"Internet changed "compositional possibilities,"not "principals,"
This was originally on the Hobo Vox blog (now closed) 08/10/2007
Simon Frith is a Rock Sociologist and journalist. He was based in Coventry from 1972 to 1987. A senior lecturer in Sociology at Warwick University, he is now based in Edinburgh. In 1975 he astonished the academic world by publishing The Sociology of Rock totally revised and renamed in 1983 as Sound Effects (Youth, Leisure and the Politics of Rock n Roll).
In Sound Effects "he challenges the prevailing view that that media conglomerates' efforts to channel and control their markets have succeeded in turning rock into simply another prefab polyvinyl product. In its place he offers a startling new argument that shows how, in the end, the unpredictable and uncontrollable contradictions peculiar to rock's audience, its uses and its very nature, both resist and support the system - and keep the music alive."
Some Interviews with Simon Frith Perfect Sound Forever 2002 May Simon Frith On-line September 2002
Below are a couple of quotes on internet compositions from the above interviews with Simon Frith provided here as 'Think pieces'. If anyone has any thoughts on how the net might change things, feel free to discuss / comment.
Internet technology has changed "compositional possibilities," but not "compositional principals," Simon Frith 2002
>From: Scott Woods
> >Date: Friday, September 06, 2002 8:18 PM
"In your recent Perfect Sound Forever interview, you said that Internet technology has changed "compositional possibilities," but not "compositional principals," and that you "haven't seen anything that's really going to shift on the whole the way that music gets made and listened to." I'm wondering if you've heard any of the recent MP3 bootlegs or "mash-ups" (i.e., the Strokes vs. Aguilera, Destiny's Child vs. Nirvana, et al.), and if so, if this has altered your thoughts on this at all? Are these computer mixes merely an extension of DJ culture, or is there any significant difference because of the fact that they're literally made in the bedroom? Also, is mixing two records together in this way to create a new song employing compositional "principals"?"
SF - From what I've heard and, more particularly, read of these they still seem examples of technology making it easier/cheaper for people to do things that were being done anyway. Unexpected juxtaposition, quotation, overlapping pieces, etc., have always been an aspect of avant-garde performance and composition, since long before DJ culture or even rock'n'roll. So this is composition and some of it is as clever, creative, thought provoking, moving, etc., as any other kind of music. But I'm not sure it's new in principal. If the key compositional effects of previous technology concerned volume (loud and soft--use of electrical amplification), repetition and layering (use of tape), I'm not sure what digital has really done, for all the rhetoric of interactivity, etc.
The Original Question and Answer from the Perfect Sound Interview
PSF: What about Internet technology? How might that effect the equation of how songs are created?
SF - It could but I think that at the moment, there's no real sign of that. It's very hard to predict with this sort of technology. It almost certainly will change things but at the moment, it hasn't changed compositional principals, it's changed compositional possibilities. People don't have to be in the same place at the same time at all. You can communicate and you can make your record 'virtually.' You can communicate directly with your audience this way also without a mediator- you can sit down, play something, put it in your computer and then someone else on their computer can download it without having to pass through any other mediator. So all those things are possible but I haven' seen anything that's really going to shift on the whole the way that music gets made and listened to. It's another possibility of communication but it hasn't happened yet where we're now communicating different things.
Comments from the Hobo Vox blog
Very interesting article Trev. Of course, if he was a blogger, nobody would really bother about his views.
I've often said the the 'rock' of today monopolised the 'disaffection resources' of the masses and directs it down elite-approved paths. A 'cathartic valve', so to speak.
Posted by: ed-infinitum | 08/11/2007 at 06:20 AM
[this is good] "So all those things are possible but I
haven' seen anything that's really going to shift on the whole the way that
music gets made and listened to. It's another possibility of communication but
it hasn't happened yet where we're now communicating different things. Unfortunately, it would be quite true to say that the internet is causing a polarisation of cultures to a more powerful eurocentric, or more accurately americocentric point. We have to consider who comes into the blogging world and the role they adopt once there. Once the young come on to the internet as speakers instead of learners, they will began to set the trend for thought. As the influence of the juvenile state of america outside and prior to the internet cannot be understated, these 'young 'uns' do not come on to the net without preconceived notions on what's 'hip' and 'trendy'. The americocentric internet further exacerbates the perspectival deficiencies that are inherited from non-digital experiences.
Posted by: ed-infinitum | 08/11/2007 at 06:25 AM