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 10 2012: "In the talent search shows we come across artists who do covers of songs that many feel are better than the originals. If music is an industry these 'covers' are fake."
    In that case they are interpreting the originals live, when recorded they are presenting an adaptation and are charged for the rights of the song prior to start profiting from it. Just like a movie remake can't be considered fake.
    Back in the day if you wanted to listen to music, you had to go out and find a performer to fulfill that need but after the external media arrival, that access has progressively become more convenient and simultaneously out of the control of it's performers. Wealthy third parties took the opportunity to come up with a machiavellic strategy to get in between and control the threshold of access by will. And just like the OP said, back in the day they were taken care of by institutions in the name of their art and talent. Some may argue about the idols? hun? Well they are the totems necessary to keep that illusion alive in the eyes of the public so they can keep juicing. The same wouldn't be able to stick their head up without their consent. It doesn't take much research to find more talented and better looking people than the majority of them. I mean .....6 billion ppl on this planet and that's it? They need to make this astronomical gap to keep the farce alive. And the saddest thing is that they sign a enslavement contract to be able to taste the fame.

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