The death of musica colta and the arise of Pop music
Fast forward to the first decades of 1900: princes and kings are not anymore the main customers of music industry.
The people, is.
And it is way less demanding.
Musica colta is dead.
Because “the people” likes and needs bad music?
No: they just don’t know any better because no one took care of introducing it to them.
They don’t know the heights of beauty that have been reached before them. And you can’t like something you don’t know.
So, instead of scraping to new artistic heights with your passion, you can simply recycle what has already been done: they won’t know it and they will think that what you’re offering is as good as music gets.
And, as countermeasure to getting caught with this poor practice: be sure of shunning the past by labelling everything happened before as “classic music” and giving to it the most negative brand image you can think of (boring, long, old, surpassed, complicated…) to discourage the most to discover it.
There you are: your endless musical spare parts warehouse.
It is “the bad businessmen” fault?
Please, please, please: stop blaming labels and productions. Their only duty is to foster artists. If there are no good products to take care of, they try empower what they have at their disposal.
Do you really think that they will come up with stuff like “No no this is too good: please, do something worse”?
-Little dissertation start-
Put yourself for a second in their shoes: you have to entrust your business to someone else’s creativity. They make something bad, you go homeless. And so your employees.
Funny, isn’t it?
Still feeling like “you don’t understand my talent: let me loose”?
You have a great artistic idea? Think about the best way to present it. People don’t read minds, and don’t have your same culture: help them understand your talent. Don’t be egocentric.
– Little dissertation end-
…but that’s what real artists do.
Other than them, there’s an army of wannabes who don’t want to sweat it too much with pitches and plausible explanations, and they just go for the safe (read: lazy) way.
Musica colta as spare parts warehouse
Any time you’ll go short of ideas, you can simply do some archeology.
You want to be “disruptive”? Current music mostly adheres to theory from 1600: you can skip a little bit, go for late 1600 and let everyone think you’re a pioneer.
Be sure to don’t skip too much, of course! Or you’ll end up in having to really put some effort in music composition!
For example: Progressive Rock was born when people found out that they could use even other measures than 4/4 and straight song form (strophe-refrain-strophe… A B A B…).
What a surprise, uh? That’s music theory from around 1600.
Another example: “the drop” in EDM (Electronic Dance Music: Dance music!). The drop is nothing more than a little more conscience about music intensity. If you ever glazed to a music sheet, you can’t help but notice the ff, p, pp, mf or even weirder symbols like huge brackets (<, >, but really long ones!) together with notes: they’re intensity indications. Intensity (“how loud it is”) is one of the most important musical dimensions, and most of the modern musical “artists” simply ignore it: modern “music” is mostly without dynamics. Leading to aberrations like the loudness war.
…and wait till the day they will find out that music can be made also without regular tempo, or even without notes (that’s right: notes are not obligatory. They’re only one amongst the many ways to create musical sounds – if you listened to Brian Eno you already know what I’m talking about).
You can even slice out entire pieces from their original place and use them as your “new” piece: the so called borrowings – although taking what others did, labelling it as yours and making money over it is not exactly “a borrowing”.
What people look for in music
This is another extremely important topic: why people buy something.
If you’re a marketing or business development guy, you already know.
For all the others, most of the people are moved by a very, very peculiar matter who comes at the name of social validation.
It is an unfortunately extremely convoluted argument that I won’t be able to fully disentangle in this (already very long) post.
in a very, very short form:
social validation is the need to be accepted by other people.
This fact itself is not that bad: people are funny to be with!
It becomes a problem when it becomes an obsession, and there’s willing to go at extreme measures to achieve that.
Many psychologists agree that social validation is quite frequently the most basic drive after food.
(Only amongst the most basic personalities, of course: concrete people have actual problems to think about)
There are various level of social validation, starting from I’m your friend to I’m your boss.
What does have to do this with music?
Some support a particular musical artist to become part of that crew:
I buy this stuff = I’m like you = accept me amongst you
Others support a particular musical artist to gain the powers of its status symbol (brand):
I buy this stuff = I’m as cool as they say = “you should behave towards me accordingly”
Even if you don’t are a marketing professional, you surely already have encountered such behavior: guys who buy that stuff because they want other to think a precise idea of them (many time radically different from what they really are) are not that rare – in fact, there is plenty.
Is there salvation for these poor lost lambs?
Yes: let them know what real beauty is.
Let them try what can you feel with real music.
Have you seen La grande bellezza? It’s a movie about this. Have a look at it (and maybe to Fellini too, after that).
And why nobody does it?
Because they would need a real artist to feed their need for beauty. And if you’re damn lazy, that’s not what you’re looking for: you want to feed the people with your monstrous ego, and not with the products of your (inexistent) artistic soul.
That’s why, for example, ghost writers exists: many “artists” are not capable of creating art, and they hire someone else to create for them.
Are not capable because “art is hard”? No: they just don’t care. Way better to share selfies on Facebook and jab with the press on Twitter.
And what is LmK Music Production position’s on this matter?
Curious, aren’t you?
Being an outsourcing company, we don’t really make “our own music”: we work for our customers! So, the final outcome is kind of a mix between our artistic inputs and our customer’s needs.
We can’t be 100% ourselves.
But you can be sure we’ll offer the best artistic inputs we can think of. If we already had the pleasure to meet or work together, you already know what I’m talking about.
And, moreover: time by time, we might take some time to create our own music. Just like, some years ago, happened with this: https://open.spotify.com/album/3zoTvDRS0ANwoNp8AFn36d
…fasten you seatbelts before click play!