July 21, 2010
Ancients, Aborigines and Africans
In ancient and primitive societies music is a kind of cultural glue that fires up gatherings and rituals and embellishes the characters of myth and legend. It makes people throw their arms around each other and share the lurve - especially along with ... inebriating substances.
This remains true in modern societies, where people gather at parties and festivals or as audiences for TV or radio shows. The music they play or hear unifies their experience of shared culture. Everybody knows what's going on when they hear the Wedding March, their national anthem or Happy Birthday to You.
Australian Aborigines' songs tell people where to find food and water, and how to treat others. If these songs are not shared, people die in this harsh landscape.
Similarly, modern Western societies use music to remember the alphabet or as "My Very Easy Memory Jingle", which "Seems Useful Naming Planets". We all know the pang that inspired Yesterday and feel the injustice of The Hurricane.
Like European societies in the Middle Ages, remote African cultures have wandering minstrels who bring stories, songs and dances from other parts of the world. These storytellers are respected and bring the party to villagers in return for a chow down and some shelter.
Thus, music is just another way to capture and exchange stories and other information. It is not an end in itself - it is meant to be shared freely among the people.
This post is the summary of Part 1 of Dr Huge's "How the record industry got it so wrong". The latest version of the complete ebook can be downloaded here and a hard copy can be ordered here.Posted by DrHuge at July 21, 2010 10:32 AM | TrackBack