Live Music Vs Recorded Music
Why is live music climbing up the ladder and become a continent for Recorded Music. I will be discussing both sides of the argument and attempted to come to find the winner.
In this era of the 21st century, music has taken another huge leap into the future. Music once being about profiling, reputation and recorded music. Now comes to a time where music is only good when it is live. So why has thoughts changed on music being better live then recorded? What made the public decide artists and bands can’t survive in the industry today? Would the pubic rather see a live performance then listen to the albums?
The purpose of this study is to achieve the issues surrounding the relationship between Live and Recorded music. Both inspire and influence in professional and educational settings, as well as our culture. I will study and examine the roles of each and address the change.
Live music is a performance or act of music where it is projected in front/around you. The performer will display their vocal or music ability using instruments e.g. Voice, Orchestra and any other required instruments. Live music can be heard and seen over TV, Radio and live gigs. In short terms live music is well known for not using effects and being able to see raw talent first hand.
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Recorded music is music you can find on CD’s, MP3’s and albums. It’s the artist song or instrumental recorded on to software. Where it is constructed, cut, packaged, effects added and in result a perfect sounding record that is released.
Heading right back to the days when there was no technology to record music. Music was only available live. People would gather at many destinations e.g. Parties, gatherings, hotels, clubs and hot spots to hear music. It couldn’t have been any issue for people then to listen to music that way, as it was the only source. It wasn’t until technology evolved in the 19th hundreds, the first audio recording instrument/system, phonautographs and gramophones were invented, that anyone knew any different. Of course Music then would have changed and shaped the world, as you would no longer have to travel. It would have become an exciting time in history when albums, singles and vinyl’s could be played and released. Which would go to say recorded music was on a rise due to technology or was to the public started to appreciate recorded music more?
However in today’s culture even though recorded music is evolving contently in society. With new electronic effects and making anyone sound pitch perfect. The public have a rising need for live music.
In the 20th Century it is easy to say Recorded Music dominated. With a great rise of influencal artist e.g. Michael Jackson, Queen, Elvis Presley, ABBA, The Beatles. Also television programs like Top of the Pops, The Brits, VMA’s and EMA’s. Music was 90% of the time performed either mimed or Pre Recorded. If you were growing up heavily evolved and inspired by the music industry, it was clear to see performances mimed or live. The difference was somewhat a mystery for the eye unless you did have that knowledge of both. Recorded music was all that the audiences wanted to hear, maybe that was because there was no one who was aware of the difference. Artist like The Beatles and Elvis Presley sold over 1billon records worldwide. The whole world was hooked on recorded music. Acts in the 20th century paved the way for artist of today and gave music a new face. It has always united people and countries since birth, but in this era its where things started to take off. Becoming the type of acts to cross seas and sale millions of records, recorded music was and still is evolving and unstoppable. Performers like Britney Spears, who are A-List celebrities in the music world, would always mime their lyrics when it came to a TV appearances or gig. Why was this? Surely an artist well established, loved for their music and image would want to perform live. When in actual fact the 20th century consisted of a lot of acts that couldn’t sing at all. Artist that had no vocal ability, would record music because Recorded Music could/can make anyone sound good. In that time period an artist making an appearance was enough. Still not many people knew the difference between singing live and miming. It would introduce the question, why was live music making a comeback? When Recorded Music was so consistent and has the most benefits. It is only recent that live music is been aired more with debuts like Live Lounge. Still the mass of Recorded Music is unstoppable.
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I believe the weapon Recorded Music uses to kill off live music is in the Art of Television. It was the music video which took the gold from live performances of pop music. When the attraction is more the edited and produced visuals than the music itself. With the technology and amount of visual art, it’s safe to say a live performance is only ever going to be a pale shadow. With today’s accomplishments even the terminology of pop fans are; “Have you seen this on YouTube?”, rather than “Have you listened to this?” The music video is now the door to music. Where the music has become only the furniture. With abstract and unique ideas music videos are constantly being viewed on sites like You Tube. This makes sales of downloaded music shoot up.
Classical music has always been designed for a live performance. Although it has also gone to record and opened up to vast audiences who would have never heard it live. You can’t ever forget that even the most brilliant of recordings can only be a poor relation to a live performance. Classical records can now be played in a stereo format with the feel of the surround sound. But, the music of the instruments will never affect you in the way that it would live. Musicals and Opera also sit in the same category. You need a certain level of atmosphere when visiting a live performance at an Opera House or Theatre. Of course, CDs or any other type of recording do provide hours of listening pleasure to us, and our lives. Symphonies and the vibration of music cannot be felt in the same way recorded as it can live. No matter how strong the temptation to regard recorded music as the ultimate musical experience, we must always recognise that it is only a substitute for the real thing, and when the opportunity to attend a live performance comes along, we must grab it with both hands.
