Every now and then when I am driving, I like to turn on the radio, and enjoy the diversity of the song selection. After awhile, however, I hear the rhythm and beat of the song I heard earlier that day. If I were to return to my car the next morning, I would more than likely encounter that same tune, yet again. Why? What is it about a particular song that makes me have to listen to it so much? Once is fine. Twice is okay. But to hear the same chords, chimes, and movements a few times throughout one day? Is that really necessary?
What I’ve found out is that what is popular is what is played the most. What is at the top of the charts is what gets blasted through the speakers of my car. What is “hot” at the time is what I have to engage with if I want to keep in step with what is going on in the music world.
The question becomes: who determines what is popular? What qualifications does a song have to meet in order to be played over and over again? Many people would say, we, as the consumer have the right to determine that. Yes and no. Yes; there is the occasional request hour; and yes, consumers are asked to poll what they believe is popular and what is not. More likely, though, what is played is determined by the power structures: the corporations that run the studios; the recording studios who find ways to get their client’s songs played; the promotions that are offered which necessitates quid pro quo arrangements. Consumers think they have the power, but their power is limited in relation to the power structures in place.
With all this said, we, as consumers must deal with what is deemed popular, whether we agree with its popularity or not, whether we enjoy the song or not, whether we think the song is worthy or not. We have to hear the same song over again—whether we like it or not.
On July 5th, 2016, Alton Sterling, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was senselessly murdered outside of a store, selling CDs. Subsequently, Philando Castile, of Falcon Heights, Minnesota was shot while riding in a car. We needn’t go into their backgrounds to drudge up past issues; we must focus on the their lives ending so carelessly. But Continue reading “The Same Old Tune”