Neder Hedfi

Student ,

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What is the future of the Music Industry ?

Most of what we take for granted in the music business today is brand new. A decade ago there was no iPod, YouTube, Myspace, Facebook or Apple iTunes store. A decade from now, the industry will be very different than it is today and anyone seeking a career in music needs to learn to adapt and exploit the trends that are shaping the future of the music business.
Does The music industry has been utterly ripped apart by the impact of technology and social media ?
And are we going to assist the extinction of some instruments ?

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    Jun 20 2013: in all honesty, there will be a move away from the digital devices and pandering for likes and views. in fact, it has already begun. telephones are terrible to listen to music through. we have the double whammy of poor digital reproduction and pathetic devices. everything has been compromised for the sake of portable convenience.

    personally, i'm not a fan of social networks and music. the idea of playlists is not something i'm interested in. i don't care what anyone else is listening to and i will not subject anyone to my tastes. thanks to iPox devices, everyone considers themselves a musician (or film-maker) but it seems to be all about garnering likes and very little listening to music. it's become a weird kind of currency.

    in terms of genres, punk is going to be the next big explosion. and i mean proper punk, not watered-down punk like 'grunge' (i like to call that pretty-punk). with many young people feeling disenfranchised and left out, this will start to come through in the music. a kind of fuck-you to the establishment and the wealthy owners of it.

    my 2 cents :)
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  • Jun 24 2013: Neder,
    was curious - did you happen to see this talk by Alex Day, 'the Future of Music'? It's one of my favorites, and deals with your comments on the digital age and the power of social media in the music industry:
    http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/The-Future-of-Music-Alex-Day-at
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    Jun 21 2013: Music Industry has two different trajectories of future where it can sustain.
    1. Weaving music with common communication of people in daily life. This is where music is stripped off engineered orchestration, machine renditions and all excesses that come with popular culture. This music will find its way into education, therapy, communication and a whole set of professionals with innovative technologies can take this oppertunity.
    2. Free distribution music that will see the end of CDs or any production and distribution medium. This music will be freely downloadable and wholely sponsored by producers of other services or goods. This may sound strange but this is possible. Take Adele's Skyfall for example. A movie production house will pay a fortune to the musicians for that kind of promo.
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      Jun 21 2013: Have you noticed Pab that some young mainstream artists in the english music world have affected to step back to an earlier era in singing style and dress or is it their P.A's and record companies wishes? Their handlers? Take for instance the young American "Miguel" who sings a song "Adorn" His style and voice is so reminiscent of the early black American motown era but i would venture to say he is bringing back the Smokey Robinson seduction to the world, there's too much emphasis on penis and ass and tits in the teenage music black American world, sad.

      We've yet to see the the true musical rising on our planet, where we celebrate all song regardless of the language it's sung in.
    • Jun 23 2013: Pabitra, if this is music's future, count me IN! :)
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    Jun 20 2013: I don't know. They say live performance of music has become more important. I believe sooner or later we will find a way to stop the ripoff of artists over the Internet, but maybe not in ten years.

    Why do you ask the question?
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      Jun 21 2013: I ask this question because I do have a fear that in 10 years or more, when you want to enjoy live music you found yourself in front a large stage and only one man with his computer, I have the fear that the next generation will not enjoy the beauty of the instruments and how to learn to play it !
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        Jun 21 2013: Well, Neder, I tend to think that the best thing is the thing that becomes popular. Therefore, if it comes to only one man with his computer, that will mean it is the best thing, and by then you will have learned to like it, I think. Anyway, some people will keep instruments alive, they won't vanish entirely. Anyway, what do you care if they only play it on computer, as long as it sounds good?
      • Jun 23 2013: Neder, this is already the case, when extremely popular DJs perform for thousands of people, they are little more than one man and a computer/turntable.

        I agree, that the importance of music is in the acoustics, the dynamics, the human element. It is what we are genetically programmed to want to hear. These days, it has become a trend to use the computer to strip away as much of that human element as possible, but I am convinced it is that - a trend.
  • Jun 20 2013: Hi Neder!
    I have so many thoughts on this, I am going to have to come back for more.
    Right now, though, I can say there will probably never be an 'extinction' of instruments, but many many many more additions, most of which 'in the box' (the computer).
    On the other had, due to the extremity of the Loudness War, I am a strong believer that with any extreme movement, there is a counter movement. We may all be singing acapella a decade from now...

    This is a great topic, I will be back with more thoughts!
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      Jun 21 2013: That's what we hope to, addition and improvement but not to replace, it's true modernity is imposed but we prefer to stick to the traditional ways so it does not lost her real taste.
      Thank you very much !
      • Jun 21 2013: My husband is a musician, a studio engineer and producer, and I'm a singer. We are both passionate about dynamic music, about the human element in music, regardless of how it's performed. We often talk about transients, and how the human brain doesn't like to hear instruments that don't sound like they're supposed to. The human brain expects certain sounds to have a certain acoustic, almost like an auditive "after taste", and when all that is removed in the studio to make it cleaner, tighter, louder, 'better' (or so they think), it is actually having the opposite effect on us.
        Music was never meant to fatigue us, to aggravate us, to annoy us. Music is personal, the fact we hear it at all is a gift in itself.

