Saturday, April 22, 2006

I believe in Music

In the late 80’s and early 90’s it was really difficult to find tapes of quality international music in small cities .I still remember the days when we were left with no other option but to buy pirated copies of latest music and wait endlessly for new international releases to reach India.

In fact in those DD serials like Top of Pops, Europa Rock and Grammy Awards were must watch for us. Being close to Nepal we were privileged to watch some exclusive music videos on Saturday Night show on Nepal TV. Then came Magnasound, BMG and things improved amazingly, the quality, packaging and availability improved, finally with the advent of MTV in early 90’s the entire international music scene in India changed .

Angereeze (English) Music which was passion for selected few in metros and big cities also reached to small towns from Bhilai to Gaya. Now everyone can watch the latest music videos on the TV and go for buying the music tapes in the stores. Those were the good old days of magnetic tapes. Finally CD’s started making waves by mid 90’s but still in those days it was accessible to privileged few . As a school going chap I was never able to buy CD’s since I could never afford it, so tapes remained our favorites and I still savor the gusto of listening to some good old rock and roll music in good stereo output in my walkman.

The music industry made good profits in the 90’s, riding high on the popularity of Music channels, but unfortunately the sales started to dip by late 90’s as MP3 made its way. Suddenly the music lovers found an affordable, easy and almost dream come true medium called MP3 .This compressed music format changed the way we listened, brought and stored music. Suddenly my entire tape collection started looking pale and it was tough to buy tapes as the prices touched roofs.

But on the other hand MP3 democratized music distribution and also gave the consumers lot of varied music to experiment with. Since the music was easily available via net and easy to store and potable we tried out all kinds of music. This was good and bad, good because the genre of music people listened to was now wider, bad because the sales of records fell as it was freely available on multiple music channels and also easily shared via Mp3.

Napster and other Music sharing tools created a new medium of on line music sharing and finally even that was made official by making it pay to download music. However as a music listener one has always thought about having a tool which can allow them to experiment with different kinds of music and have a recommendation on different types of music. The music genome project in which on January 6, 2000 a group of musicians and music-loving technologists came together with the idea of creating the most comprehensive analysis of music ever.

Together they set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. They ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or "genes" into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song - everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony. It's not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records - it's about what each individual song sounds like.

Over the past 5 years, they've carefully listened to the songs of over 10,000 different artists - ranging from popular to obscure - and analyzed the musical qualities of each song one attribute at a time. This work continues each and every day as they endeavor to include all the great new stuff coming out of studios, clubs and garages around the world.

I think the way music I heard and stored today (with Ipod’s Second generations) musical adventurers in the day are going to be all then more exciting. Neil young newly recorded protest album "Living with War," including a song calling for the impeachment of President Bush, will be posted for free Internet streaming next week, his label said on Friday.DOORS ,Perl Jams the classic rockers are now also joining the league. Now that artists are going to use online medium as a tool for music distribution big music companies will have to find out new ways of promoting and making money from music artists.Also to add to that you haev lot of customisation happening the way way people to radio,we also have personal online radio's now.

Nearly one quarter of frequent online music users say that the ability to share music with others is a key factor when selecting an online music service. And a third were interested in technology that helps them discover and recommend music, such as tools that allow Internet users to publish and rank lists of their favorite songs. Perhaps most important for the recording industry, a tenth of those surveyed said they frequently make music purchases based on others' recommendations.
Already artists encourage free distribution /or at nominal rates to make their music more popular and make money by going for live shows and radio shows.

So the mantra is that if you have the talent pick the microphone and get started .New age music listeners will decide who is the king.


scorpio said...

I can just sit around makin' music all day long
people who believe in music
they ain't do nobody no wrong
who knows but maybe someday
I'll come up with a song
that makes everybody want to stiop this fightin' and fussin'
long enough to sing along ...


Atul said...

Excellent and very imformative post Ajit

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sumaiya zabwala said...

good post,

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