. Rock analysts have always taken the oligopolistic control of the industry I I, “I for granted, without paying much attention to how the majors reached their I”, __I_: _I: I” I. position. What were the business practices that enabled them to survive the 5 _I’:;I II slumps? What is their role in boom times? ZI 3 A new musical culture. The development of a large-scale record industry I_ -_ _’=:}.I .- I marked a profound transformation in musical experience, a decline in estab_ I If;-I, lished ways of amateur music-making, the rise of new sorts of musical consumption and use. Records and radio made possible new national (and II ‘_ ‘ -_ . -‘ international) musical tastes and set up new social divisions between ‘classical’ Z and ‘pop’ audiences. The 19205 and 19303 marked the appearance of new music professionals m pop singers, session musicians, record company ASIR -I_ – _’: : – -_ people, record producers, disc jockeys, StL1Cl10 engineers, record critics, etc. These were the personnel who both resisted and absorbed the ‘threat’ of rock I I} -_; I and roll in the 19505 and of rock in the 19605. I-;_ , . /1 The making of a record industry __ Z I.’ The origins of the record industry are worth describing in some detail because of I -_ :. the light they cast on recent developments. The story really begins with the North 3- ‘_ ‘ . _ American Phonograph Company Which, in 1888, was licensed to market Edison’s phonograph . They sought to rent machines, as telephones were rented: H . _;_.:j ‘ _ . K3“. via regional franchises to offices: the phonograph was offered as a dictating device. 3 I. y The resulting marketing campaign was a flop. The only regional company to have any success was the Columbia Phonograph Company (Washington had more At this stage,” record companies were simply part of the electrical goods industry, and quite separate in terms of financial control and ownership from 3 :._ previous musicai entrepreneurs. [. . .] Few companies were interested in promoting 5; -_’I=5:f._j- ‘5_‘ new ninnbers or new stars, and there was a Widely held assumption in the industry that while pop records were a useful novel in the initial ublicizin of phono- 5;§:-_f-.”,_1’_ I: C 7_’ graphs, in the long run the industry’s returnsfywould depend Ion peoplf Wanting to build up permanent libraries of ‘serious’ music. Fred Gaisberg, for example, the 5L’:__ __-: -_ E first A&R man, whose work soon took him from America to Britain and then across 3-_:’_’:.3__, Europe and Asia, was essentially, a classical music impresario. Z” ; . _ This argument has had a continuing resonance: while each new technological if”; I” change in mass miisic-ma}

The Industrialization of Music Project description Write 1 paragraph for each of the following questions 1. After reading the article, “The Industrialization of Music” by Simon Firth and pp. 253-258 in your textbook, discuss how marketing and commercialization shaped the early development of rock and roll. What affect does commercialization have on your favorite rock band or pop performer? 2. Describe the two different paths that were established by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and how these two paths defined rock music and musicians for decades. THE INDUSTRIALIZATION s s 0 F IV] U SIC s i s r i?%f”~ Introduction THE CONTRAST BETW EEN music-as-expression and music‘-as-coinn3odity defines twentietlmcentury pop experience. It means that however much we may ‘_ – I ‘C1:.- ‘ -: i” use and enjoy its products, we retain a sense that the music industry is a bad thing bad for music, bad for us. Read any pop history and you will find in outline the same sorry tale. However the story starts, and Whatever the author’s politics, the – _ __ – _ E industrialization of music means a shift from active musical production to passive 7 I. pop consumption, the decline of folk or community or subcultural traditions, and 5_ a general loss of musical skill. . , . – . . _ _ I What such arguments assume (and they are part of the common sense of every rock fan) is that there IS some essential human activity, musiomaking, which has been colonized by commerce. Pop is a classic case of alienation: something human ‘ _’ – i is taken from us and returned in the form of a commodity. Songs and singers are ‘ 1 Fetishized, made magical, and We can only reclaim them through possession, via a ‘ ‘ 5 cash transaction in the market place. In the language of rock criticism, what is at . _ _ . _ . I stake here is the truth of music fl truth to the people who created it, truth to our . ‘- I ‘ ‘ 5’ experience. What is had about the music industry is the layer of deceit and hype and exploitation it places between us and our creativity. The flaw in this argument is the suggestion that music IS the starting point of the industrial rocess – the raw material over which ever one H hts – when it is, ,_ ‘ ‘ – – 3 in Fact, the final product. The industrialization of music cannot be understood as – ‘ _ . I something which happens to music, since it describes a process in which music itself 3;‘ is made – a process, that is, which fuses (and confuses) capital, technical and musical arguments. Twentieth-century popular music means the twentieth-century popular ‘_ _- -‘ Z __ – , i‘ .