Online discussion #10 (the last one of the semester!) is available for comments November 7-13. The rubric I’ll be using to grade your discussion participation is available here.


 

We touched upon several ideas that are often conflated with musical quality in class last week: financial success, audience base, likability. One that we avoided was the notion of “authenticity”—how real, traditional, or truthful a musician is. Maybe that’s a way to assess how good a musician is?

Apples and basketballs

Is Plácido Domingo’s singing more authentic than Marvin Gaye’s? Below, Domingo (b. 1941) sings an aria from Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot (1926), and Gaye (1939-84) sings The Star-Spangled Banner.

 

 

We really can’t say that one is more “authentic” than the other—they’re simply quite different because they’re operating in different worlds with different rules about what’s “right.” The singers grew up in different places, use different techniques, produce very different sounds, perform for different audiences, and wear different clothes. If Gaye sang in Domingo’s style, his listeners would likely be quite confused. Opera goers, similarly, would probably be disappointed if someone used Gaye’s style on stage because this kind of singing wouldn’t not be heard in all the seats in a 4,000-seat theater without amplification.

Aretha Franklin (b. 1942), for example, performs the same aria as Domingo did above with a microphone, takes breaths an opera singer would never take, and uses an inflection that fits her gospel background but which is inauthentic in the opera world:

 

What all this means is that is “authentic” is the sum total of all the educational systems, social roles (like how gender and disability are perceived and treated), musicking, and money making that define norms in a given place and time, and it’s socially-defined—one person alone doesn’t decide what’s “authentic.”

Tastes change

The example above compared very different genres, but tastes change wildly over time within the same genre, too. In the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, it was a common practice to castrate young boys who had excellent singing voices before they hit puberty so that 1) their voices would stay high, and 2) all the work that went into training them wouldn’t be lost in the unpredictability of puberty (boys’ voices become really unstable as the body changes—Haydn was an excellent singer until puberty, and he became a composer instead). For the boys’ families, this was a chance to escape poverty—castrati were famous, adored, and paid quite well—so this was a calculated choice, despite the medical risk and barbarism of the practice.

Farinelli
Farinelli dressed as a female character (1724)

People really liked the powerful, high pitched voices of castrato singers and thought of this vocal timbre as particularly attractive, heroic, and noble. Castrati were the rock stars of their day and were known by single names (like Beyoncé or Prince): Senesino (1686-1758), Farinelli (1705-82), Cusanino (c.1704-c.1760). People would make sure to see any opera in which these stars were performing.

Castrati were used on stage in female roles (dressing in drag) or in heroic roles (which today might now be sung by a woman, since there are no more castrati singers, or a countertenor, which is a male singer who has trained his voice to be able to sing in this range).

Castrati were also used in musical situations in which women were not allowed to sing, such as the Catholic Church. Below is a recording made in 1902 of the last living castrato singer, Alessandro Moreschi (1858-1922), who was a singer at the Vatican. It provides us a real sense of how tastes and fashions change over time—this vocal sound was once all the rage and has now fallen completely out of favor.

 

Perfectionism and listener expectations

The ascendancy and primacy of recorded music in the 20th century has changed how music is heard as well as how it is made. Improvements in microphones, mixers, and the advent of digital recording processes and editing software have all made it much easier to produce music that sounds excellent: rich, clear, enticing, and beautiful. Compare these two recordings of Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131 (1826): the first was recorded by the Léner String Quartet in 1924—In addition to the omnipresent hiss of the recording technology itself, the sound is tinny, thin, and far-away, with very little audible dynamic or timbral contrast:

On the other hand, a live performance by the American String Quartet in 2013 is clear, conveys all the nuances and subtleties of the players, and has an overall rich or round sound quality:

The 1924 recording is more likely to be authentic—it took place closer to Beethoven’s lifetime, so the chances that one of the members of the string quartet knew someone who knew Beethoven aren’t impossible. That doesn’t mean it’s a better performance or that a listener would choose it over the 2013 recording.

