Assignment 1

Week 1 

What I have looked at are sources which take a look at the war time period and how radio was used a propaganda tool to influence and indoctrinate those into ideologies, this gave me an insight to how radio first became a mass media tool to reach out to a wider target audience. The one period which stood out to me the most had to be World War II where Hitler had ensured that radios could be purchased at a cheap price so everyone could listen to the speeches that he had made, showing the usefulness of radio. Vaughan, D. (2008). The Munich crisis was a milestone in radio history. Starting with the Austrian Anschluss in March of the same year, this was the first world diplomatic crisis to be played out on the airwaves. Radio had reached its maturity in Europe and North America. Nearly every household had access to a radio set due to the prices which were set, all the sides knew that radio could win hearts and minds and as the crisis moved on at a lightning pace – with the breakneck speed of events also defined by the new culture of instant communication – radio helped to make history. Vaughan, D. (2008). 

Going back to the original readings which were set, after the war period we see some big changes within radio within 1940, the BBC had begun with two stations, the Home Service for civilians and the Forces Programme for service personnel stationed abroad, this was advantageous as the BBC opened this up for those outside the UK targeting a wider range of audiences, it also then adopted American techniques as fixed schedules and series formats. Thus then increasing to more channels within 1943 for more popular radio programmes for those seeking entertainment, for example ‘Top 4‘ music programmes. (Shingler and Wieringa, 1998). This reached out to more people on a wider level and gave room for others to come up with new radio programmes for example, sports, entertainment, music, factual, news, chat, historical and radio dramas.

Overall, radio has shaped out ideas and ideologies by listening to others opinions on topics. The historical events have helped us and even today we use the same types of programmes by setting a format and schedule for listeners to follow, it goes to show that the radio industry has developed but the same originality has been kept but the ideas are more advanced and targeting a much larger audience with various shows out there with so much variety to choose from on what channels we listen to.s

Bibliography:

Vaughan, D. (2008). The master’s voice. The Guardian, [online] p.1. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2008/oct/09/radio.hitler.bbc.czechoslovaki

Shingler, M. and Wieringa, C. (1998). On air. London: Arnold.

Week 2

For this entry I have looked at the rise of the underground. A term that described the rave subculture of non-mainstream music such as Acid House. Whilst the underground culture can be seen as about music, it definitely isn’t. The underground was larger, it shaped peoples lives and different factors were articulated through the personality of the typical underground fan, such as language, appearance and clothing. It was an expression which clubbers related to fashion, it was an authentic lifestyle. (Ross and Rose, 1994)

It began in 1988 during Acid House, early mass-media coverage was not positive – “Junkies flaunt their cravings by wearing T-Shirts sold at the club bearing messages like “can you feel it?” and “drop acid not bombs.” (The Sun 1988).  In 1989, the BBC banned all reports with the word ‘Acid’ and the Daily Mirror created a story on the Midnight Summer Party in Berkshire where 11000 people attended. It was “a cynical attempt to trap young people into dependency under the guise of friendly pop events.” This moral panic was sensationalised by the media, the underground was seen as a subculture that received a lot of negativity; new rules and regulations were created.

A book I found was about the two years of an illegal dance party organizer and promoter. “What went on behind the Acid House dream?”, “The raves and huge dance parties of the late-1980s changed the face of popular culture, as hundreds of thousands of youngsters enjoyed the illicit thrills of ecstasy and vast, illegal all-nighters. Yet beneath the bright surface was a world of drug deals, violence, exploitation, protection rackets and armed robbery. (Anthony, 1998). This shows how the sensationalizing of the underground and Acid House raves by mass-media was negative for a reason.

Acid House is easily recognized upon by the yellow face emoticon that is smiling. This iconography helped people recognise it, people who never knew about it were suddenly involved by the coverage of media. This brought new people into the subculture. “Media and commerce do not just cover but help construct music subcultures.” (Ross and Rose, 1994). This suggested how the coverage helped create new groups and cultures. People would have influenced from the Acid House scenes and felt comfortable to be different and edgy.

