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Music Meaning Vs Entertainment

March 24, 2009

In one way, music is a spectacle. You go to a live show, maybe just for the show itself. The music doesn’t really matter as long as you have a good time. I’d go see Gwar even though I’m not really into the music. I’ve heard plenty of crazy things about their live show to make me want to check it out.

In another way, music is like a memory or emotional trigger.  You hear a line that speaks directly to you or a sweet sweet melody and  you’re instantly connected. Sometimes that connection lasts a life time.  Even though no one understand what he’s saying anymore, Dylan still brings out a crowd. It almost doesn’t matter since the people know what he’s trying to say.

Combining the two is an art in itself.  When an artist can pull both off well,  then there’s something really worth holding on to.

Take Control of Your Music


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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Roshan permalink
    March 24, 2009 5:55 pm

    I would like to hear an elaboration on this article, its all well and good stating that there is a difference between art and entertainment, but it would be interesting to hear your views on what actually contributes to music having meaning, all music takes on a meaning and even music that is purely entertainment takes on meaning when it offers something into the realms of culture (pop culture or otherwise). I am writing a dissertation on the value of music and one of the topics I am covering is how consumers of music attribute value to it. Would be great to hear your views.

  2. March 24, 2009 8:40 pm

    Good point Roshan,

    It’s not easy to pin point I know.

    I think it boils down to individuals and a meaning scale.

    Two individuals will value meaning in music different. Their own values, age, upbringing, and environment all affect what connects with them. Millions of people bought KISS records even though millions of others say the band is just a live spectacle. Who’s right? No one. We aren’t all raised the same way, we all didn’t have the same friends, we’re all different ages, and we all care about different things.

    If you go to show because you want to be entertained and forget about your problems for a couple hours, that has meaning doesn’t it? It might not mean as much as an artist who’s songs really connect with you, but it has meaning nonetheless. Another person may have been waiting months for that same show.

    I hope that helps. I’m sure we could go much more deeper.

    Let me know how your dissertation goes.


  3. March 24, 2009 10:44 pm

    On a lighter note…Paul’s eyes are dreamy

  4. Roshan permalink
    March 25, 2009 6:00 pm

    I totally agree, the value we attatch to music is now moving swiftly away from being a monetary value. Its glaringly obvious that the general public deem that music should be free, or at least appear free to them, which plays to the benefit of those who champion the subscription business model.

    It poses a real problem tho when it comes to the perception of music, once it was revered as being something that was worth paying money for but now it seems that we are less and less likely to even consider paying for content that we like. Once the percieved value of music hits 0 there may be an even bigger problem whereby the industy is no longer worth anything. The billions of dollars the majors have invested in attaining copyright somehow now seems redundant to them.

    I agree with you on the show front, going to see a show has its own value chain attached to it and going to see a show is a completely different experience than listening to the music at home…there still exsists two products its just that one is now deemed as worthless by the public, but the other one, probably due to the fact that it is un-pirateable continues to grow.

    Far from being someone who actually hates the majors I think what they have done in the past is incredible and they will probably do more in the future, but by resting on their laurels for so long, they missed the biggest revoloutions of our time, the internet and are now paying the price. In the days gone by the revoloutions were spearheaded by the majors in a top down approach and were either in the form of a musical revoloution (britpop, summer of love etc), or through the technological developments that they aided in creating (CD’s etc).

    Maybe it is just a case of the once early adopters have slowly become the luddites and need time to catchup? or maybe everything is slowly going to decline for without the recorded product nothing else falls into place.

  5. March 26, 2009 4:07 am

    Sounds like a train of thought that was going somewhere. Would be nice to read more on the subject.

  6. March 27, 2009 4:11 am

    Well my friend,

    I think Roshan wants to do a guest post regarding his dissertation. I’m sure it’ll come soon.


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