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Yung's Music Industry Blog

Archive for May 2nd, 2010


Journal Entry #5: MTV and Technology

In order to understand Music Television, we must understand the uses of the Television as a medium at home. Television, unlike going to a theatre and watching a movie, was about glancing compared to where movies were about gazing into a big screen in a dark room. Music Television, back when I remembered it, was a way for me to be able to listen to music at home with the TV on while I was doing something else. The idea of glancing is that MTV provided a way of background music around the house while people were doing chores or whatever it is. And because music videos don’t require a massive amount of focus like watching a movie, we are able to glance over and catch bits of images while the song was playing. It was also a way for artists to create visual elements to accompany their music and it was always part of social culture where people would ask me “Hey did you see so-and-so’s music video?”

Through music television, people were able to identify artists through their musical creations and also visual creations. An example of this would be some of Evanescence’s videos, where some of it regarded more “dark/gothic” subject matters. Sometimes the music video would show a visual story while the music took over as a type of narration – but that was how Amy Lee was able to project the image she wanted people to associate with her. She was not the typical pop singer but rather a more dark and more rock-like female singer that touched on subject matters such as depression and loneliness. For most artists, MTV provided a way for artists to create visual art that was based on their music. The idea of incorporating music and visual narratives were all made possible by the creation of music television and it also made artist promotions possible.

Millard touched upon many new technologies that significantly changed our culture and way of watching and listening. An example would be how Television has changed since the 50s where television was a way of uniting a nuclear family in the living room to TV stoves for stay-at-home housewives, to plasma, hi-definition and now using the itouch or iphone as a portable handheld TV. New technologies would surpass older ones and old mediums needed to re-invent themselves. And now, digital technology has made it possible for people to download or stream songs and videos via the internet. This, however, has brought different types of media that isolated to the individual in my opinion. Music, back in the earliest days of western art music, was heard in a community setting where individuals came together for it in order to hear a performance. Now, music has come to the individual where we are able to simply turn on our ipods, plug in our earphones and we are already in our own world. I believe this type of technological advancement has caused people to isolate themselves where music and movies is about an individual experience rather than a group experience. In my opinion, I appreciate live performances more because we are able to experience it with a group of people where we can offer feedback and have some kind of interaction. Recorded music on the other hand becomes less authentic as we are able to play it back the same way, over and over, through a new technology / medium. However, there are also most positive aspects of new technology in that we are able to take it anywhere with us because it is convenient and portable. Therefore, new technologies make it easily available (to some extent) to more people and music becomes more intimate and involved in our daily lives.


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