Technology's Influence In Popular Music

1573 Words7 Pages
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’
…show more content…
This is a complexed issue and again relates to the issue of authenticity. There is an argument that new advancements in technology moves musicians further away from the Romantic goal of self-expression. For example, there is a belief that a musician operating electronic equipment or equipment reproducing a physical sound is less in touch with self-expression than traditional instruments. This is clear when using the example of a drum machine versus a physical drum kit. The listener in the case of a drum machine is experiencing a reproduction of a sound in a much different way than the sound of a physical drum kit. This provides an obvious point of contention as a musician using a drum machine is not physically creating the sound that the listener is hearing unlike the act of hitting a drum. There is a perception that people can directly reproduce electronic sounds whereas the more traditional physical instruments have many more elements of self-expression as the individual is in complete control of the sound being produced. There is also a negative view in the art of performance in relation to these points and this is highlighted by Frith. ‘One reason why synthesizers, drum machines, tape records and so on are regarded as unnatural instruments in performance is simply because playing them takes little obvious effort.’6 (p.268). All of these ideas…show more content…
It is almost impossible to detach the idea of musicking from the development of technologies, whether that is the development of a cello or the invention of synthesizers. It can be argued that communities have their own rules regarding technology although we also see how technology has allowed communities to thrive like electronic music which doesn’t exist without technological advancements. Popular music and it’s relationship with technology has become entrenched in the idea of authenticity or truth, which in many disciplines has become a concept that is hard to define or achieve. In the case of popular music, it is even harder to detach as the development of technology has allowed for the transmission and circulation of music which is now, more than ever, a global
Open Document