There is a crisis facing music. The signs are everywhere, from the saturation of public space by tuneful trivia to the digital downloading controversy. Quantity has replaced quality. The number of units sold is now the criteria by which music is judged and high-gloss, mass-produced, low-content music is everywhere. You can’t shop, eat, ride a bus or see a movie without hearing it as each day you are inundated with enticements to buy it. Like the replacement of essential nutriment by junk food, music lovers are expected to surrender their critical faculties and consume the phony McMusic that can be more effectively controlled and profitably sold than the genuine article.
Callahan unravels and elucidates the crises facing music as well as its liberatory potential. The Trouble with Music includes discussions of: technology and its effects on music making and listening; superabundance and the absence of critical thought; the development of radio; music criticism; copyright; the digital domain and the Internet; labor and music making; and the special relationships among words, dance, politics and music. A large segment of the general public seeks a relationship to music and an exceptional profit for those who own and control it. Callahan provides a means of evaluating music and a powerful critique of the music industry. Whether you whistle at work, sing in the shower or conduct concertos, this book will challenge and enhance how you think about music.
Includes introductions by musician and Dischord Records founder, Ian Mackaye; Rock and Rap Confidential editor, Dave Marsh; and an afterward by Boff, from the multimillion selling group Chumbawamba.
Mat Callahan has been a composer, musician, engineer and producer for 40 years.