VIEWS: 5 PAGES: 32 POSTED ON: 8/21/2011
Authenticity in Country Music: Continuity & Change What is Country Music? Music of Rural White American people. Can still be heard in its original form in the rural southern states Influenced by Anglo/Celtic & Gospel Vocal Music About Rural American Life Hank Williams (1923 - 1953) Father of Country Music. I‟m So Lonesome I Could Cry – epitome of early Country Music (now playing) Introduction What is Authenticity? Why does authenticity matter? What are the challenges to authenticity? Is Country Music losing its authenticity? What are the likely outcomes in the future? What is Authenticity? Generic Markers A rural Pastoral image. Hay Bales, wagon wheels. Live performance. Openness of Character. Dolly Parton (1946 - ) Rapport with the Audience. Draws Attention away from her Fame and Wealth. Just “plain folks” „Jolene‟ (now playing) Generic Markers Lyrics based on real life. Wallowing in Sadness! life can‟t have been that bad! Real life has changed! Generic Markers? These generic markers were professionally marketed „Is Authenticity a Commercial Product in itself?‟ Generic Markers? Does the Loss of these Generic Markers matter? Is Country Music Losing its soul? Or is it merely losing its fabricated façade? Should these markers be considered authentic any more? Has what is considered Authentic in Country Music Changed? Authenticity is Relative. Nashville Sound came to be regarded as a “lost and valued tradition” (Joli Jensen) We shouldn‟t judge the past by the ideals of the present, Is it realistic to base our perceptions of what is authentic today on the generic markers of the past? What are the Challenges to Authenticity? How is Country Music Responding to these Challenges? Globalisation Fusion Caused partly by the globalisation of media. Nickel Creek Jazz Influence “Why Should the Fire Die?” Rock Influence Track 10 “Best Of Luck” (now playing) “When In Rome” Nickel Creek “When In Rome” Commercialisation Nashville Sound less twangy, softer, lusher Chet Atkins, Criticised as being bland, Increased air-play. “The sound of money” Commercialisation Nashville Sound Successful Artists not Authentic? “Is something made for money automatically less authentic?” (Joli Jensen) Commercialisation Something once done for other reasons is now being done for money. Is commercial music bland? “The diversity in Country Music was strangled somewhat by the formulaic approach of the record producers like Chet Atkins.” Modern Country Music Resurgence in the 90‟s “Pop music sung by people with country accents” “Not about the music anymore” production “Beautiful girls in sexy outfits” Shania Twain (1965 - ) Is she Country or not? America - Country U.K. - Pop artist. Country roots still peep through Modern Country Music Is it still country? The music has changed Song subjects, Modulations, Chord Progressions, Even Instruments. Ultimately Country music is changing. “Country” implies rural roots. Country music was never supposed to be slick and sophisticated. But does this matter? Why does Authenticity Matter? Contested Subject. Defining Country Music. Not Just About the Music. Not a music in a vacuum. Deep meaning about American Life? Is authenticity somehow tied into our perceptions of quality? One Authentic Style? “Country Music is constantly changing and growing in complexity, just as the society in which it thrives also matures and evolves” (Bill Malone) Authenticity in itself Un-Authentic Would country of Country Music The Sources music still be around today if it wasn’t for globalisation and Hart Benton commercialisation? Would country music still be around today if it wasn’t for globalisation and commercialisation? Did Commercialisation create an awareness? Globalisation does not always lead to homogeneity What are the likely outcomes for country music in the future? “Would the music lose its identity, and its soul as it gained the world?” (Malone) Or is this homogenisation leading it down the road to ultimate extinction? Will a music that cannot define itself be the first to go? Country music is about life. While there is life there is country music? But what life is country music rooted in? Will it become like the slave songs? “if music was simply a commodity, then genres would blur and become indistinguishable without anyone caring” But people do care.
"The Impacts of Globalisation on Country Music"