Essay: The effects of globalisation on music

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  • Published on: February 27, 2016
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In this assignment I will be discussing and understanding the effects of globalisation on music with a wider cross-cultural context.
I will be applying appropriate arguments to current business directions taking into consideration trends of globalisation.
Discussing monopolization and the sustainability of the ‘big three’ major record labels, I will explain how the dominance of these labels has had an impact on the distribution of music worldwide and what affect this had had on local cultures.
I will evaluate the use and development of technology discussing what part technology has played in globalisation.
This will include both the distribution and production of music for example recording, playback and formats etc. This assignment will also examine the opportunities offered in a global market I will cover areas such as exporting culture as a commodity, using technologies such as the internet and social media to avoid record labels and also self promotion, this will also cover the advantages and disadvantages of global activity in this context.
Globalisation is the process how businesses or other oganizations develop international influence or start operating on a global scale.
This has massively increased trade and cultural exchange around the world. Globalisation has been taking place for hundreds of years but has sped up dramatically since the 1960’s due to development in technology and transport.
Although this is helping to increase wealth in developing countries it is not helping close the gap between the worlds poorest and richest countries.
An example of globlisation in terms of a business could be Starbuck’s coffee. Starbuck’s originated in Pikes place market square in Seattle, Washington in the 1980’s.
By the 90’s there were over 400 stores within the US since then Starbuck’s has expanded and become a global icon with over 50,000 stores in over 50 countries.
In the music industry there are two kinds of record labels, major record labels and independent record labels.The main role of a record label is to discover talent, produce records, market and distribute their product in their case music.
Major record labels have a huge impact on music around the world due to the funds behind them they can afford to control the biggest artists, have access to the best recording and production facilities also the power to run a sustainable distribution system.
The majority of the music world wide is accounted for by the ‘big three’ record labels these are ‘Sony Music Entertainment’, ‘Universal Music Group’ and the ‘Warner Music Group’, these are all US based companies that control all of the major music market around the world.
Under each of these major corporations are smaller independent labels who are run by one of the ‘big three’ helping them to branch out and expand on a global scale.
For example ‘Gold Typhoon’ which is a independent label based in china is organized by the ‘Warner Music Group’. Although some independant record label’s work under major labels some are still truely independent and fuction for there love of music not just for the profit. Being signed to a independant label can alow the artist much more freedom and artistic control over there work however it is much harder for the artist to get noticed when major labels have all the power over the industry. Major label’s provide artist with more oppurtunities with their ability to get noticed on a global scale, arranging tours abroad and much more money to entise artist in also they can promote and market the artist to a bigger audiance. The negative aspects of being signed by a major label are that the artist could be tied into a contract that only benefits the company for example getting global recognision but all the money made goes straight to the company, also the artist could be told what to play and what to wear etc therefore having less artistic control.
Eventhough being signed to a record label is most artists number goal, there is ways the bypass the system and get noticed world wide and also make a profit. Home studio systems such as Cubase and Logic allow artist to record mix and master their own material to a professional standard, the use of the internet and websites like youtube,soundcloud , and social networking sites can provide opportunities for the artist to promote their material around the world completely free of charge. In terms of making profit websites like Bandzoogle makes it available for the artist to sell their product directly to their fans. Doing things this way gives the artist full control and freedom over their work they are their own boss however not having a proffessional company to promote , produce and market your product makes it very difficult to get noticed.
In the music industry technology has played a big role within contributing to globalisation. Technology has given much more opportunity in areas such as production and distribution, technology has complimented to production from the creation of high quality microphones, recording and remastering equipment and the CD-ROM this had improved sound quality dramatically.
After the 1920’s recording equipment began being used more frequently, but this equipment was very expensive and hard to get hold of it wasnt until the 1950’s that this became a lot easier to access also became relatively cheaper.
By this time the equipment was more updated improving the quality of recordings and reproduction compared to the equipment of the 1920’s.
This produced a bigger demand from studios for this new eletronic recording and production equipment, with this studios were able to re-master previously recorded material giving a much clearer sound.
Remastering wasn’t the only use of these new equipments studio’s and bigger recording companies were able to record much more music and mass produce there product easier and more efficiently.
Due to this development in music production, companies wanted to make more and more money by recording and distributing their product.
This development created more opportunities and companies started to look at new ways to distribute their records to a global market.
The development of technology in this aspect has benefited the music industry.
The development of transport has made it much easier for record labels to distribute there products around the world. Since the 1950’s and the invention of the jet engine distribution of a product has become faster than ever.
The evolution of computers and the internet has also provided an advantage of distribution for the industry, formats like MP3 has made it much easier for companies to distribute there product across the web quickly and efficiently.
software such as itunes allows people to download and purchase material with a click of a button.
Since companies arnt limited to TV and radio anymore they can now use certain websites like Facebook, Myspace and Youtube etc to promote their product by making samples of single tracks available for the user to access through these websites.
Unlike TV, Radio or billboards this provides companies to expand and promote on a global scale.
The dominace of major record labels has effected music and produced change in local cultures around the world.
the distribution of western music has altered the musical prefrence of lots of people in many non western countries for example teenagers in idia listening too eminem or metallica etc.
Distribution has not just given listeners a wider range of music to explore but has also produced influence for musicians, the difference in melody, timing and instrumentation has created more musical directions to be explored this has helped create sub genres such as ‘world beat’ which has been influenced by both electronic music from western countries and tradition bhangra music from India.
Some people will agrue that western music is diluting traditional world music and steering it away from its roots and suffering as a result taking away the authenticity and distorting the cutlure, although the link between western and non western countries works both ways, artists in non western countries can benefits from getting there music recognised in western countries increasing their popularity and fan based.
In this assignment i have disscussed the effects of globalisation on music with a wider cross-cultural context.
I described current business directions taking into consideration trends of globalisation.
I refered to monopolization and the sustainability of the ‘big three’ major record labels, I explained how the dominance of these labels has an impact on the distribution of music worldwide and what affect this has on local cultures.
I evaluated the use and development of technology and discussed what part technology has played in globalisation.
Including both the distribution and production of music for example recording, playback and formats etc. This assignment also examined the opportunities offered in a global market i covered areas such as exporting culture as a commodity, using technologies such as the internet and social media to avoid record labels and also self promotion, this also covered the advantages and disadvantages of global activity in this context.

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