mercoledì 19 aprile 2017

Music between art and industry

Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers Orchestra
At the beginning of the Twentieth Century, a jazz genre was created in the United States of America, by the former African American slaves, and in New Orleans, in the mix of different peoples and ethnicities, they  created a new rhythm and patterns from which Twentieth century, contemporary music will be born. But also jazz music, as well as successive affiliations such as blues and rock n 'roll, hip hop, funk, funky jazz, rap, country, house music, electric music, multimedial, Latin American, world, until reaching the traditional Italian song, are always born from an inner push as a creative act that expresses feelings. Indeed, from the origins of the world, man learns to express through the use of his vocal instrument as a first approach, and then with the use of increasingly sophisticated musical instruments, his feelings such as love, nostalgia , suffering and sorrow for deprivation or great joy for the deepest happy events of life, such as a marriage, the birth of a child or the return from a war.
However, over the centuries, musicians have begun to compose their music increasingly obeying economic needs and often have to yield to pressures or blackmail by their customers.
 It was, therefore, that although composers did not have to deal with the complex structure of the society that dominates us today, music could be written and individually enjoyed for the occasion that it was composed at the level of the individual or the community; however, compositions, up to the 1700s and even 1800s, could even be copied by other authors without copyright, such as for Mozart's works that were often performed at court by composers who approached them and They spawned for works written by themselves.
 Today, however, with the industrial revolution, a composer finds himself in a society he consumes and forces him to produce more and more than simply compose, as in the past, perhaps driven by a sentiment or a request from some buyer. The industrial revolution has contaminated the music and turned the authors into producers and managers of their own, and for this they also generated enormous conflicts and legal copyright bans: just think about what has recently been concluded about the rights of the works of Giacomo Puccini contended with his family members and was the first in the early twentieth century of a series of processes which, in the contemporary era, attest to the changing perspective of music and musical production between art and industry .
 Indeed, if music is always an expression of a feeling and is composed on the thrust of a deep insight and a liberating sentiment, today, this creative initial effort has to deal with the productive apparatus of industrial society that all submits to the logic of money and of consumption. The industrial revolution tries to change the music and turn it into a consumer product. In the clash between art and industry, many young singers have been crushed and lost the lotus often by self-suppression, chosen as a manifesto of a renunciation in the name of art: Luigi Tenco in Sanremo suicides, to oppose the logic of Jury who does not feel his proper prophetic music and then discards during the initial selection. Jeff Buckley signs a massacre contract with Virgin and is forced to tour and concerts that undermine emotional balance and he chooses, no matter if more or less consciously, to swim dressed in the Mississippi River until he dies to get rid of a weight Which had turned him into a media and stage product.
 Many other renowned names of young singers and musicians have left us because of suicide, having lost the battle sustained against a devouring and violent system that is then where we live every day. Music has to become a consumer product and obey the dictates of industrial production. Great shows, shows and events testify to this transformation, from the MTV Europe Awards, to the Sanremo Festival or to the Eurocontest, won years ago by a young bearded but dressed as a woman. Everything must also be made public and fashion envelops musicians and transforms them into event makers to consume. Even opera has to adapt to the market, and then there are representations with reckless and incomprehensible realms, changes from the captures of librettists or arias performed during performances that contaminate literature and music, as happened for Verdi's works on the anniversary of the Composer, an event created by a musician and taken over by 80 television stations around the world.
 Over time, this is likely to affect the quality of music that is often reduced to a set of repetitive melodies and produced in series through synthesizers or mixers of electronic sounds. Today's music often no longer arises even as an expression of a feeling but only as a boost of desire for money.
Yet true music creation and composition is the only one that can survive the damnation of time and oblivion, and that's why great musicians are still characterized by their originality, both in the performance and composition of melodies, rhythms or words. True musical art therefore remains linked to past style while industry and business dominate a market of sounds that will not have memory.
So it is true that the industry has transformed some music into commercial consumer goods but true art can still survive the noise of machines and technology as long as it can emerge from the inexhaustible source of man's heart.

Giulia Cortella

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