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When you hear a recording, it’s there and you don’t need do anything about it. In fact, even as a performer myself, I confess to being distracted while CDs/MP3’s are playing. I set music playing with all good intentions to listen to it, then the Call of the Coffee is heard or the Ring of the Phone and your mind wanders. Those distractions do not (or at least should not) enter the concert hall where the environment is carefully crafted to ensure full concentration on the music. Only when you concentrate exclusively on the music do you really listen to it.
So why has Live Music finally made a bigger come back?
I believe live music is making a comeback because the music industry is revolving system. Back to the 1960’s where it was; R&B and Rock, 70’s; Punk, Motown, 80’s; Disco, Electro, 90’s; Pop, Hip Hop. Now in the 21st century we are constantly repeating fashion, trends and music of the 20th Century. 2004; Pop, Hip Hop, Dance, 2008; Indie, Rock, 2009-2010; Electro Pop. I t seems the industries slowly and randomly repeats what happened in the past. I think this is the same with live music. From Live Music being loved when it could only be viewed in the past. Then to Music Videos and the huge rise in sales of Recorded Music. It is only human nature to restart the course and repeat live music.
The change slowly began to start with shows like “XFactor” and “Britain’s got Talent”. With the constant scrutiny from the tabloids and the ever changing Pop world, people began to become more clued on with what live music is. After the shows live performances and search for real people and real talent, music was becoming more popular than ever. It was only till recently that the latest XFactor, where they were reported for using “Auto Tune” to try and fool the public. With tabloids and upcoming bloggers, instantly informed the public of the scandal. There for audience are become more aware of music, down to the production with shows like “Nicky Minja – This My Time is now”.
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Nowadays the audiences want talent and expect nothing but the best. With an obsession for great performers who can sing live. Music Videos were the main weapon for Recorded Music, but with new age artist like Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry. Live performances have become something bigger. Even though all 21st century artists create unique videos with the best effects and animation, they make their live shows nothing shorter then fantastic. Artist now are spending big money on concerts with gimmicks and props that fill stages the size of the O2 Arena. These concerts are become sold out in a matter of days because the fascination with live music. If there is a single being played over and over and the artist doesn’t tour or perform live, then they are taken out of the industry and dropped. Being able to sing live has become everything and it should be. Events like Glastonbury and other festivals, live music’s is being given great reviews. The numbers behind the 2009 success with the growth of live music has gone up 4%; the consumers spent £1.45billion on live music. This was catapulted up from 1.39billion in 2008. Breaking the numbers down its reported, tickets were up 3.4%. (Information found on;
It isn’t just concerts and festivals that have become more popular, but club gigs/performances have jumped on the radar to. Artist are forming and starting off in Local clubs all over the UK. A huge mass of audience are able to get to see a gig which is more affordable. There is more of an intimate feel which I show live in a small venue. The only consequence is if there is one bad performance, then it would be slated in the tabloids the next day.
So with Live Music on the rise, it seems Recorded Music and Live Music now shares the same tactics. Both have pro’s and con’s. Both can be heard and seen anywhere.
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The question that I have been searching to answer finally is;
Why Live Music is become more popular?
My answer to this question is simply to do with the media. Before Million Pound Reality shows and in-depth shows about Music production, I feel the audience knowledge grew. I also discovered the attraction to going to concerts/gigs raise. This is understandable as listing to a Record you can’t the energy and the atmosphere of the music. Concert/gigs also provide company of others that share the same love and dedication to music and various idols. With shows becoming out of this world it is only natural for people to warm to the idea of live music. If the media didn’t have such a good grip on today society, I believe music would still be in the age of recorded music and artist that appear instead of perform. A performer is nothing more and nothing less than an artist that can sing, dance and in some occasions act.
In this text I have discussed both sides of Live Music and Recorded Music. Both go hand in hand and one couldn’t survive in the industry today without both. This now gives music a great balance.
What will dominate the music industry in the future?
I can’t predict the future, but as I mentioned previously the music industry is a revolving circle. Genres will be repeated and maybe Recorded Music will rise again.