THESHADOWBOX.NET

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Want some free music? Most of AFP's discography (as well as The Dolls, side-projects, and more) is available for free+donation on Bandcamp

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Is British Popular Music Becoming More Elitist?  (Read 1111 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Paul

  • ...has his baleful eye on you
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 708
Is British Popular Music Becoming More Elitist?
« on: January 16, 2011, 07:38:57 PM »

Dear All,

I have wondered for a while about what we think of as popular music in the UK. I always considered popular music as being something that is pretty organic and open in terms of background, and not dominated by particular institutions or routes of learning (like for example Magic Circle Law Firms and Oxbridge).

However, I glanced at the list of alumni for just two schools - the state/music industry-funded BRIT school (a performing arts school in Croydon, London) and the private Sylvia Young Theatre School, which seems to be a thorough who's who of current and recent pop music in the UK. These include Adele, Leona Lewis, Imogen Heap, Katy B, the Kooks, Kate Nash, Katie Melua, Amy Winehouse, Jade Ewan, Jessie J, Billie Piper, members of Morcheeba, members of All Saints and the Spice Girls, Ashley Walters, the Noisettes, Polly Scattergood and the Feeling.

While I appreciate and congratulate the success of these schools in producing a long list of successful singers and musicians, I do have the feeling that the diversity of pop music suffers if the output of a few specialist music and theatre schools based in London provides a massive selection of the musicians and stars in the charts. I would like to know your opinions...

PS: I made an error and posted this in personal life. Please can this be moved to the Entertainment thread?
Logged
The Baleful Eye has spoken..................

Morpheus Laughing

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1115
Re: Is British Popular Music Becoming More Elitist?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2011, 08:24:45 PM »

Yes and No. There have always been financial hoops for artistes to jump through to get representatives that can propel them to the top. One of these has been the need to move to a sizeable city with a respected music scene. The labels have people there that pick what they think is profitable and sign it. That is still the biggest gatekeeper. For quite a while, bands have had to regularly trek up to London to try and open up networking options that don’t exist in smaller cities.

When it comes to the music schools, the artistes are doing much the same as before. If they think they’re any good they’ll hedge their bets and hope it opens opportunities. Perhaps it seems a little bit more contrived than the image we have of people discovering something in venues but it amounts to the same thing. Motivated artistes and money motivated labels. The main difference is that the Brit school wants it's students to know music theory (rule breakers are out I guess).

I think pop variety is constrained by the need to ensure that there is a product most people can buy into. Too much variety = extra production costs and a products that are still competing for the same net sum of disposable income.

So yeah - yes and no... (And perhaps - so what?)
Logged

imaginary friend

  • Enigmagnetic
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 14905
  • up in flames
Re: Is British Popular Music Becoming More Elitist?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2011, 09:01:15 PM »

don't know...but it certainly isn't getting any better.

#@!

Andy Pants

  • I'm a Roman Candle, my head is full of flames.
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 1562
Re: Is British Popular Music Becoming More Elitist?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2011, 11:42:06 PM »

I initially thought this thread said 'Is British music becoming more popular than elitist'?

You know it probably has nothing to do with the schools themselves or what they teach, my advice is to check out whether these artists share the same management, booking agents or record labels. It could be that someone uses to school to seek out new clientele. Also popular in the music industry does not necessarily equate to successful. There are lot's of artists out there who are well known but making a lot less money than less well knowns because they signed a bad contract (or signed a contract at all). Popularity in the music industry is a bit of a smoke and mirrors game. Something else I've learned from studying music is that a lot more musicians than you would naturally assume actually went to an educational institution. I blame this on the fact that ever since the blues it's been 'cool' for musicians to seem like they developed their skills from nowhere and succeeded in the music industry based purely on their undeniable talent rather than the networking skills and knowledge of the industry they received from studying.

Not sure what point I was trying to make, but there are some thoughts for you.
Logged
reality doesn't give a damn about our plans.

Quote from: Henry Rollins
Cynicism in nothing but intellectual cowardice. It's basically you not taking the time to deal with what is

Paul Jon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 252
Re: Is British Popular Music Becoming More Elitist?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2011, 02:39:19 PM »

Safraz Mansur said on BBC2 the other night that 60% of bands in the charts now come from privately educated backgrounds. Hmm.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up