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Frith , The Industrialization of Music

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  1. Frith, The Industrialization of Music Issues in Music Recording Studies The effects of technological change The origins of recording and the recording industry lie in the nineteenth century, but the emergence of the gramophone record as the predominant musical commodity took place after the 1914-18 war. The history of the record industry is an aspect of the history of the electrical goods industry, related to the development of radio, the cinema and television. The economics of pop The early history of the record industry is marked by cycles of boom (1920s), slump (1930s) and boom (1940s). Record company practices reflected first the competition for new technologies and then the even more intense competition for a shrinking market. By the 1950s the record business was clearly divided into the 'major' companies and the 'independents'. Rock analysts have always taken the oligopolistic control of the industry for granted, without paying much attention to how the majors reached their position, What were the business practices that enabled them to survive the slumps? What is their role in boom times? New musical culture The development of a large-scale record industry marked a profound transformation in musical experience, a decline in established ways of amateur music-making, the rise of new sorts of musical consumption and use. Records and radio made possible new national (and international) musical tastes and set up new social divisions between 'classical' and 'pop' audiences. The 19205 and 1930s marked the appearance of new music professionals -pop singers, session musicians, record company A&R people, record producers, disc jockeys, studio engineers, record critics, etc. These were the personnel who both resisted and absorbed the 'threat' of rock and roll in the 1950s and of rock in the 1960s.

  2. Hirsch, Organizational Set Analysis…. Hirsch’s analysis suggests that organizations at the managerial level of cultural industry systems are confronted by constraints on output distribution imposed by mass media gatekeepers and (2) contingencies in recruiting creative "raw materials" for organizational sponsorship. To minimize dependence on these elements of their task environments, publishing houses, record companies, and movie studios have developed three proactive strategies: (1) the allocation of numerous personnel to boundary-spanning roles; (2) overproduction and differential promotion of new items; and (3) cooptation of mass media gatekeepers.