New gadgets conduct the orchestra of world music
By The New Indian Express
25th July 2012 12:38 AM
There were always two types of music — classical and popular. While the former represented the traditional forms of the genre with the exponents striving for as perfect a rendition as possible, the popular version tended to take greater liberties with rhythm and rhapsody. Not surprisingly, the latter form had a much wider audience because of its impromptu nature that added to the vibrancy of the oeuvre in contrast to the strict adherence to musical notations which the classicists demanded, leaving only a limited opportunity for improvisation. The emphasis in either form was on lyricism.
This is less relevant in today’s world where digitalisation has paved the way for new types of music just as the synthesizers of an earlier period with their capacity for altering the beat at will tended to displace the customary, far more staid musical instruments. A somewhat imperfect parallel can be drawn with the so-called caller tunes of today’s mobiles, which are preferred by the young, which can seem like an abomination to the older generation, who may also note that this weird business of ringtones is unique to India.
Like the classical-popular divide in the musical world, another such rift has made its appearance between what can be deemed as the legitimate music industry comprising, in the main, genuine and devoted musicians, and an illegitimate industry that can accommodate anyone from a digital expert to a programmer to a lawyer to a marketer. As in the case of the other divide, the worth of the illegitimate section is much higher than that of its more respectable counterpart. While the legitimate industry has been valued at `900 crore, the second variety has crossed `2,000 crore and climbing. A person no longer has to be a musician or a music lover to enter the industry. A technological wizard can now saunter into the previously exclusive arena resonating to the sound of music.
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