donderdag 4 oktober 2012

A musical campaign

On November the 6th The United States citizens will vote their president for the next four years.  Many people all over the world are looking forward to this day.   Will Obama continue his job, or is Mitt Romney going to be the new man in charge? Last night the first debate took place and it seems that the American people think Romney has won the first match.
The campaign started earlier this year. Almost every week teams of the democrats and the republicans present a new video. There are two different kinds of campaign videos. The one that eulogize the candidate and the one that tries to ruin the reputation of their rival. And there is a salient detail that many viewers don't seem to notice. The music in both kind of videos is quite specific. Look at these two examples.

  Anti Obama ad
 Anti Romney ad

Anti videos from both camps. The music used in this footage could be called melancholic, even a bit depressing. The subliminal message is obvious: when you vote Barack, the future perspective of The U.S. can’t be good (fill in Mitt if you’re a democrat adherent).

In this anti Romney ad the makers chose another tactical sound, the threatening one. Watch out, it’s coming!

So, now have a look (and listen) at the next videos.

Pro Obama

Pro Romney

What you see here are positive pictures of both candidates. The music used to amplify the effect could be called uplifting and military. Heroic tunes with marching drums give the impression of a winner. It really accentuates the message of success. 

Conclusion: music matters, as always.

First Presidential Debate 2012

donderdag 20 september 2012

New media provide new music. Or doesn’t it?

The last decade there has been a lot of change in the business we call music industry. For instance, the emergence of the internet. This medium has become bigger and faster than anyone could have ever dreamt of. Combine this with the invention of compressing music into a small digital file called mp3, and there it is: a revolution.
A revolution that hasn’t ended yet, because in the subsequent years after the invention of mp3 and internet the developments have taken place at such bizarre rates. Mp3 players, (illegal) download programs and YouTube were introduced. The only thing the old fashioned record labels could do, was watch and cry. There was and is no stopping, despite all the effort the classic music industry puts in trying to sue the modern music branch.
But what has all this modern, digital technique done to the music. So what does it mean to the artists of the 21st century? First of all there distinguished two groups of musicians: the ones that are against the digital revolution and the ones that embrace it and use it in their advantage.
A good example of a band that did embrace the modern possibilities is Radiohead. They released their second-last album online and everyone who wanted to download it, could choose how much he or she would like to pay for it. Even £0, - was fine. Whit this initiative they thwarted the possibility of illegal downloads.
Another band that owes his fame to the internet is, of course, The Arctic Monkeys. Before the radio stations picked up their music it was a big hit on internet already. After the internet success they brought out an album and became popular and noticed by the mainstream media.
So do new media provide new music? Well, you could say that. Maybe not the way the music sounds, but the way music is available: fast and for free. 

       The Arctic Monkeys, definitly more than just an internet hype.

Radiohead, you might say, the biggest band in the alternative music scène at the moment.