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Globalization Important Role In Present Day Music Media Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 2630 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The process of globalization has an important role in present-day music and its realization through concerts, which through the development of the Internet and modern transportation reached such organizational perfection which could be only dreamt of a few decades ago.

Until a few years back, the main medium for transmitting music were vinyl records and radio stations. Nowadays, music from a vast variety of performers and musicians has reached maximum accessibility to the end user and it’s just a few clicks away for everyone having an Internet connection. With virtual connectivity between countries all around the world there is better recognition of diverse music genres, events and concerts.

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With that said, a good example would be the ever growing presence of international music stars in our small country of Croatia who organize their concerts and live appearances in the media. Planetary popular stars become accessible to their fans throughout the world, and being present at their concert is not longer something unthinkable and reserved for the privileged ones. The globalised world of music brought to Croatia popular stars like Lady Gaga, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Bob Dylan, Guns’n’Roses, Paco de Lucia, U2, Deep Purple, Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), Billy Idol , Franz Ferdinand, Rammstein, Nightwish, Santana etc.

Music meets charity

Live Aid is a big charity organization which organizes two yearly concerts in England and the United States, with the purpose of raising funds for the needy African children. The first concerts were held on July 13th, 1985 at the Wembley Stadium in London, England (with about 82.000 viewers) and the JFK Stadium in Philadelphia (with about 99.000 spectators). On the same day, concerts inspired by the same initiative happened in other countries, such as Australia and Germany. It was one of the largest satellite television broadcasts of all time with 2 billion viewers from across 60 countries. The event was organized by two true music visionaries and philanthropists Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. The opening line of Richard Skinner who said “It’s twelve noon in London, seven AM in Philadelphia, and around the world it’s time for; Live Aid ….” is still quoted and well remembered by people of all ages and genders. Throughout the concerts, viewers were urged to donate money to the Live Aid cause which resulted in three hundred phone lines being operated by the BBC and approximately £50 million of raised funds. The project involved notorious musicians from various countries around the world and has been a true inspiration for other humanitarian events at a global level.

Other types of collision between music and charity happen almost every day, where popular musicians donate funds for good causes or where songs are written with the purpose of helping the needy. One of the greatest hits of popular music We are the world was as a matter of fact recorded as a charity single by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie back in 1985 and with its commercial success became the fastest selling American single in history. A remake of the song was also used as a musical charity platform for raising funds for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti earlier this year, making it clear that the power of pop music can be of great use for the welfare of the human kind.

Organizations like Music Aid are vividly present in helping striving musicians from less developed and third world countries in receiving adequate musical education, projects of social awareness and art recognition on three continents. Their work was supported by the United Nations, Net Aid and a number of famous names of entertainment industry such as the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, U2, Prince, Oasis and many more.

The impact that popular music has on the society as a whole is channeled to achieving great things and helping those who need it the most, while educating and promoting social

awareness globally.

Music meets Reality TV

The first Sanremo Music Festival was held in 1951. Even though the festival was meant to become an annual event, no one could predict that it would grow to be one of the most influential music festivals of our time. There are some sources that reveal there was an initiative in the 1930s to establish a similar manifestation somewhere on the coastal area around Naples, but due to the political and economic crisis that the World War II brought to Italy and Europe, the initiative remained unsuccessfully implemented. Nevertheless, the strong Italian passion for music was predominant in organizing such a festive musical event as soon as the political situation in the country had become somewhat stable. This is how one of the best and well known music festivals in the world was created.

Festival della Canzone Italiana also known as the Sanremo Music Festival was organized for the first time in the winter season in 1951 in a small city in the province of Liguria, called San Remo. The first editions of the festival were transmitted on the national radio but since 1955 it became primarily a television event broadcasted on the Italian national television (RAI). Even though there were changes to the formula of the competition, it remained a singing competition where Italian authors present their original songs, never performed before, and are voted by the jury and the public vote. Since the manifestation fosters popular music it became one of the most important media events in Italian television and continues to raise debate with every new edition. With a rich history of performers, authors and great pop music the Sanremo Music Festival is perceived to be the inspiration for the creation of the Eurovision song contest, and sort of a starting point for popular singing competitions that we are witnessing today.

The Eurovison song contest or now known as Eurosong is a popular European singing competition featuring representatives from European countries who bring their original songs and present it to the European public. The Eurovision song contest was a very ambitious project of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) that brought together different European nations to perform in live television, creating a new and at that time technologically advanced network of international proportions. The first Eurovision song contest was held in Switzerland in 1956, where seven European countries participated with their songs. The format of the contest endured a number of changes and reforms but the basic practice of a singing competition remained the same. Each country submits original songs that are performed on live television and broadcasted simultaneously in all European countries through the EMU network. As time passed, the number of contestants became larger where from seven participant countries in 1955 there are now 34 countries in the last 2010 Eurosong contest held in Oslo. The popularity of the event is enormous and appealing to people of all ages, nationalities and professions. Because of the underlined platform of the contest that fosters light popular music that can appeal to broad international audiences and a growing tendency for strong visual performances the influence the contest had on other music, live and showcase programs is really great.

Following the same rationale of appealing live performances presented to international audiences with the help of new media and technological advancements in the entertainment industry, many new music projects came to light. The purpose of providing entertainment to a large pool of people has been one of the phenomena of modern day television and internet media, where new shows and programs capture the attention of a vast number of viewers tuning in from all parts of the world. The trends of reality television merged with the classical singing competition type of productions, creating a new form of globally present hybrids like Popstars, American Idol, X Factor, Britian’s got talent etc. These new shows have the basic features of mass media entertainment, presenting to the public real life people, their talents, their life stories, ambitions and hunger for success, wrapped in a competition type of structure that promotes popular music.

