Chapter 3 SOUND RECORDING and Popular Music
What are some of the images that come to mind when you think of rock and roll? What might life in the US be like without rock and roll?
With a partner, make two parallel lists: Five to ten ways rock and roll has had a positive impact on American culture since the 1950s Five to ten ways rock and roll has had a negative impact on American culture since the 1950s Analyze the patterns that emerge in both lists: Can negatives be seen as positives (and vice versa), depending on the viewer’s point of view? Overall, evaluate rock and roll as either a negative or positive force in American culture.
INNOVATIONS IN MEDIA TECHNOLOGY • Three typical developmental stages: • NOVELTY stage • ENTREPRENEURIAL stage • CONSUMER MARKETING stage
Early sound recording technology • deMartinville, France, 1850s • Edison, USA, 1877 • Berliner, USA, 1880s • Victor Talking Machine, USA, 1900s
Thomas Edison “This tongueless, toothless instrument mimics your tones, speaks with your voice, utters your words and centuries after you have crumbled into dust, may repeat every idle thought, every fond fancy, every vain word that you choose to whisper against the thin, iron diaphram.”
Forms of recording • Edison’s wax cylinders: analog recording • Berliner’s flat disk-->vinyl records • Magnetic audiotape (Germany, 1940s) • stereo sound (1950s) • digital recording (1970s) • compact discs (1980s) • audio DVDs
RISE OF POP MUSIC • Mass-marketed publishing of sheet music: Tin Pan Alley • Birth of JAZZ in New Orleans: fusing rhythm & blues and gospel into swing bands • popular vocal stars (harmonies and crooners) • ROCK AND ROLL
ROCK AND ROLL • Fused traditions of country, R&B, pop • Significantly merged music of black and white cultures in the American South • No music style has ever had such widespread impact, thanks to mass distribution techniques • Transformed the structure of two mass media industries: recording and radio
ROCK MUSIC BLURRED BOUNDARIES • High and low culture • Masculine and feminine • Black and white • North and South • Sacred and secular
A CHANGING INDUSTRY post-1960 • The British Invasion: sound recording goes international • Development ofSouland theMotownlabel • Political impact offolk rock • Punk and grungemovements • Rapand the rise of black urban style
A GLOBAL OLIGOPOLY • Recording industry generates more revenue than all other media except TV • a GLOBAL OLIGOPOLY: A few corporations control most of industry worldwide
MAJOR RECORDING LABELS • Five corporations produce 85% of all American CDs/tapes, 80% of global market • Warner • Seagram (MCA/Universal/Polygram) • Sony (CBS Records) • EMI (Capitol/Virgin) • BMG/RCA Records • “Indies” produce 16% of America’s music • How do the independents survive in the global marketplace?
How does the global oligopoly affect the kinds of music you are able to buy and hear?
The Two Great Pop Music Dreams • To start a band in a garage, write songs, perform in local clubs, and then get discovered by a major label, which provides limo rides, arena shows, parties and a big house. • Independence: to break away from the record label and go it alone. --Neil Strauss, The New York Times
What role has recorded music played in your life?Who was your first favorite group or singer? How old were you at the time? What was important to you about the music?