Currently, this ‘Acid House dream’ has been taken and evolved. Sensationalizing of drug use at festivals has been on social networks such as Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. This creation of a cult hype surrounding drug use and that kind of life style has been seen at many festivals such as Electronic Daisy Festival and the Mad Decent Block Party. Even some DJ’s have supported the use of drugs such as Flosstradamus, a duo who constantly share the use of drugs on social media.

Bibliography:

Ross, A. and Rose, T. (1994). Microphone fiends. New York: Routledge.

Shingler, M. and Wieringa, C. (1998). On air. London: Arnold.

Week 3

By political economy, means the way an organisation is run. How is this implemented? How are profits generated? Who owns the organisation? These are all questions that we thrive to know when discussing the political economy of an organisation.

Internet radio has revolutionised over the years. Depending what station, Internet radio has become the foundation for low-scale media creators to broadcast their talents to a niche audience. It helped grow local talent, whether that was artists or media creators.  The specialist reading I found discusses how the World Wide Web revolutionised the world. Internet radio was a platform that helped media outlets such as news and sport reach to the masses. “Internet radio offers far more diversity than even the most powerful shortwave set. (Lee, 2005).

On the other hand, another form of radio whether that is privately or publicly owned, is on-air that is broadcasted through the air waves. It is arguably the most popular form of listening to radio although in the current era, it can be said that with the fast growth of internet, perhaps internet radio is the future.

Tim Wall discusses the history of internet radio, a long with its advantages and disadvantages against the on-air radio. He also discusses its likely development. Such companies are overwhelmingly profit-maximizing, and revenue is in the main generated through selling advertising space in programming or through sponsorship. (Wall, 2004). Capital FM is a part of the Global Radio organization. They are privately owned and focus on playing the most popular songs to reach out to a large target audience. They generate money through advertisements. On the other hand, the BBC Radio is privately owned, through the TV Licenses. It plays music that may not be the most popular, but it follows the ethos of the BBC Radio 1. Both stations are examples of on-air radio that reach’s a large population.

Tim reported how AOL Radio@Network reached out to 1,312,397 people, with 5,662,124 hours listened too on average. The the start-up costs for Internet Radio cost $8,700 with on-going costs were $262,100 per annum whereas over-the air radio cost $280,000 to start up then $87,000 to run. (Wall, 2004) Implications for the future of radio were brought up from these statistics. It showed how where Internet radio was cheap to start up, due to copyright costs and other factors, it would cost 3 times more to run than an on-air radio. Implications were also brought up by Lee who stated the future for radio may not be internet broadcasting.

Although this, the readings were from 2004 and 2005. 11 years later and BBC 3 has moved online. For radio, podcasts, student and community stations are most likely available to listen too/catch up online. It shows how both authors saw implications although with the revolution of the internet, it is cheaper now than ever before, and also more accessible.

Bibliography:

Lee, E. (2005). How Internet Radio Can Change the World: An Activist’s Handbook. pp.1 – 18.

Wall, T. (2004). The political economy of Internet music radio. pp.30 – 38.

Week 4

The definition of genre is very simple to understand although there has constantly been controversy over whether a song is a certain type of genre. The artist has the power to say a song is a certain genre although is it correct? Robert Walsey pointed out how genres are ideas that are “constantly debated and contested” It Is a technical process to allocate music to one category than another. (Wall, 2003)

A record is allocated its musical category depending on its musical properties. Certain codes and conventions are required to place a song into the Hip Hop scene. Conversations are often built on whether songs or even artists are House, Deep, Techno or some new interesting ‘sub genre’.

The reading I chose discusses how styles of music and musicians can be very similar, making it difficult for it to enter a certain genre. “Musicians ‘belonging’ to different genres can share similarities that lead us to include them in the same stylistic area. Reybrouck and Maeder, 2015) Listeners and fans can be in argument over an artist who is either a Deep or Future artist, or R&B and Chart.

David Guetta has been a producer and DJ for over 20 years. He began mixing House records at gay clubs, before releasing his own music and becoming one of the most respected artists in the world. Over the past 5 years on a couple of albums he has worked with some very interesting artists including Kelly Rowland, Chris Brown and Fetty Wap. These collaborations were a mix of both worlds – House and the Hip Hop/R&B from the Unites States of America. He has been known as the person to create a knew foundation of music style, mixing Dance music and Hip Hop to create a new sound. What genre are these records? Is it pop?