The ubiquity of recorded music has two major effects on how we consume music and what we expect from it as listeners:

  1. Music should sound perfect; and
  2. Music should sound perfect all the time.
recording-engineer
Inside a recording studio

When a classical musician makes an album (except for recordings of live performances), the goal is a product that is worth listening to multiple times, one without glaring flaws and that is thoughtful and interesting to listen to. The process is comprised of obsessing over details: it is a painstaking marathon of recording every sound over and over again, sometimes playing the same 15 seconds of music (called a “take”) dozens of times to make sure that all aspects of the performance match with what the musician intended (timing, vibrato, intonation, coordination, tone quality). Then, the musician(s) will select the best takes, and the sound engineer will digitally stitch all these patchwork pieces of the performance together so that every single sound is as “perfect” as it can be.

When I recorded an album last year, and we took 55 takes of one nine-minute piece of music—this is quite a small number for most classical recordings. A few weeks later, I listened all the takes and told the engineer that I wanted the first 3 notes from take 4, followed by two measures from take 15, then two beats from take 1, etc. all the way through the piece. All the takes are my playing, but I’m essentially creating a Frankenstein performance of it, choosing the mini-performances in which I best executed my intentions. (The album is available here).

A shift in the way that music is released has allowed for an even-higher degree of perfectionism to creep into the pop music industry, as well. In the past when physical CDs were the primary form of music distribution, the process of releasing music took much longer than it does now. After writing music, recording it in the studio, mixing, and editing, it would take around 6 weeks for the audio to be encoded onto CDs, CD jackets and booklets to be printed, and the product to be physically shipped to record stores. During this time, there would be a press tour to amp up excitement for the release, followed by a release party and scheduled date that consumers could purchase the album in stores. Audiences had to be patient, and artists couldn’t go back an alter their work once the marketing timeline had begun. However, most artists today rely much more heavily (or even exclusively) on digital releases of their work: uploading music to SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, or YouTube. This means that the lead time between finishing a recording and making it available to the public can be reduced to a few hours rather than weeks. It also means that artists don’t necessarily have to adhere to firm deadlines and can instead continue to alter their music as long as they like–if they push back the drop date by a few hours, a couple days, or a year, there isn’t an expensive pre-scheduled marketing campaign or tour that is thrown out of whack. An article by Joe Coscarelli in The New York Times (August 5, 2016) outlines the ways in which established and new artists use the Internet to release their music (and have the flexibility to continue to tweak their tracks to meet their perfectionist creative standards). He discusses primarily Frank Ocean but also Kanye West, Beyoncé, and independent artists:  Coscarelli, the Sudden Digital Drop – The New York Times

So what does this perfectionism do to the live music experience? On the classical side, there is a general expectation that the live performance will be as flawless as the studio version. It’s an impossibly high standard! Some audiophiles (people who love recorded sound) find live performances frustrating because the sound is imperfect: musicians make mistakes in live performances, people in the audience cough or shuffle their papers, or the sound in the hall might not be as pure as it is on their home speaker system.

Because most audience members come into contact with pieces of music first through recordings (perfect recordings!), their ears are primed to expect that every time they hear a given piece it will sound as perfect as their favorite recording. In turn, performers try to give the audience what they want: a flawless performance that matches a great recording. The problem with a flawless performance is that in order to play flawlessly, you must practice flawlessly–over and over and over again, until every sound comes out exactly the same way every single time and matches audience’s expectations. Performers are far less likely today to try something new or unprecedented on stage than they were in the 19th century or first half of the 20th century.

milli-vanilli
Milli Vanilli

The expectation that a live performance will match the crisp, coordinated, and sumptuous sound of a recorded album affects how many non-classical musicians perform, as well. Since the 1960s, the use of pre-recorded backing tracks for all or some of the sounds that comprise a “live” performance has become nearly ubiquitous (including vocals, backing vocals, instrumental tracks). There are many possible permutations of this, described here and here. To some degree this makes sense, since performers can’t dance and sing well simultaneously (think about what happens to your voice when you try to talk while jogging or doing jumping jacks). Sometimes “live” performances are completely fake, as with this list of examples from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beyoncé, Eminem, Nirvana, Milli Vanilli, Ashlee Simpson, and Jay-Z. And “Lip Sync Battle” was so popular on Jimmy Fallon that it’s now its own spin-off show hosted by LL Cool J—it’s as if we love the energy and illusion of performance but not necessarily the music making.

