The Importance Of Technology In Popular Music

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Technology’s influence within popular music has been widely debated and there are many examples of the positives and negatives technology can bring. There are many cases where the advancement of technology has come under scrutiny as it appears to challenge ideas of authenticity, technique and various other complexed issues within popular music. This essay will explore why some technological developments in popular music are perceived as negative and will analyse these arguments to judge their validity and their cultural longevity.

To start, this essay will discuss the idea of music being in opposition to nature in popular music. Simon Frith in an article discussing technology in relation to popular music highlights the example of ‘crooning’ and how people can perceive this use of the microphone as an unnatural way of singing. ‘ ‘Legitimate’ music hall or opera signers reached their concert hall audiences with the power of their voices alone; the sound of the crooners, by contrast, was artificial.’1 (p.264). Within this argument there is a claim made that this ‘unnatural’ sound was or is dishonest, resulting in the audience member being misled in some way. This is an argument that could be applied to other genres of music and a more modern version of this argument is the use of autotune. This could be seen as ‘dishonest’ on multiple levels and it brings in arguments that relate to Romantic ideologies of authenticity. Similar to crooning, this can be seen as an unnatural

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