This ideological function suggests that there are many types of Pop music. Certain parts piece together to create an ideology of a genre so do we create and consume music with the ideologies we have or is it the music that speaks and we follow? “Genres speak of the men who created them and the people who radically received them” (Reybrouck and Maeder, 2015)

The specialist reading I found is from 2015, more recent than the Tim Wall reading (2003), with the 12 year gap comes opinions that have evolved but genres of music is still in question. Its interesting to see how both Tim and Reybrouck and Maeder agreed that genres can be received differently depending who you are.   There aren’t many people who only listen to 1 genre and stick to it. You can now experiment by playing music on different platforms for free, 20-30 years ago it wasn’t easily accessible. Rock and Hip Hop are completely different; you can like what you like yet still be a part of a certain subculture?

Maybe music should have an ideological function because you want to connect with something, it can communicate ideas that tells stuff about yourself.

Bibliography:

Wall, T. (2003). Studying popular music culture. London: Hodder & Stoughton Educational.

Reybrouck, M. and Maeder, C. (2015). Music, analysis, experience. Baltimore, Maryland: Project Muse.

Week 5

The reading this week is about the Rock culture, what it represents and who it could potentially be aimed at? I personally believe who ever enjoys listening to music should have access to it nevertheless who they are. Although this, there are practitioners and other people who believe the style of Rock music is aimed at a certain character.

Rock is a popular form of music that evolved from Rock and Roll and Pop music during the 1960’s. It was characterized by drug-related or anti-establishment lyrics. With its prominent vocal melody accompanied by heavy guitar riffs, strong drums and bass, Rock has been a part of subcultures and fandoms all around the world. What is interesting is the focus of representation and power in Rock music. “Some feminists have argued that rock is essentially a male form of expression.” (Frith and Goodwin, 1990).

The specialist reading I found is about women in the Rock and Punk scene. The author discusses how when undergoing primary research, she found women were isolated in the Rock scene. That there was this ideology that an all girl band on a poster would be a gimmick, although this was not the discourse created if that was an all boy band?

“The fact that, twenty-six years later after the Equal Opportunities Act, an all girl band should still be regarded as a gimmick, and that their use of a photograph on their posters (as many male bands do) should be regarded as an attempt to cash in on this gimmick did not strike him as remarkable at all” (Reddington, 2007) It implies how both authors had the same idea about the representation of women in Rock music.

Frith and Goodwin state in the book that, “female musicians have rarely been able to make their own musical versions of the rebellious hard edges that male rock can embody.” They stated how female stars, “have little possibility of resisting such pressure.” (Frith and Goodwin, 1990) This is something I highly disagree on. They represented women as weak individuals who aren’t as mentally tough as men. believe women are very powerful and it has been this mentally of the authors that may have been the mentality of people within the Rock scene that has shut doors on women.

Reddington opposed against this mentality. She found that a musician encountered obstruction from her male peers. “They did their best to break me because they don’t believe in women. I stuck up for myself without destroying the man’s ego. I was no longer a male oddity commanding $70,000.

Even though both readings contrast, it is very interesting to see how women were perceived in 1990 and how things changed 17 years later. Even though I mention change, in the 21st century women are still seen as “weak” and men are more “superior” by some groups of people. I believe women and men are equally as powerful, and that women should be represented as hard working and strong.

Bibliography:

Frith, S. and Goodwin, A. (1990). On record. New York: Pantheon Books.

Reddington, H. (2007). The lost women of rock music : female musicians of the punk era : Ashgate popular and folk music series.

Week 7

I believe that social networks have a big part to play in the way fan culture has evolved in the last 20 years. We are much closer to our favourite artists and this is due to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. The main reading is about the DIY heritage, and how fans do more to connect with fans, we are more active than of 20 years ago when fans were passive. This is as there were less ways to get closer to artists, part from attending gigs, and sending letters. In the current period, you are able to connect with artists in multiple ways. For instance, sending a message on Twitter that will be sent straight to their inbox. Commenting/sharing a photo they posted.

