Monthly Archives: November 2018

Music Consumption

The argument is, should music be free?

The simple answer is largely, no. I personally use Spotify, a streaming website/app. Every time I sit in the car, every time I clean my house, and a lot of the times when I walk into restaurants/stores/etc. without even knowing. I pay $5 a month with my student discount. Many artists have talked about how unfairly the platform pays the artist per play of the song. I can understand that but the world has become so much larger and so much smaller at the same time with the advances in technology.

A person can consume music on a worldwide scale instantaneously. I do not think I go even a single day without hearing a new song. The average price of an album is roughly $15 and buying a single song through places like ITunes is approximately $1.58. So for the same price as I pay for Spotify, I could have 3 news songs a month.

It is a game changer. The same way Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and other streaming websites are about to make cable a relic, Spotify is doing the same for music. Going to a store, buying the album, downloading it onto your computer and dispersing it to your desired device just isn’t practical anymore. Even if you were to buy it online, you are exposed to so many albums and artists, it can be hard to decide. So, the masses turn to options like Spotify.

Artists without a doubt need to be paid for their work. It’s hard to feel guilty I am 100k in student loan debt that bigger name stars are making a couple thousand less a year when they get so much for live performances, appearances, and whatever else. However, for a struggling musician trying to get their music out there, I can sympathize with the need to be paid for just the song because there is not much else in the way of earning.

Especially when Spotify’s CEO is worth over 2 billion.

The Moral Issue

Humans are opportunistic, right?


So, it is necessary for us to have things like patents, copyrights and trademarks to prevent theft. If you create something, you should be recognized and paid for it. This is how it has worked for a very long time.

Thinking back to a previous class discussing GNU Linux, this type of open source, free, unregulated system could really shake the status quo.

My father is a professional computer nerd. I don’t know exactly what he does because it is very foreign to me but he talks about how much he loves Linux.

If Linux is the great, easy to use, intuitive, and smooth operating system, then it flips the idea of copyrights and etc. on its head. Imagine the progress we could see in so many different areas if everyone could build on it. If something is too similar to something created before then it will be shot down in a court of law as not being original enough. And the original will not progress as quickly.

The moral issue of copyright is: what if the first made sucks? What if 100 more hands could build on the original make the original great by comparison? But copyright is holding it back?

Hip-hop and the 808

Hip-hop as genre is young. Many think hip-hop is an all encompassing umbrella which things like rap, ska, funk, etc. fall under. It is a very specific genre. When searching for hip-hop the earliest publication I could find was from 1984, it was titled African Music Sweeps London (AFRICAN MUSIC SWEEPS LONDON. (1984, 10). The Reggae & African Beat, 3, 27-28. Retrieved from

Hip-hop owes its origin to the Roland TR-808 drum. Hitting the market in the 80’s the drum was ultimately a failure in the market; however, its low cost made an otherwise expensive instrument attainable for lower-income households.

If you take a look at the Ngram for hip-hop and the Ngram for the 808 drum you can see the graphs rise almost in unison. The sound of the 808 drum has not died out of hip hop popularity even almost 30 years later.


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