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> The Record Industy's Influence On Music
post Mar 22 2010, 04:17 PM
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How du you think the record industry has shaped music?
I find that the 3-4 mins that a typical single last is a result of the first recording devises lag of storage capacity. Maybe you can prove me wrong
And why does the vast majorty of blues strictly follow the 12 bar blues progression? with 4 beats on each measure (4/4)?
to make it easier for musicians to play together, or to please the audience with a familiar progression, or a third answer?
is the typical shape of a pop record something that is above culture, or are we just pleased to hear and recognise a familiar shape?

what are your oppinions?

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Saoirse O'Shea
post Mar 22 2010, 04:53 PM
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If we take the old 78 shellac format records as the base line - an original 10 inch 78 had a capacity of about 3 minutes. (A 12 inch 78 could hold about 3 1/2 minutes.) So yes that could well have had a major influence on what's become the 'standard' for pop recordings. However, it's worth noting that despite this capacity limitation that a lot of old 78s were recordings of classical pieces produced as a set i.e. one symphony might be a set of 12 78s.

With the advent of the 45 single - well by then the 3 minute would by then have become the norm. the 10 inch 78s were on sale from about 1890, 7 inch 33s weren't really commercially available until about 1948.


Shape - you use a lathe to cut the disc and as such it is easier and better to hold the cutting head steady and move the recording medium. A circle is ergonomically easier. Nonetheless with vinyl the circular shape could cause us mastering engineers issues when lathe cutting. Put simply you had to pay attention to sequencing (that's deciding on the order of tracks of an lp). Loud and busy music is reproduced with a dense and complicated groove in vinyl. As you play a record from the outside to the middle it becomes harder for the needle to track dense material as it moves towards the centre: lots of grooves too close together results in the needle skipping/skating across the record. So MEs often needed to put loud complicated stuff at the start but often a producer would want that... Nowadays the concerns for sequencing for cds is a bit different.

Again with shape it's also worth noting that in the late 70s and early 80s lots of records were produced in various shapes (there was a long period of shaped records, coloured records, picture discs and picture sleeves for singles). The groove was still circular all you had was excess vinyl beyond the groove to make up the shape: anything was ok provided that the shape still allowed for a 7'' circular lathe track AND provided the shape could fit a domestic turntable and revolve round with out hitting the sides.


12 bar blues - my understanding is that the earliest form is based on Spirituals and originally were rarely performed to audiences.

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post Mar 22 2010, 05:21 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Mar 22 2010, 04:53 PM) *
12 bar blues - my understanding is that the earliest form is based on Spirituals and originally were rarely performed to audiences.

+1 on the whole answer Tony! I really dont have anything to add except that the 12-bar form supposedly also came from the cotton-pickers singing on the fields, where they have a call-response system, singing while they we're working. It is very common ib blues that the first and second phrase is nearly identical, the comes a bridge (eg. the sub-dominant) and finally one more line. (which is often at the same melody as the first two) Its really like an AABA form within the 12-bars. I'm no professor in music history, but the AABA form might as well be developed from here.

Explanation: The AABA -form is the most common in jazz music, even early one and can be found in many pop/rock tunes as well with slight modifications.



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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 22 2010, 09:27 PM
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+1 on both tony's and Staffay's answers. I believe that the technologies that were used for storing the music greatly determined the length and possibly the structure of that music.
Regarding blues, they were singing blues and other forms long before they started to record it.

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Bogdan Radovic
post Mar 24 2010, 07:56 PM
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This was an interesting read. Music industry certainly shaped the standard for length of songs at the time and that in term has possibly shaped the songs structure... Generally we now have standard single length and standard structures for popular songs and "everyone" sticks to it... I don't know if we should or will change this in the future.

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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Mar 25 2010, 08:59 PM
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Not that it shaped it, but even created. I think that commercial music is literally "created" for particular audience!

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