MP3s and the Death of Music

analytical Essay
1740 words
1740 words

The MP3 is the greatest menace to music today. There’s no doubt about it. It came on the scene in the early 2000s and since then, it has completely changed how the world consumes music. An MP3 provides an easy way to have music as a digital file, an easily produced medium in which music can be shared from peer to peer or over the Internet. Music devices like iPods and Zunes have been created and modified to not only store these MP3s, but to have them available in massive quantities. A volume of music that once filled a bookshelf with vinyl LP’s can now be stored on a smart phone. But how is this a threat to music? Music is swiftly becoming intangible. The experience that physical music provided for a song is becoming eradicated, and with that, music as a personal, tangible experience is dying. Music journalism in physical form is also withering away. The MP3 has caused a decay in music as a tangible entity (CD or magazine) and has replaced it with disposable digital files and erasable pixels on a screen.

Music has always been meant to be experienced. Before music was recorded, you went out to hear music being performed in person, to feel the vibrations going through you, to see the musicians playing, and to be around life and other people partaking in the same environment. When music was recorded onto vinyl, you had to actually sit down or be near the phonograph to listen to the record. You could pull apart the sleeve, lose yourself in the carefully chosen artwork, pour over the liner notes, or simply just lay back and soak in the sound. CDs and cassettes posed a minor disruption to this because while you still get a similar experience, CD players and Walkmans provided portable listening, but to listen to either, you still had ...

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...future of popular music will be.

Works Cited

Fogarino, Sam. “Artist Quotes.” Record Store Day, n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2011.

Harvey, Eric. “The Social History of the MP3.” Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media Inc. 24 Aug. 2009. Web. 7 Nov. 2011.

Hogan, Marc. “This Is Not a Mixtape.” Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media Inc. 22 Feb. 2010. Web. 7 Nov. 2011.

McLeese, Don. “Straddling the Cultural Chasm: The Great Divide between Music Criticism and Popular Consumption.” Popular Music & Society 33.4 (2010): 433-47. Academic Search Premier. Web. 7 Nov. 2011.

Rodman, Gilbert B. and Cheyanne Vanderdonckt. “Music For Nothing or, I Want My MP3.” Cultural Studies 20.2/3 29 (2006): 245-61. Academic Search Premier. Web. 7 Nov. 2011.

White, Jack. “Artist Quotes.” Record Store Day, n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2011.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the mp3 is the greatest threat to music today. it has completely changed how the world consumes music.
  • Explains that before music was recorded, one had to sit down or be near the phonograph to listen to the record. with the advent of the mp3, this music listening experience has been completely forgotten.
  • Analyzes how mp3s remove the connection between songs that was intended by the artist. they allow us to skip songs at the touch of a button.
  • Analyzes how the decline of the album versus single song downloads has had a major effect on music journalism.
  • Analyzes how mp3 blogs have become a key example of small-scale, curated promotional model, reflecting individual bloggers’ tastes and the incredibly fast turnover of the indie attention economy.
  • Opines that the indie record shop is a global institution that reflects history, the current state, and at times, can predict the future.
  • Opines that the best way to fix this problem is to support record stores.
  • Explains harvey, eric, and hogan, marc. "this is not a mixtape." pitchfork media inc. 22 feb. 2010.
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