TED Conversations

Pabitra Mukhopadhyay


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Can music really be an industry?

These days a singer needs to be good looking because we want to see him/her as much as we want to listen to his/her music. Adele gets 'looks' related questions/remarks everyday prompting her to remark (paraphrased) ' I make music for ear not eyes.'
Music is a billion dollar industry now, having finest of technology, expertise and marketing involved. Plus every second a listener's choice is influenced by iconic star cult. It's a complex and chaotic breeding ground of innovation and business.
But one who sees music as an art may be confused in this frenzy.
Art fails when it's made with market in mind. I doubt whether music industry realizes that. Do you?


Closing Statement from Pabitra Mukhopadhyay

My conclusion: Music as a performing art is beyond economic valuation. The artful inspiration behind music is anything other than money. However, music recording, concerting, distributing in different forms of communication media can be an Industry. May be we should call it a music related industry.

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    Oct 8 2012: I guess i understand the spirit of the question but also think that it is misconducted in some way.
    I saw a picture being shared online once that kind of answer "the spirit" of this question (at least in my view).
    It shows someone holding a big sign board in front of his/her face with a message imprinted on it that says:
    "I am an artist.
    This doesn't mean i work for free.
    I have bills just like you.
    Thank you for understanding."
    Artists have been exploited by the creators of this "industry",which are economically and socially powerful people that by the use of psychological warfare, manipulates the mass to sustain it.
    As an example of what i say and focusing on the music industry only for the sake of the question above, i believe that most people that are not involved in it, are unaware of the percentage of the profit that get's in the pocket of the musician/composer, those which by common sense one would think would be on the top of the hierarchy of the production line, in reality are at the very bottom of it. I mean it's like cent's and i mean a few cent's per CD sold.
    I was born and raised in a family of musicians and became one without a choice and now at my 33, have seen and felt how much this portion of society has been harmed by this system. I'm saying that genuine artists, i mean in the sense that like my self find art as the best ability i can provide to my community, are not taken seriously as professionals due to this "industrial" system we live in. " The Ant and the Grasshopper" tale is an example that still being used to reinforce this idea.
    I apologize the length of my post also with the possible language mistakes since I'm not a native English speaker, answering this question saying
    No, it shouldn't be industrialized with the purpose of making the wealthy wealthier by the effort of the creator and it's admirers. That's when art fails when it's made with market in mind to me. We will do it for free if supported properly because we love it and you

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