‘ 2 ecord; not the record of something (a song? a singer? a performance?) which exists II , independently of the music industry, but a form of Communication which deter- ff.: mines what songs, singers and performances are and can be. We are coming to the end of the record era now (and so, perhaps, to the end II of pop music as we know it) and so what I want to stress here is that, from a histor- ical perspective, rock and roll was not a revolutionary form or moment, but an evolutionary one, the climax of (or possibly footnote to) a story that began with E-E;-;__;__f_§:’: Edison’s phonograph. To explain the music industry we have, then, to adopt much wider perspective of time than rock scholars usually allow. . [T]his means II:I.:‘f,{;i.”I ..I’.:5:., focusing on three issues: f92??-Ié.IIEf-iii” EEIE 1 The gfirects of technological change. The origins of recording and the recording -I,I::I,,.= I ‘_ -1:_- industry lie in the nineteenth century, but the emergence of the grarnophone ‘If’;-I’_3_ . ;::_E record as the predominant musical commodity took place after the 1914-18 5 .5 ‘.:’:I _-:-:;=: _ war. The history of the record industry is an aspect of the history of the elec- trical goods industry, related to the development of radio, the cinema and ll. y , television 2 The economics of pop. The early history of the record industry is marked by I _ Cycles of boom (192os}, slump (19305) and boom (194-Os). Record company practices reflected first the competition for new technologies and then the 1: _ ‘if, _ _ even more intense competition for a shrinking market. By the 19505 the record ZI business was clearly divided into the ‘major’ companies and the ‘indepen- dents’. Rock analysts have always taken the oligopolistic control of the industry I I, “I for granted, without paying much attention to how the majors reached their I”, __I_: _I: I” I. position. What were the business practices that enabled them to survive the 5 _I’:;I II slumps? What is their role in boom times? ZI 3 A new musical culture. The development of a large-scale record industry I_ -_ _’=:}.I .- I marked a profound transformation in musical experience, a decline in estab_ I If;-I, lished ways of amateur music-making, the rise of new sorts of musical consumption and use. Records and radio made possible new national (and II ‘_ ‘ -_ . -‘ international) musical tastes and set up new social divisions between ‘classical’ Z and ‘pop’ audiences. The 19205 and 19303 marked the appearance of new music professionals m pop singers, session musicians, record company ASIR -I_ – _’: : – -_ people, record producers, disc jockeys, StL1Cl10 engineers, record critics, etc. These were the personnel who both resisted and absorbed the ‘threat’ of rock I I} -_; I and roll in the 19505 and of rock in the 19605. I-;_ , . /1 The making of a record industry __ Z I.’ The origins of the record industry are worth describing in some detail because of I -_ :. the light they cast on recent developments. The story really begins with the North 3- ‘_ ‘ . _ American Phonograph Company Which, in 1888, was licensed to market Edison’s phonograph . They sought to rent machines, as telephones were rented: H . _;_.:j ‘ _ . K3“. via regional franchises to offices: the phonograph was offered as a dictating device. 3 I. y The resulting marketing campaign was a flop. The only regional company to have any success was the Columbia Phonograph Company (Washington had more At this stage,” record companies were simply part of the electrical goods industry, and quite separate in terms of financial control and ownership from 3 :._ previous musicai entrepreneurs. [. . .] Few companies were interested in promoting 5; -_’I=5:f._j- ‘5_‘ new ninnbers or new stars, and there was a Widely held assumption in the industry that while pop records were a useful novel in the initial ublicizin of phono- 5;§:-_f-.”,_1’_ I: C 7_’ graphs, in the long run the industry’s returnsfywould depend Ion peoplf Wanting to build up permanent libraries of ‘serious’ music. Fred Gaisberg, for example, the 5L’:__ __-: -_ E first A&R man, whose work soon took him from America to Britain and then across 3-_:’_’:.3__, Europe and Asia, was essentially, a classical music impresario. Z” ; . _ This argument has had a continuing resonance: while each new technological if”; I” change in mass miisic-ma}


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