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Title: Innovations in contemporary popular music and digital media, and reconstructions of the music industry in the 21st century
Author: Rambarran, Sharadai Devi Amparo
ISNI:       0000 0004 2702 4686
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2010
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The thesis investigates how certain types of contemporary popular music have played a prominent role in digital media, aided by ICTs (Internet, digital music distribution, consumption), music technology (sampling, remix, MP3) and creative artistic technology (music video, performance, virtual groups). As these technologies lie behind many innovations in popular music over the last decade, the focus, here, is on specific artists and producers who have successfully employed such technologies to compose music, and whose reception has been mixed in terms of the reaction from the industry and consumers. The dissertation, therefore, contains case studies of Danger Mouse, Gnarls Barkley and Gorillaz. The following all gained recognition from new media rather than the traditional radio plug: The Grey Album, the experimental and illegal mash-up of the Beatles and Jay-Z by Danger Mouse; 'Crazy' by Gnarls Barkley, which gained interest following a television advertisement; and Gorillaz, a virtual group, created by Damon Albarn of Blur. These projects were composed of a fusion of musical styles and visuals, and were made possible by digital technology. To understand the logic behind these projects, it is important to explore the contributions that assisted the success of the musicians in question. The cultural-social context of the music is analysed and theorized: the music and the performer (involving postmodern features such as authorship and genre-blending); its impact on the music industry (copyright, digital consumption); and the reception of the audience (digital music consumption, distribution technologies, activism). This thesis argues that the internal and external aspects of the compositions and arrangements by Danger Mouse, Gnarls Barkley and Gorillaz constitute innovative examples of contemporary popular music facilitated by digital media, and that this helped to reconstruct the music industry in the twenty-first century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available