Please take some time to read these 2 fantastic pieces on the Music Consumer and the Music Mind in the Digital Age by cultural critic and essayist Eric Casero.
Not only do they offer a unique perspective on today’s music consumer from someone OUTSIDE of the music business, but they reveal links between the human brain and pop culture. Very interesting stuff.
Warning, do not read while on drugs or listening to Radiohead, you’re just asking for trouble. Try to stay away from your iPod in general.
The Music Consumer In The Modern World - Hypebot Piece
- “[American Idol’s] popularity seems to suggest that the music-consuming public is becoming increasingly interested not just in music itself, but the process that goes into creating and marketing said music.”
- “music criticism has always been influential in breaking new artists, but it seems that in the current age, this influence has become more prominent and seems to have a more direct effect on the music market.”
Mental Machine Music:The Musical Mind in the Digital Age - Popmatters Piece
- “something about the quality of the actual experience of listening to music had been altered in the movement between eras of consumption. Something, at a barely perceptible level, had changed about the way that my brain was engaging in the listening experience.”
- “No longer do we tend to afford the same level of attention to any singular listening experience. This lack of attention has manifested itself in the continuing decline of the album as our primary listening medium. As album sales continue to drop, downloads of individual songs continue to rise. The album is, of course, not only a physical medium, but a way of structuring listening experiences; albums are not just compilations of songs, but song sequences arranged in a particular order. When we listen to albums, we allow the medium to determine how we listen. In the digital age, we are becoming more and more free to make our own determinations, but this freedom carries with it the responsibility of choice, a responsibility which usurps our mental energy.”
- “The erosion of the “fan mentality” can be seen in the death of musical icons; as we begin to develop more sophisticated “mental maps” of the musical landscape, we become less and less inclined to see any single performer as exemplary, instead viewing them as a small part of a greater “musical landscape”.”
- “As technology delivers an increasing number of options for music listening, the music itself becomes increasingly dissociated from any kind of physical medium. This significantly reduces the impact that any single piece of music can have on our conscious state because that piece no longer carries with it the same cognitive connections that it would have in previous eras.”