Smoke and mirrors

When we talk about authenticity, sometimes we’re referring to the heartfelt “self-expression” a singer exhibits—but what if the sentiments being expressed are really someone else’s creation? So much happens behind the scenes in pop music that comprises an artist’s public identity or image: making them sound the way they do by writing lyrics and producing tracks, making them look the way they do through fashion and styling, making them have a particular persona through interview coaching, scheduling appearances at certain events, creating beefs with other artists, or selling photographs to tabloids. An “artist” is oftentimes actually an army of several dozen people working together to create a coherent marketing product (that happens to include music). For example, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Kesha, Pink, Nicki Minaj, David Guetta, The Weeknd, Fifth Harmony, Maroon 5, Ace of Base, Backstreet Boys, and Britney Spears are all pop artists who present distinctly different personas and musical identities to the public, but much of their music is all written by the handful of song writers: Max Martin and Dr. Luke, often working together, or Karl Martin Sandberg. Max Martin’s writing credit discography ranges from Bon Jovi to Ariana Grande; Dr. Luke’s is similarly prolific, including Three 6 Mafia and Weezer. Other ubiquitous songwriters who have created the musical identities of headlining artists over the last 30 years include Babyface, Pharrell Williams, RedOne, Rick Rubin, and Sia.

Liar, liar

The idea of authenticity is often front-and-center in hip-hop: staying true to oneself, not selling out, or remaining true to one’s home, origins, and community.

“Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?” —Eminem, “The Real Slim Shady” (2000)

“I rap and I’m real / I’m one of the few here.” —Jay-Z, “Real As It Gets” (2009)

“First things first, I’m the realest.” —Iggy Azalea, “Fancy” (2014)

But, Iggy Azalea is liar. She has never been in “da murder business,” and she adopts an accent that places her in a very different country, ethnic group, and socio-economic class than the one she comes from.  Much of the frustration with Azalea’s posturing is that it’s an example of cultural appropriation: she wears the accent like a coat, taking it off whenever she wants, and doing so without having to bear any of the burden of the lived experiences that create that traditionally black sonic identity. When she takes it off, she gets to return to the privilege of being a white Australian woman.

But it’s also possible to view Azalea’s behavior as fundamentally the same as how other musicians approach music making. Musicians use different sounds in different settings to fit audience expectations. Is the true measure authentic identity in hip-hop—or any of these genres—not to convey one’s lived reality, but simply to entertain?

-Dr. J.

70 thoughts on “Music, cultural identity, and authenticity (Online discussion #10)

  1. Before today I didn’t know there was a word to describe why I don’t like listening to artist playing live music as much as I like audio files of pre-recorded tracks. I’m an audiophile and didn’t even know it, when listening to the recording of Alessandro Moreschi I found it annoying to listen to, it sounded like he needed to clear his throat and never did. I understand why the singing style went out of shape.

    Musicians nowadays often forgo their true identity for fame but in the past they medically stunted themselves for the chance of being famous. I wonder how far would you go or even what you’re willing to give up to have a chance at being famous in your chosen area.

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    1. I can agree that music being recorded to be perfect vs. live music, has changed our ideas of what is “better music”. When music sounds perfect we assume that it is the better choice to listen to.

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    2. I agree that a lot of musician’s record is better than the alive, and for the people who had a perfect alive, she or he had a possibility to use lip sync. I am not saying they are not good musicians, but it is kind of frustrating for me.

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    3. I think audio recordings of live performances can be great when the artist is great. A band like Green Day sounds great on a live recording, but that’s only because the band’s live performance is better than the studio recording. What are other artists you think sound great on live recording?

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    4. I agree with you talked about audiophile. Prerecording can reduce mistake and make perfect piece. However, I have different idea with you about recording of Alessandro Moreschi’s song. His song’s recording made in 1902 and I think that vocal technique and tastes for populace were not like today at the time.

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  2. The question of which artist’s/ composers are authentic or not is a difficult question to answer. I think each of these examples can be classified as authentic. Throughout the years music has changed drastically, but that doesn’t make it non authentic. Just because these are different styles and different time periods, it can’t be determined what is or what isn’t authentic.

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    1. I completely agree with you. When something is said to be authentic or not authentic, there should be a standard its measured to. However music is an art, it has different genres, and keeps changing like the people who make it. The people who make music have different inspirations, life stories, experiences, personalities and the list goes on. All these things influence the way music is made and performed. Therefore the authenticity of music is almost impossible to judge.

