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Independent Music Vs Mainstream Pop Essay

1781 words - 7 pages

Independent Music Versus Mainstream Pop Music is an art form through which emotion, culture, ideas, and much more can be expressed. There are a wide range of genres of music, from jazz to gangster rap to rock, but each type is used, by the artist, to express feelings and thoughts through music. In addition to genres, music can be classified as popular music, which is regularly played on the radio and music television stations, and independent, also known as "underground," music. For every genre of music, there are mainstream "pop" artists, and artists that are independent. Generally aside from musical influence and similarities in their actual sound, these artists do not associate with each other and are critical of one another. The major difference between the two types is that pop music is released on major recording labels, which are headed by executive committees that the artists work for while independent music is released on record labels established and controlled by the artists themselves. However, there are many more differences in the purposes and goals of the musicians, the content of the music that is released, the length of the artists careers, and the listeners devotion to and appreciation of the music. These differences are evident in the way the music is marketed, the profile of the average listener, the availability (or lack there of) of the music to the consumer, the price charged by the record label for the music itself, and the ideas the artists express through their music. In this essay I will compare the two types of music based on their intended purpose, differences in the actual composition of the music, and the merit of each as an actual art form.Popular music has existed since the 1880's when the first recording of music was produced and played back on a gramophone. Popular music is not a specific genre but rather whatever happens to be popular at the time. This has included jazz, swing, rock and roll, hip-hop, rap, and many more genres. Today's popular music is mainly produced on synthesizers with singer/dancers performing along with an electronic upbeat melody. It is estimated that 50 percent of teenagers in America regularly watch MTV, a cable station which specializes in pop music videos. The same is true in Canada of the counterpart station Much Music. Pop music pulls in around 30 million dollars annually in sales of albums and promotional goods such as posters and clothing. The huge market for pop music has caused many companies, such as Virgin Records, Columbia Records, Warner Brothers Music, and Atlantic Records to name a few, to spend millions of dollars on advertising and promoting new pop artists. Teenagers are the main demographic and the largest group of consumers for pop music, and they are the most sought after market in the record labels efforts. The labels sign artists to contracts in which the label agrees to promote the artist and pay them a percentage of record sales and the artist agrees...

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