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Postmodern Vs. Popular Music Essay

1124 words - 4 pages

Popular music has become the dominant music form in the 20th Century. Popular music is rock 'n' roll, pop, dance, classical, and Bach. Its people like Kylie Minogue, Michael Jackson, and Eminem. It's also bands: Eagles, Papa Roach, and Backstreet Boys. It is popular music. Popular music, we will assume is all music. We will be defining popular music as anything that is recorded. Postmodern music takes more investigation to reveal what it is?The definition of Popular music is 'anything that is recorded,' allows us to work without constraints of musical genres, or statistical regions. We will try to uncover what postmodern music is and whether new technologies, particularly computers and the internet are playing important, even crucial roles in our thinking or rethinking of popular music.Popular music, because it is popular is something to be embraced, and therefore worthy of study; while for critical theorists, popular currency provides the matrix for a dominant industrial practice. If popular music is in fact related to popular currency, then it doesn't surprise that critical theorists would seek to use it as a means to perhaps debunk the dominant industrial practice. But I would argue that popular music resides more significantly within popular culture. Popular music is affecting popular culture and the media or is it?Popular music, especially that which is produced from devices like midi instruments, sequencers and synthesizers, puts together generic elements of style, beat, rhythm, and embraces improvisation and sound. Ambient music is an especially good example of this digital instruments are used to create and atmosphere of a secluded or natural reality (for example a rainforest). The reality in which it is based is in fact a simulation of a reality and the equipment used (including the sounds they produce) are themselves simulation making devices that seek only to mimic, and then pass off as real.The actual recordings of popular music, particularly rock 'n' roll and pop, are simulacrum. They are a copy that has no original. Multi-track technology in the 1960's made it possible, for the first time, for musicians to record their parts separately in a song. Before, the live performance was recorded and it was the original that the recording captured. But now each instrument or part is assigned a track on magnetic tape and when all the pieces have been recorded the final mix is done, the result is not necessarily anything like a live performance, and in fact its construction takes place in the studio. The final piece is constructed to sound, not as though it is live, but rather that it is better than live. No original performance exists. In classical music the performance itself is celebrated and the recording is a way to preserve and capture the true sound. Most popular music recordings, especially rock and roll, in no way offer this, and while live albums are well received the simulation produced within a recording studio of a reality that...

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