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    1. I think something authentic comes from the heart not something with little to no effort that most people put nowadays, and I believe that once you’re on top you have a lot of people buying what you’re doing therefore the music doesn’t matter whether if it’s good or not they know people are gonna but because they’ve built a cult or fan base of people that they’re are taking advantage of. They’re not producing art anymore they’re producing cheap imitations of art for people to buy.

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      1. I agree that authenticity comes from the heart. But who are we to say that doing something with little to no effort is not authentic. Some people may do something easier and requires little effort to do so. That does not mean their work is not authentic.

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      2. I think that old authentic music can develop or regress new authentic music. So, we can not identify if music is authentic or inauthentic. What do you think about it?

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    2. I think authentic music is made when an artist does the writing and composing themselves. It can’t be considered authentic to that artist if they didn’t even create it. Also, the music should convey some emotion or thought or experciance they truly believe and not something they’re saying just because they got payed to.

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  3. It is very clear that not all artists are what they truly are. It’s almost like they have two identities going back and forth, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It also seems like most musicians have two different voices. We expect them to sound perfect like on the iTunes tracks, but then when we hear them on stage we either think their sick, out of tune, or not the same person. The voice that they use to sing with live is their true voice and just use technology to make them sound flawless so you’ll buy their music. This false idea of perfection is what makes us think that an artist is the best singer in the world, but in reality if they don’t sound like what they sounded like on the phone then is it still considered good? For example Idina Menzal’s song “Let It Go” from Frozen sounded flawless in the movie, however when she got asked to sing it live it didn’t sound nearly the same and was out of tune. However there are some singers who can sound the same as their tracks and maybe even better. Singers such as Demi Lovato and Kesha, and many more.

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    1. Very true! What happens a lot is that singers give up sounding vocally “perfect” so they can move around and actually enjoy performing. Sure vocalist could sing their best if they’re just standing still, but that wouldn’t be very fun to watch.

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  4. The question is if your favorite artist sang your favorite song live and it didn’t sound the same way it did on the track would you still like it and still think it’s good?

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    1. Of course it is not going to sound the same way it did on the track. It is going to sound different and I think its normal. You can’t blame your artist for that and I don’t think one should stop liking his/her artist because of this.

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    2. Yes because honestly, a few of my favorite singers still sound great live 🙂 like Rihanna, Eminem, One Direction, Beyonce and a few more that aren’t coming to mind right now.

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    3. I don’t really care when they sang different in live performance, because for lot singer it happens, as long as it sounds good on the track. Like Khalid, he did very bad on Grammy awards, but I still love his song.

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  5. I think perfectionism of any music is strongly associated with listener’s music experience. If the audio of a music sounds imperfect and has flaws in it, people are less likely to listen to it. I personally, do not really like live performances because the sounds seems imperfect, and it is not as same as the audio version. I think music is something that needs perfection. If it is not perfect, the chances of people listening to it multiple times decreases.

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    1. will you still go to your favorite singer’s concert even though you know he or she is not a perfect live singer?

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      1. I would still go because it is not only their music that we like, Maybe some emotional bond could be associated with him/her and if he/she is not a perfect live singer it wouldn’t really bother me.

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    1. Honestly yes and No there are certain artist that are constantly changing their style and pushing the boundaries of music making but then you have a vast amount of artist that are extremely generic to the point where their music comes on the radio and they all sounds like the same making it hard to distinguish one artist from another.

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          1. It could be because of my listening experience. I’m not really a big fan of pop music and I think that’s why I don’t really put an effort go in-depth and listen to it more than once. However, I do feel that pop songs are becoming more and more homogeneous day by day.

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    2. I feel like this question definitely depends on the genre of the music because like i mentioned in my comment below, today’s rap music is probably the biggest culprit of this. The majority of it sounds the same: amazing sounding beat (which may sound similar to another song like it), meaningless lyrics about money and women, and many weird sounds

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      1. I know right! Some of them are totally garbage. However, a lot of people love listening to them. They move their body with the beats, they feel it inside and I think that is why it became so much poplular.

