Music is a product of many factors. The more avenues an artist can draw upon, the more original their music will tend to sound. For many aspiring musicians, there exists a notion that being self-taught, often in a rather unorthodox fashion, is what being a successful musician is all about. Although it is true that some rare musicians will thrive with this philosophy, the reality is that these individuals are quite rare.
Entries in quality (7)
Music appreciation is subjective. We all know this, and it’s one of the reasons why you can spend endless nights debating with your friends over whether the latest Flying Lotus release is really better than his production work with Thundercat or whether there is artistic merit in the Cloud Rap niche and how it might do better to integrate some of the sounds of drum & bass.
It’s rare to find someone who likes *exactly* the same kind of music as you, especially once you start delving a little deeper than “yeah, I guess I like to listen to all sorts of stuff”.
In a digital world where we have music such as Gangnam Style and ‘Friday’ by Rebecca Black… It’s hard not to observe that the music landscape has drastically changed in the last few decades because of the internet. But, is trying to create the next ‘viral hit’ impacting on the quality of the music of today?
Pundits say music ownership is passe. But if an army of music owners demanding high-fidelity and personal choice suddenly converted to streaming audio as their only music source, could the Cloud deliver? Let’s run the numbers.
The music industry wishes young listeners would abandon low-bit-rate compressed digital music for harder-to-pirate and more profitable CDs. Contrary to the long-held belief that young listeners think lossy compressed music is “just fine,” Harman researcher Dr. Sean Olive has published results from the first peer-reviewed scientific test showing that young listeners will in fact choose CD-quality audio over lossy alternatives when given the choice. Has the dream of a new generation embracing CDs come true? Not so fast.
Defining what exactly is “quality” music is an age-old process that never comes to a conclusion. The music that one person loves, another hates, and vice-versa. But now it’s possible for an artist to use that to their advantage.
A brand is a promise of quality and consistency. No matter where in the world you go for a McDonald’s hamburger, you know what to expect. No matter what product you purchase from Apple, you can expect sleek high-tech design and an easy to understand user interface. Brand management is protecting the image of the brand and carefully selecting how to best exploit it.
For an artist, that means a consistency of persona, and usually a consistency of sound. Regardless of what genre of music the artist delves into, the feel is the same and you can tell it’s the artist at first listen. Madonna has changed directions many times during her career but her brand has been consistent. Her persona remained the same even as she changed to and from the “Material Girl.” The Beatles tried a wide variety of directions but you never once questioned who you were listening to. It was always fresh and exciting, but distinctly them.
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(Updated January 13, 2016)