“These fan creations, which can include fan club and appreciation societies, fan produced magazines, public art and graffiti, and specialized walking tours, can then be used in turn as a new kind of currency where value is added through labour rather than fans being solely restricted to investing in their interests “(Fremaux, 2015) Fremaux states how it is fascinating that this DIY Heritage enable a fan to become much more. You are a media creator within your own right. A fan of 2015 is different to a fan of 1995.

In addition to this, in the other reading what is said supports Fremaux’s argument. “No one is a passive consumer anymore because every- one is a media outlet” (Kirkup, 2014) Social media has created opportunities that have opened doors, such as the field of journalism.

By being closer to artists has created the cult hypes of fandoms and subcultures. Hegemony could have cleverly be used, and it has successfully been used with a variety of famous artists. In the Punjabi scene, a song by Imran Khan, Qott Ghusian Da, Imran expresses his views on peace and religion. “Whether you’re a Muslim, Hindu or Sikh…why do you consider yourself different?” Hegemony is applied as a popular figure uses music to express his own political interests. The discourse would effect the opinions of fans listening to the music, therefore showing the power Imran Khan has to change an individual’s opinion just because he is a popular figure and of higher class. The reading I found stated how audiences could accept the dominant messages in media texts. “People are not aware of the ideological practise in which they are engaging as they consume and enjoy the cultural commodity.” (Longhurst, 1995).

In my opinion I agree with the three readings. Fans have evolved and are much closer to artists, fandoms are bound to be more popular within certain music groups although I am unsure what will happen within the next 20 years.

Bibliography:

Fremaux, S. (2015). Coming Together: DIY Heritage and the Beatles. p.Chapter 7.

Kirkup, M. (2014). Some kind of innocence. p.2.

Longhurst, B. (1995). Popular music and society. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Week 8

Not too long ago, people were purchasing records, a short time later CDs were very popular. A very short time later and a lot of the music we buy is digital. This saves space in bedrooms and the music is able to be played pretty much anywhere and at anytime. All sounds good although when walking past HMV, people are still purchasing CDs. I am personally one of them people in HMV. If music can be accessed digitally 24/7, why buy a CD/Vinyl though?

In the set reading by Iain Taylor, he discusses the re-emergence of cassettes in the current era.  He introduces the idea of consumers having a relationship with the physical copy of music. He believes this creates a bond between it and the consumer. Iain explains different perspectives through the use of primary research. (Taylor, 2015).

I believe the relationship between the music and consumer depends on the personal. You could buy a CD because the buzz, it automatically becomes a collector’s item or you may be the consumer who instantly bonds with the copy of music. Maybe the person in question is part of a subculture or fandom.

“I think the tape is kind of materialistic because you want to own something, you know? I think it’s sort of a collectors thing” (Taylor, 2015) The interview Iain conducted supported his hypothesis. It showed how the consumers relationship with the tape showed he was not passive but active, he contributed to his music scene.

The next reading analyzes the re-emergence of vinyl as an alternative format of digital music. Hayes was fascinated by 8 young participants who were enthusiastic towards consuming music on vinyl. They purchased new and used CDs and downloaded music files from the internet. (Hayes, 2006) It made me think about the way I consume music which is similar. I find it easier to collate music for radio broadcasting and disk jockeying through digital files, but for my own collection I admire buying new and used artist albums and compilations.

This discourse was supported by the specialist reading I found. “If a collectible item comes up for sale, you’ll recognise it immediately. It’s the thing that makes your heart skip a beat” Thompson discusses his relationship with music, he introduces the term completist; a consumer who seeks every variation of every version of every release in a band or artists catalog. (Thompson, 2002) It made me think whether I am a completist. I wanted to buy the extended version of One More Love by David Guetta although it had most the songs of the original. I have also had the vision of buying every David Guetta album and compilation. Does this make me a completist?

Bibliography:

Taylor, I. (2015). From Analogue to Digital, From Pragmatism to Symbolism – The Cassette Tape as a Hybrid Artefact in Contemporary Popular Music.

Thompson, D. (2002). A music lover’s guide to record collecting. San Francisco: Backbeat Books.

Hayes, D. (2006). ‘‘Take Those Old Records off the Shelf’’: Youth and Music Consumption in the Postmodern Age.

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