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  6. I believe that all of this has something to do with supply and demand from huge record labels who lost their way in “music”. They want the next heartthrobs they don’t want talent and that’s because we live in a shallow world that AR Managers don’t even go out to find new acts they just look up new acts on the internet. It’s easier to find someone and make a product out of them Justine Bieber for example they saw potential to make a lot of money from someone young and they knew they could make him a superstar as long as he did what they told him to do. In my opinion this is a disease in the music industry it kills how music should be. There’s no soul it’s just about the money as you can as well here in the music that most artist sing about. It’s just music that’s not going anywhere it’s contemporary. A lot of artist music have a already disappeared in the depths of contemporary modern society. Does anybody believe there’s any hope for music to be truly authentic again?

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  7. This is an interesting final online discussion because it has a lot to do with today’s music. There’s an assortment of genres that each uniquely sound. There’s also many sub genres to those main genres and a great example of that is Trap. It’s a sub genre of hip hop that’s heard most now a days by the youth and it usually sounds like the artist is mumbling which is what people would say they dislike about it. If there’s no mumbling then you’ll always hear explicit talk about women and controlled substances in every trap song literally. The instrumentation is what really determines if the song is good in that genre unfortunately but not always. They speak about expensive cars and some about murders, etc. We may not always know if it’s authentic and real but when we do know or find out then we either like that artist more or less. Music is an art form of self expression so they speak of lifestyles.

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  8. I think that the listener determines their own unique style and sound preference and that is what determines the authenticity for them. Its just the same as how people have the desire to listen to different genres. Knowing the background of the artist definitely also changes the listeners perspective for the listener and can be the difference between someone coming off as a liar or “wannnabe” and coming off as a real person. For some artists, they don’t care about their personal image as much as their persona’s image. For some it is easy to live as two different people, for others it is too much to bare. Styles do change and the artists of the time sometimes alter their persona to cater to what is in style. Sadly, I feel like this most commonly happens in today’s rap music. A lot about cars, money and talking about women in a derogatory way. Those artists cater to the people who feel like they can relate to it ( even if they’ve never had any of it).

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  9. For the audiophiles out there, Do you feel that the music put out these days is supposed to have more meaning than it currently does?

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    1. yes 100%, depending on the music, the culture of its origin, and the composer + singer. I say this because I have listened to many other music pieces from different places. I have listened to Japanese, Korean, European, (includes some German and Spanish songs) and Tagalog (Philippine language) songs and i can tell you they there is more meaning behind every word.

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  10. Google defines the word authentic as being genuine and real. And this post defines authenticity in music as the ” sum educational systems, social roles,musicking, and money making that define norms in a given place and time. But do we really have to take all those into effect to find out whether or not a music is authentic or not. If the artist of a piece of music believes that his work is authentic, who are we to tell him or her that it is not. I believe that even one person finds a piece to be authentic then whether or not a majority of people doesn’t agree, we can’r rule out whether if it authentic or not.

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  11. Entertainment and ratings I think are the major motives for music making and performances. I’m not sure if most of the music comes from the true identity, beliefs of the artist. It’s not true for all music but for most music, t’s about what’s popular, what do people like, how can I have more fans and wow bigger crowds instead of what an artist believes is right, what the want to communicate and share with the world.

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  12. I wouldn’t necessarily say I don’t like live performances by artists, but i’d be lying if I said I didn’t prefer the “perfect” audio recording. It’s crazy how a few days ago I was on youtube looking at live performances and comparing it to the original audio. I was amazed by a few sounding very similar to the “perfect” recording, if not better like Adele, Demi Lovato and Beyonce. Then I saw a few Britney Spears videos- in which she lip sync in most of her performances, and her live singing was really bad compared to the audio in my opinion. But i guess it’s understandable on why she’s lip-syncing considering she’s dancing for most of the concert.

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    1. There is a lot of singers that their voices sound nothing like the Live performance compared to their music videos. Although I have to say there are voices out there that they just “perfect”.

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  13. Since Internet and technology change our network and connection with each other, I think the level of authenticity already change. People post the photoshop picture, fake identity and so on, people like to hide their authenticity for some protection or have more the mystery feeling. For music, I don’t think is totally bad or good. Like famous singer Sia, she has a nice beautiful voice but she doesn’t want to show her physical appearance to the public and music video, because of she think the face disease will affect her audience to enjoy her music. However, she made a conquest of every audience by her voice.I think people hide their authenticity is not for bad intention, but for most time is to cater to the audience, therefore, they can get success from doing it.

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    1. And a question about authenticity, How do you think the relationship between authenticity and creativity when we take about music performance?

