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MUSI 1002
Alyssa Woods

Mid-term Review David Allen “On Popular Music in Advertising” - Adorno (1903-1970) was a musicologist at the Frankfurt School for Social Research (formed by Adorno and Horkheimer in 1923) o Adorno wrote the very controversial “On Popular Music” (1941) criticizing Popular Music. o He criticized capitalism o Marxist understanding of society o Adorno focused on what he called “the culture industry” which can be defined as follows  Made up of economic institutions  Produces forms of culture that are commodities  The commodification of cultural products leads to a standardization on these products (Adorno)  Standardization leads to passivity in consumers o Adorno believed the culture industry is successful in part because people fetishize cultural objects. o Adorno considered classical music as “serious music”  Thought popular music provided a certain “framework” for the listener to apply to the music.  Referred to the lyrics of popular music as “baby talk” o Defined standardization as: The melody and the lyric are constructed within a definite pattern or structural form  Believed popular music makes the listener “rhythmically obedient and divests the listener of spontaneity and promotes conditioned reflexes” o Adorno (1941) also believed that popular music must simultaneously meet two demands. "One is for stimuli that provoke the listener's attention. The other is for the material to fall within the category of what the musically untrained listener would call 'natural' music" o Adorno (1941) explained the subtle differences of popular music as "pseudo-individualism," or "the halo of free choice" (25) to find individual meaning in the music. - Tin Pan Alley o Name originates from the sound made by many pianos all playing different tunes in small urban areas, producing a sound similar to banging two tin pans together. o Refers to a group of New York based musicians who dominated popular music in the late 19 century and early 20 century. - Use of music in advertising o Often today we see popular music being used, with altered lyrics, to carry an advertiser’s message. o Examples  Old Navy’s use of “In the Navy” by the Village People  eBay’s use of “My Way” by Frank Sinatra o [This integration is something that Adorno would have predicted (1941) to be successful because with popular music “it would not affect the musical sense if any detail were taken out of the context”](Allen) - Standardization o Popular music is standardized in several ways  A number of types that are immediately recognizable  A small number of structures  A small number of components to each song that are interchangeable - Pseudo-individualization o The type of variation that exists between standardized products o Surface changes o They do not alter the basic structure - High Culture (Serious Music) vs. Low Culture (Popular Music) o Differences include  Degree of standardization  Level of complexity  Market context - David Allen’s “On Popular Music in Advertising” his premise: o The use of popular music in advertising is growing o Companies attempt to reach a wider audience with the use of music o Musicians seem more willing to have their music used for commercial purposes Bracket “Technology, the Dawn of Modern Popular Music, and the King of Jazz” - Before the 1920s, music in the United States primarily circulated as sheet music and in live performance - With the emergence of radio systems as in home entertaiment, the music industry created a system that defined a category of popular music as opposed to “classical” or “serious” - The decade of the 1920s is often referred to as the “Jazz Age”; however, the most popular music of the era – the music played by high society orchestras, bears little resemblance to what contemporary listeners view as being jazz. - When recording records in the 1920s, certain instruments were excluded from recordings because of difficulties in capturing their sound. o Examples include the double bass, the horn, the tympani. - The difficulty with recording is that during a live performance a mistake may go unnoticed, where as in a recording every mistake is magnified seeing as it can be replayed over and over again. Shuker Chapter 2 – “Pump Up the Volume” - “Any new medium of communication or technological form changes the way in which we experience music” - Shuker’s article analyzes the cultural implications, with brief examples to illustrate the interaction of technological, musical and cultural change. o His article covers:  Sound Production  Impact of New Instruments on Music Making  Sound Recording  Sound Formats  Sound Reproduction  Sound Dissemination - Theberge: “Technology should not be viewed in terms of machines but rather in terms of practice, in a more general sense, the organization of production and consumption.” - Sound Production o Notable events in the history of sound production  Invention of the microphone (1920s)  Electric Guitar (1950s)  The Moog Synthesizer (1980s)  The MIDI (Musical Instrumental Digital Interface) (Late 1980s) - Sound Recording o Les Paul and Mary Ford; “How High is the Moon” – established standards for recording such as standing directly in front of the microphone instead of the then standard 2 feet away o Elvis Presley; “That’s Alright Mama” – Introduced the slap-back delay o The Beach Boys; “Good Vibrations” – Utilized a huge range of instruments, including synthesizers and over-dubs o Pink Floyd; “Dark Side of the Moon” – Set a new precedent in sound recording techniques, an example of this would be noise gates which allow audio signals to be heard once they rise above a pre-determined volume threshold. - Sound Formats o “Historically, these constitute a procession of formats, though some are never totally superceded, and become the preserve of collectors: the wax cylinder, the shellac 78, the vinyl 45, the EP and the LP, cassette audio tape, the compact disc, digital audio tape, erasable compact disc, MP3 downloads. - Sound Reproduction and Dissemination o Quick look at the progression of “music players”  The Talking Machine aka the phonograph  The Home Stereo  The Walkman and The iPod - Conclusion – Pg 45 Brackett “The Music Industry Fights Against Rock and Roll” - Payola: Referred to money paid to disc jockey’s for playing a certain song or band frequently o It is estimated that over 250 disc jockeys received payola (Figure was determined during the payola hearings) - Dick Clark was the host of American Bandstand in the 1950s o American Bandstand was a television program geared towards teenagers, that played music for an hour o It was viewed that Dick Clark was receiving payola to play certain song much more frequently than others o Dick Clark’s payola system was much more complicated then a conventional radio DJ  He was “gifted” numerous songs (143 out of the 160 that he
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