Pros & Cons of Mass Media

We always hear about how TV is rotting our brains and video games making us violent, but lets take a step back and get an unbiased perspective shall we?

Pros

I think the biggest pro of mass media is the ability for shared experience. It makes the world feel smaller because we have shared experiences and references strengthening the culture as a whole.

Another major pro is the exposure for the arts and an outlet for those creative minds. Mass media also encourages collaboration which is necessary for the evolution of art.

Also,according to  the book “What’s Bad is Good for You” by Steven Johnson, he believes that the complex subplots and mechanics of video games, TV, etc help our critical thinking faculties and mental health overall.

Cons

Sadly, this connectivity comes at a cost. The major con I see with Mass media is the weakness with an system, it’s too rigid. Since, a lot of many for a lot of people are involved many of the innovations are sedated for profit. This not only makes the companies and artist unmotivated to change, but it also makes consumers numb. This is why there are so many reboots and sequels that sell and tend to disappoint most people.

The final con is geared towards informational rather than artistic media. Mass media has the power of misinformation and sensationalization. News outlets have to ability to  cause mass panic or distract the people from problems at hand. Although, it does have to power to unite, it usually doesn’t help the rating which is why it doesn’t happen often.

There’s my thoughts on the Pros and Cons of Mass Media.

Check out my other articles or my YouTube channel for more content.

Further Reading

The Death of the Facebook Like Pages

Journal Entry 12/07/2015

Weird Genres: Abstract Hip-Hop?

Advanced Music Theory – Measure Grid

As a composer I’ve found the current system of writing music perfect for playing music but conveys little about the music theory structure. I usually make graphs and charts in graph paper notebook, but I decided to take my work to excel and made this little beauty. Let me know what you think. I’ve never explained this before so if you have any questions leave a comment

What is this?

Wonder what this is and what it has to do with music? Stay tuned I’m in the process of making a video explaining soon. in the meantime make your best guess in the comments or check out some of my other videos embedded below.

Measure Grid

Music as Language: The Parallels of Linguistics and Music

Before I got into music composition, I wanted to be a linguist. I didn’t necessarily want to learn the language itself, but the structures and rule that governed language and language change thoroughly interested me. For years I’ve heard music is the “Universal Language” or something along those lines and you’d be surprised how close this statement is to the truth.

Phonetics: The Acoustics of Language

Acoustics is essentially the study of wave phenomenon, usually sound since it’s the easiest to reproduce and observe.  It’s like Physics for sound. In linguistics, this is paralleled by the branch called phonetics. They study the acoustical properties of sounds used in human speech. They also study how sounds are articulated and how they are perceived.

Phonology: The “Music Theory” of Language

Music theory is a study and classification of common structures that occur across different songs. Phonology does the same but with languages. They study how sounds are group together and organized in a given language. Phonologists study the phonotactics, or rules and constraints for how sounds can occur in the syllables. Phonologist also study the “prosody” or quality of a sound. This includes its stress, intonation, and pitch, all three of these also important for analyzing music as well.

Grammar: The “Music Composition” of Language

Music composition is how different musical motifs and phrases are placed together to create a unified whole. In language this is reflected in grammar, which is the study of the rules that govern how words and phrases can be combined to create sentences.

There’s a lot more I could go into, but for now I’ll leave it simple.

Check out Yesterday’s article on my musical ideals or check out my Youtube playlist where I post a daily short musical piece as practice.

Ideal Music: Melody

For an artist to understand his craft he has to have a vision or ideal of what he thinks music should sounds like. I’ve been thinking over this for the last week so I decided to write a couple of blog post describing what my ideal music should sound like.

I’ll start with melody which is the most important element of music. (at least in my ears) When people hear songs they usually hum back the melody. For me a melody line has to have these features.

  • Unique yet memorable: Melodies should be unique, yet memorable. Have you ever heard a song that you loved the melody yet couldn’t remember the song 2 minutes after listening. That’s a unique melody with out memorable parts.
  • Flowing Movement: Melodies should move, but in a flowing way with very few note leaps (unless to set a specific mood),
  • Transformation: Melodies should move and transform into other melodies to keep the song from getting stale yet have a related stem that bring them all. Classical music usually takes transformation to its extreme making it difficult for average people to follow, but Pop & Hip hop music tends to lack this feature repeating a phrase multiple times with little or no variation. Ideally there should be a balance between movement and stable parts.

 

There we go my ideals on melody. I’ll probably revisit this late, but for now next time I’ll be writing my ideals on Harmony & Accompaniment.

Don’t forget to check out my playlist for my “Daily Music Making Challenge” Where make a short 1 or 2 minute instrumental a day

Is Pop music holding you hostage?

So I was watching the idea channel on YouTube and they ask an interesting question, Do you like pop music because you genuinely like it or because you have been convinced to like it through marketing. It’s a very interesting conversation. I do believe the current model of how music is marketed is a little annoying. They play the same 10 or so songs every hour on radio cycles. (When I was in 7th grade I used to always wait an hour to listen to “Sugar We’re Going Down” by Fall Out Boy on the Radio. It never failed) Then spam the songs every where else, such as TV, retail etc. I say it’s like the child who tries to get his parents attention with by repeatedly poking them and annoying them. What do you think?

Ear Training Day 26 & 27 – Melody Training

Late night at work last night by here’s Ear training day 26 & 27. Today I’m trying something new the melody exercises! It’s like the melodic intervals listening to 3 or more successive notes and guessing the distances. Even though I’m great at melodic intervals this is a challenge which I have accepted and will conquer!

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Ear Training 17 & 18 – Chord Progressions

Hey guys! Didn’t get to post my ear training results to wordpress because I didn’t get to my computer after work until it was really late but I did post to instagram (@jamesrevelscomposer) if you want to see the ear training results fresh off the press.

So I’ve been doing doing chord progression recognition of the Major scale particularly the I,ii,IV,V scale degrees. Yesterday I got a 65% which was a huge jump from the 48% I had but today I normalized with a 56% with my goal for each type of training being 90% I still have looads of work to do

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