Music in the Information Age

Music in the Information Age

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The idea that music is information tends to turn people's heads. The art of information stands as the largest growing field in both business and society. How does the age-old art of music fit into this category? Can music even be considered information? The rising popularity of mp3's proves that people value music as a source of information. Hundreds of groups are advertising their band on the web at mp3.com, from popular music groups to those struggling to make a name in society. The web sites serve as a vehicle for bands to display their message to the public in an uncensored atmosphere. This atmosphere cannot be presented solely through record labels because the labels monitor what the public sees. Music speaks to the public through its words and sound. Musicians use the web as a source to present the information their music holds.

Music as a form of information implies that music has the ability to influence those people who listen. The record label gives the public a chance to purchase compact discs and tapes, to attend music concerts and to acquire paraphernalia to support the band. However, record labels restrict a band's ability to present a true, unveiled, and strong message. The labels keep a music group in a position where the group will attract the highest number of "customers" or "followers." As a result, the web opens a field of free advertising for these label connected groups. One of the biggest users of the web is Public Enemy, an old rap group who holds strong views. Their web site draws attention to different issues of politics and racial equality, issues that would be difficult to present with a record label dictating the ultimate end product for a band. Public Enemy, themselves, states on their site (www.public-enemy.com) that their next tour is "More than a tour, this is a campaign." The access to a huge source of information, the internet, allows the group to present true reasons for their performances. These reasons can get lost in the process of marketing, but Public Enemy grasps onto the meaning of their music, to address political issues that surround society. Their ability to advertise would seriously decrease without the use of the web. It remains the strongest and quickest vehicle for bands to release the image desired by their music to the greatest number of people.

As a result of the freedom of music and its message, the road of communication widens.

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