The American Idol as one of the most influential reality television franchises started in 2002 in the United States as a sequel of a British show Pop Idol. The show is basically a search for the best singer in the Unites States and features yet unknown singers who enter the contest performing popular songs and being voted by the American audience. Since 2002 there has been 9 seasons of the show, which became one of the most viewed in the history of American television. The winners of American Idol have become internationally known pop-stars with big musical careers and continued to capture the attention of public audiences with their music but also controversies, scandals and personal lives. Because of its substantial influence on the public and media in general, the American Idol franchise established a fund-raising foundation Idol gives back with the purpose of helping noble causes of fighting poverty in underdeveloped and third war countries. Other similar shows like X Factor and Britain’s got talent are created with the same rationale of presenting to the public aspiring young and talented singers who are expected not only to poses quality music talent but also personality, character, stage presence and appearance. These shows became globally followed events and reached the stages of abnormal popularity especially among the younger population and still continue to capture large audience share and knock TV ratings off the wall. Nevertheless, there is much controversy about the commercialized approach the shows use to present talented singers that often is are victims of unfair treatment and just mare puppets in an orchestrated and well staged show.

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The shows are a characteristic of the rapid raise of mass entertainment in economically developed countries like the US and the United Kingdom, but also a new must have trend in other less developed countries that try to adopt the practices of the better-off in their pursuit for achieving economic and social prosperity. Therefore, there is nothing strange in the emergence of similar reality television and music programs in Croatia and the surrounding countries, where there is a strong tendency to copy the essential lifestyle and culture features of the Western World, introducing practices seen and experienced through the new mass media. Local spin-offs like Hrvatska trazi zvijezdu and Supertalent are the Croatian pendants of shows like American Idol or the X Factor. The structure of the program is the same, the rules are very similar but the overall production is still far behind the US and UK television magnates. Most importantly, the reception of the shows in the Croatian public is good, the television ratings on the national level are also satisfactory and the huge media presence is evident. These local entertainment programs become increasingly popular in their home countries but with regional and international broadcasting establish themselves on other markets as well.

The reaction of the audience is pretty much unified regardless of the geographical position or economic status of the country. This observation can be explained by the entertainment colonization that is happening in the world where export of television shows can easily be made from one country to another, producing a new globalized culture for the masses. With the help of technology the globalization of entertainment becomes immediate and accessible to anyone anywhere, providing the people with experiences and pleasures of trivialized amusement and generating a new phenomenon that affect every single living person on this planet. The globalization through the media, entertainment and music makes it easy for cultures to become homogenous and oriented towards consumerism, always creating new platforms with greater attention capturing power. From Sanremo Music Festival and the Eurovison contest to American Idol and local productions like Hrvatska trazi zvijezdu, the entertainment and music products are being exported and transitioned to different geographical, ethnic and social structures of the population with the same purpose and with the same scope, shaping the global economy and culture all over the world.

Music meets fashion

Creating a music idol has not ever been only about the music. Stage presence and character were always the pillars of popular performers making fashion and styling essential for music idols to become stronger and better known in the media.

Starting from the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, who, during his greatest fame had very unusual and unique way of dressing, wearing fringed shirts, platform heels, and wide bell-bottom pants, tuxedo jackets, pegged pants, black shoes and white socks the world of music experienced a new transformation into visual entertainment and captured a lot more audience. With his signature red leather jacket with zippered its details, tight fitting parachute pants and white gloves, although inconceivable to some people, style of the king of pop made it to be written in musical history and copied by fans even in the present day.

Other artists in the recent history developed their own and unique styles like Gwen Stefani, lead singer of No Doubt, who in 2004 founded her own fashion line called L.A.M.B. (Love Angel Music Baby) and established herself not only as a music idol but also a noted fashion designer. Her style is being perceived as quite unusual and unique, inspired by Japanese popular culture and just adding to her personality and charisma as a performer. Male performers have been equally present on the fashion scene having success in creating new high end brands. A good example is currently the most famous rapper in the world, Shan Carter, better known as Jay Z, who is the creator of Rocawear clothing line but also a co-owner of New Jersey Nets, one of the three founders of Roc-A-Fella Records and the founder of Roc Nation. Following the trends of high media exposure and co-branding in the music industry, Lady Gaga, one of the most prominent and controversial music stars of our time, makes her success story almost unbelievable. Her public appearances and fashion ventures shock and surprise the world every day, leaving no one resistant to her style but also talent.

Regardless of their personal aspirations and ambitions, these multitalented performers, singers and musicians become real life idols, and with the help of modern media place themselves in the homes of their fans shaping their way of life. The consumerist society becomes richer for a new clothing line, a perfume or a piece of jewelry designed by a pop singer and makes it possible to the consumer to feel a bit closer to his beloved idol.

Combining new technologies, visual aids, fashion and style with the sounds of pop music and the power of the modern media, the world has become truly globalized. The world has become a place where everything is accessible to everyone, where fame and media presence can change everything, where consumerist culture becomes the only culture. Our own ambitions, hopes and dreams are now a part of a world that can from now on become only flatter. So, all those of us who dream of becoming someone must watch out for what we are wishing for because it just might happen before we expect it.

Ana Borić

Stanka Đurković

Ivana Mandušić


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