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  14. It is hard to tell if a singer is a lair or not. Such as the example we have in this discussion, Iggy uses a “fake” black accent in her music for some reason, maybe it is for fame or money, or maybe her voice is like that when she says rap, but we don’t know her purpose. Some students mentioned about “double-faced” singers, they are not the kind of people we thought they are, and we can’t 100% sure they are nice people. But the thing is do you really like their music? You like their music because their talent or you just like their outlook, the outfit they wear, the lifestyle they show to us.

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  15. authentic definition:
    1.made or done in the traditional or original way, or in a way that faithfully resembles an original.
    2.based on facts; accurate or reliable.
    3.(in existentialist philosophy) relating to or denoting an emotionally appropriate, significant, purposive, and responsible mode of human life.

    saying something is authentic can mean many different things without proper context what you say can be wrong and can be right. I feel that all music be it a copy or the original is authentic, if the piece of music was able to capture how the original was I feel that it is authentic. I say this because music is long lasting but how about the flesh? how about us? We are human and can never live forever.

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  16. should music always have a different beat or background accompaniment ?
    I ask this because many people say that someone copied this beat or that beat.

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    1. I mean in every genre everyone imitates the sound of beat or singing so if it has a different beat it wouldn’t sound like the music of genre it should be categorized as

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  17. I liked the section about perfectionism. I listen to a lot of different types of music and what I’ve noticed is that every genre has a lo-fi alter ego to counter it. Perfectionism in my opinion can really hurt artists. I recorded an album this August in Baltimore with guy who’s on two labels that I would say publish a lot of “lo-fi” music. What I personally learned from working with him was that music sounding perfect doesn’t make it good and that music being complicated and extravagant doesn’t make it good. In the end perfectionism can hinder authenticity. In an effort to make things perfect some artists lose what makes the song theirs, and not just a standard of “greatness”.

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  18. What truly is authenticity in music? Is it how much feelings they put on a song, how good someone sound, how true you are to your music? We as listeners and different people have our own unique definition of authenticity in music, but what about the singers? What is their definition of authenticity in music? In this reading, we had deferent styles and genres of music and way of singing. In my opinion, authenticity in music has to do with the way you sound, if your voice is your own and not temper with so it sounds good then your music is authentic. Although what I say is true, authenticity in music also has to do with originality. To sing your own song with your own melody is authenticity. Still, these days music is pretty similar when it comes to sound or genres, and that is because that what the listeners like. I don’t think it will ever be easy to define authenticity in music.

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    1. sorry guys I mean to say “In this reading, we had different styles and genres of music and way of singing.”

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  19. Do you think originality and authenticity are related to one another? Do you think that as the years go by music loses its authenticity?

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    1. Even though both words have similar meanings, they are different in one way. Original means the first which can be replicate. For example, a birth certificate is a original but schools or workplace always need a COPY of the original. Authentic means that is close a bit or equivalent to the original. Like a orchestra performing a piece from the past but can not replicate the same sound. Music will not lose its authenticity because there’s still a group of people that will listen and share with others the beauty of music. For example, people will pay more for a fresh cut steak in front of them then buy meat from a supermarket no knowing how long has the meat be out because they believe that it’s more authentic.

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  20. Would you stop listening to your favorite artist if you learn that they only perform or make music for entertainment and money only?

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  21. I feel like people don’t truly understand that amount of effort and dedication going in to live performances so I learned to appreciate them and grew to love them. There a whole different experience from there recorded pieces , neither tho there not “perfect” there still great works of art . To be honest in my opinion there’s no such thing as a perfect piece of music because now people make music with broken guitars and distorted notes and I feel that says allot about us it’s show how much we love to push the boundaries .

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    1. Not only the effort the artist put in for the show, but it brings people together. You go to concerts to have fun and vibe with friends or the strangers around you. Everyone is their for a reason, and that’s because everyone has the same interest for the artists. So thats another aspect of why live performances are good.

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  22. Authenticity is a big word I remember hearing a Eden concert live and his original voice in person was way different from his audio music being played he did not sound the same. It, Is because he uses auto tune and so does every artist in the music industry. So in my opinion nothing is authentic anymore everything original in the music industry was already made and everyone copies each other but some people make a twist to there music and find a way to make it better.