        Have you seen this talk by Charles Limb? He talks about the amazing way our brain processes music:
        http://www.ted.com/talks/charles_limb_building_the_musical_muscle.html

        One of my heroes, mastering engineer Bob Katz, explains the power, and hopefully the demise, of the Loudness War:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Fb3rWNWDA&sns=em
  • Jun 20 2013: Many creative minds don't disregard the brushes of the past while painting the future. I do not believe that we'll see the 'death of an instrument' any time soon as a result of technology. As well, these sounds can be stored digitally, essentially keeping those instruments alive in a way.

    If anything, social media is going to benefit the music industry. It allows for individuals to observe different material, more readily available, and with a bias attached(other users). Social Media, is however demolishing the old paradigms of what it meant to be an artist. What it took to become successful, and really allowing artists to generate revenue that in return helps their promotion.

    Personally, I can attribute just about every new artist that I've came across to social media. Many of which, I have either purchased music content of, or seen live.

    There's always going to be those polished big names put on by the largest record labels, have songs written for them, and so forth... everything scripted. You'll still be plagued by them on the radio and VEVO... but, now days, they're not the only ones able to generate a large following. All thanks to social media.

    I see the collapse of many business models with in the music industry in the near future. What will emerge? Meh.. don't know. What I do know is there will be much more competition, more jobs, and amazing music.
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      Jun 21 2013: besides social media you think concerts will be a big stage with one person on it and in front of him a computer ans surrounded with big speakers ? where is the benefit to the music now ?
      • Jun 23 2013: It could be, but there are still too many other musical movements and artists who will go against the grain and create. At the end of the day, music is artistry. And I don't believe that any artist would accept a confined, limited medium in which to express him/herself.
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    Jun 20 2013: Who knows? It's always bright as more young people can now by pass and go straight to the listener. I doubt if anyone can listen to one years worth of the planets music in one year, it'll probably take 30 years. One great writer said once that the simplest pop song will always win out as it is replicable without concentration.
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    Jun 22 2013: The future of music hopefully doesn't include traditional radio stations, or manufactured stars. I think the music industry is doing their best to destroy what music could be. If I have to hear the red hot chili peppers one more time on the local rock station, Im going to throw up and drive my car off a cliff.
    Techno, and all it's variations are the future of music. Follow EDM trends and see the future. IMHO.
    • Jun 23 2013: This is interesting, aj - you think techno and all its variations is the future? I beg to differ.
      Of the wide array of genres alive and kicking in the world today, techno is but one aspect. Yes, music is evolving due to technological advances in 'in the box' studio techniques, but this by no means implies that all other genres will diminish, does it? I personally believe that with every movement, regardless of branch, there is a counter-movement. Acoustic, dynamic, LP, vintage, reel-to-reel, these old-skool things are making a come-back in a big way. The future of music may very well be nothing more than the human voice!
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        Jun 23 2013: Lizanne, EDM is just my favorite type of music so I'm a bit biased. I agree with you that other music forms will remain important, it can't be Deadmau5 and skrillex for ever. But I see the trend in modern rap/pop music, pretty much techno beats with some idiots rapping to it. House music, took over the club scene, and even some rock groups are going techno. I don't feel that music being more easily created using computers detracts from the quality at all. What detracts from musical quality in my opinion is boy bands, corporate creations like Justin Bieber, and most rap. Beyond that I like most types of music.
        • Jun 24 2013: Yes, my musical utopia would look different too... ;)

          We're dealing, I feel, with two very different kinds of music.
          1. Music that is made purely with the intent of selling it.
          2. Music that is made purely with the intent of expression.

          Boy bands and corporate creations fit into category 1, and anything else that is created with passion for music, as an art form, regardless of how it's created, fits into category 2.

          My biggest problem, which I see you agree with, is that this corporate created music is what kids hear more often than anything else. It's 'mainstream', which means it's repeated to the point of exhaustion on any form of media available. It is ONLY about money, and lots of it. This music not only warps kids' perception of what music should be, in my opinion, it also takes advantage of the kids who are making it. These corporate creations are marionettes, a sad sad result of the negative power of the music industry, and when these kids sell less, they will be dumped by the label and left to recover in rehab.

          When we look at how the music industry has changed over just the past 40 years, it has done so at an incredible pace. Commercial music will always be fleeting, temporary. It is not made to last, it is made to fatten peoples' bank accounts. The future is just around the corner, and like so many bubbles in our society, I am convinced we are on the brink of another explosion.