Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Music In General: Music Development Theories Part One


From an early age we develop our characteristics and personality. Not only that, but we also learn our early taste in music within a condensed time period. This is very important, as our taste in music is shaped as life progresses. This will inform you about our differences as human beings.




Early Age Music Developments (EAMD's)

Here is a simple fact.. Our taste changes over time. so what you listen to whilst you grow up does not stick with you, but it has a major influence on your later tastes.



- Video Game Shaping (VGS)

Very simple concept here, using 10 - 14 year old Males as an example. 
The majority of us play/played Video games whilst growing up. Some of us played different games to others, but these games have an effect on our listening habits as a teenager. One example would be the common Tony Hawk's Effect (THE). This is where our music taste is taken to the next level (after Relative Parenting, which will come next.) The music used on Tony Hawk's was addicting and new to us untocuhed teenagers. The game was great and the soundtrack is one of the entry level progressions into Punk music. In the United States, this is more evident. Skating was a big thing when I was growing up because the majority of my friends all played Tony Hawk's. Putting the THE into practise, we can find out how some people managed to transform into the Punk genre and the Metal genre of music. TH2 and TH3 both had these Punk and Metal influences, as I was only 10 years old with my PlayStation 1 when I first played TH3, I loved The Ramones, Motörhead & Del the Funky Homosapien, these were my personal favorites.
It's really when we started getting older around the 13/14 age, where we began to put what we listened to from our Games Console... and placed it on CD. Nostalgia has a really huge impact on this, which will be discussed much later.
Moving on now, without giving named examples (it isn't necessary).. Games give us a push because they are forcing the music upon us. It's almost as if our generation has learnt our basic music tastes from Video Games, nothing is wrong with this at all. 
A survey I carried out upon people of my age, from 18 - 20.. Showed what I already knew. Some bought albums themselves, others.. The parents. I asked 50 people 'What was the first album you owned?'. The three most common answers are bellow.
Gorillaz - Gorillaz
Blink 182 - Enema of the State
Oasis - What's The Story Morning Glory

Without going into too much detail, I will give a light explanation into these choices. First and foremost, Gorillaz. '19-2000' was used on the soundtrack for Fifa 2002, no end of people have commented on this before as it was the opening music. It made people want to buy the album, this was in 2002, when I was 13 years old (This album was also my first album).
Blink 182, they were the essential THE band. Pop-Punk took over in the USA and a majority of 12/13 year old's were buying this album, listening to it, then going skating after playing TH2/3.
Oasis, it's simple, Britpop was still popular in 2002. As the Post-Britpop bands were kicking in, such as Coldplay and Travis.. Us teenagers were still hearing Oasis on the radio, in the car, at football games etc.. It's hard to get away from Oasis. Wonderwall was the single everyone loved, it was the song of my friendship circle, as well as in many others.


- Relative Parenting (RP)

For most of us, our parents are the people that introduce us to music. The decisions they make can shape our early stages of development. They may not know this, but they are essentially teaching us about music. What they play, what they sing, what they hate, what they like all descends on us. It can have a Positive/Negative and an opposite affect.
(Pay attention here)
Radio is and always will be the music lesson. The presenter is the teacher. and the music is the message. This will be explained later in far more detail in the section 'Music Taste Catergories'. Using myself, I grew up in rural England. My Mother is a banker and my Farther is a surveyor. My Dad isn't into much music except Lou Reed and Fatboy Slim, those being his favorites. My Mum listens to beginner level Prog Rock, Soul & Reggae.
I was exposed to a hell of a lot of music whilst I grew up, my parents were playing Lou Reed, Al Green, Fatboy Slim, Pink Floyd & Bob Marley most of the time. What your parents listen to, you listen to. That's the true case, at an early age you don't question what makes music good, It's just music, it's played to you, you have no choice in this. That then, is the basic level of EAMD's. You then build on RP using VGS or other methods of EAMD's, which will follow.


- Race & Location (R&L)

It's a matter of R&L when it comes to EAMD's. It's a sub category, if you like.. Someone who is born Black in Harlem, has a tendency to divulge into the Hip-Hop scene, this isn't racist, it's just a common occurrence. Radio airplay in this area is predominately Hip-Hop. Parents are listening to Soul records, it all leads to Hip-Hop. It can be different however, someone in the same situation may be brought up slightly differently, who's parents listen to Classical music, his/her basic tastes are changed. Peer Response (PR) may or may not come into effect here, It depends on how strong his will to learn is. For almost every location, a similar story structure can be created. Take Coventry, United Kingdom for example. Not a huge music scene, but it has music history being the home of 2-Tone Ska. Madness and The Specials have made a huge impact to the way this location thinks and talks about music. I know people from the area who are huge Ska fans, mainly because of the effect Madness and The Specials (among others) played upon the small and usually unrecognised Coventry music scene. So R&A does have a major initial impact to your listening habits, that is widely known, it may be prejudice in some cases, but it's simple logic.


- Peer Response (PR)

This is one of the external and 'chance' ways of music learning. Friendship groups at a young age tend to be stuck together until a much older age, but as you grow older, your friends do, and we all have different levels of curiosity about music. Some more than others. This may mean one particular group starts listening to one particular type of music. With you being a friend it's only natural to conform at that age, 'stick with the trends or be outcast'.
Emo, Metal & Punk are the prime examples. That's for both Males & Females, for a friendship group who are really sporty and energetic, they may be inclined towards Rock & Britpop, but this isn't always the case. This is almost certain in most cases, R&A may play a part in this. Going back to the example of a black man born in Harlem, who is exposed to Radio Airplay (RA) and Relative Parenting.. His peer's will tend to have the same type of generic upbringing, meaning they all have the same type of curiosity. So they will enter Hip-Hop, in the circle of friends.


So these are the basic EAMD's.  This is all personal opinion and each and every aspect of what I've written above could be labelled as chance or subjectivity. I obviously cant say 'If you were in a school football team, you liked Oasis', because this may not be true. But the chances are high, that's all I can mention. A fair amount of people reading this will 'wtf?'.. This is just part 1 people. Part 2 will include research into genres and our rise to music taste through commercialism and globalisation of music.

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