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  23. Do you guys think there are some music beats or singers that are authentic in the way they make there music and that don’t copy others? Or, do you guys believe there is no originality in the music industry and everyone copies each other because of the genre of that music?

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    1. I feel like there is originality in the industry… A lot actually. But I think the overall sound is redundant and that makes people think a lot of things these days aren’t authentic. I sometimes think people don’t like different either. For example if Lil Uzi Vert drops a single right now it’s guaranteed 5 million views, but if Tyler the creator drops a song based off of the sound of his last album it’s not gonna have the same buzz at all.

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  24. What really spoke out to me was the Liar, Liar section of this article. Being authentic is no laughing matter. When you hear rapper Nas who is giving you the experience he had throughout his hard times living in the ghetto illustrates what’s it like being real. Sometimes it’s best to keep personal information to yourself at times and he knows this. So Nas states “I never brag about how real I keep it/Cause it’s the best secret”. Nas does not need to say I am real because he knows and those around him know that he was really about that life growing up. That contained hustling, rolling dice, seeing his best friend Will get shot with Nas’s brother being with him at the time of the shooting, the clothes, and the jewelry. So being real is telling a story that comes from your upbringing as a man/women and telling the younger generation don’t do what I did. .

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  25. Do you think that art lovers encounter the same problem between originality and authenticity . People can replicate art using modern technology and print outs to create art?

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  26. These days I don’t feel like people want to hear perfect music all the time. Well, lately in Hip-Hop with the arise of artist such as “Lil Pump” and “XXXTENTACION” people accept music for whatever the artist gives them. Their songs are very distorted at certain parts, and they often times just throw things out to the public. A lot of people hear music and if they like it will really stress being sent the rough copy of the song on the spot. As an artist myself, If I record something and post a snippet of it on social media, people will want me to release it right then and there rather than me sending it to my engineer to be mixed and mastered. I don’t think people wanna hear or expect perfect as much now as they did in the past. The stress of detail on mainstream artist just isn’t the same anymore, which is why I feel a lot of people born before my time don’t enjoy music from this generation.

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    1. I agree with you entirely because these days people just go with the flow, and if the song has a nice beat, some sort’ve rhythm in words, regardless off how much sense it makes, and its catchy. Then it becomes a hit through major popularity, and the statistics, or numbers reaching peaks. Music is appreciated ambiguously. There are so many innovations, and evolved creativity flourishing from various artists. For instance For much of 2016, hip-hop music was under a microscope. As artists like Desiigner and Lil Yachty found success with seemingly indecipherable lyrics. Also artist like Ybn Nahmir, or Rich Chigga apparently were appealing to a variety of people and communities cause of their sick flows and editing through their video, and blew-up drastically.
      Reference: http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/7625631/rise-of-mumble-rap-lyricism-2016

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  27. Does anyone think its better to put as much detail as possible into a song, or stay simplistic and to the liking of the listeners?

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  28. Even if the music sounds amazing because of audio edit and badly live shows, it’s very authentic right now because more people are doing It like Mariah Carrey, lip singing over a Christmas carol and doing terribly due to technical problems. But it’s something that’s is becoming original because many artist like the Migos , Designers or any mumble rapper make hits because of all the audio edits. It’s perfect and sounds amazing to people. People find it the same after time. After replicate over and over it starts becoming original because it sounds the same to the ears everytime

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  29. It never seizes to amaze me that throughout these discussion I am always gaining new knowledge about music entirely. Dr. Jones stated,”When we talk about authenticity, sometimes we’re referring to the heartfelt “self-expression” a singer exhibits—but what if the sentiments being expressed are really someone else’s creation? So much happens behind the scenes in pop music that comprises an artist’s public identity or image.” This stood out to me because an artist, singer, or even composers, can always contain musical components from some origin. This phenomena, has been going on for a while now, and continuously displayed in various forms through media, commercials, videos, live performances, and displayed in groups in society. Some of these musician may seem genuine, but looks are deceiving because some use their own creativity and originality. These ideas correlate, or symbolize insincerity honestly in a way because artists make themselves more marketable and appealing through collaborations. For example Drake did not write all of his lyrics, this can be detrimental to his rap credibility by the people, but it doesn’t change the fact that he is still a great rapper/songwriter. He still has won various Grammies and highly compensated for his efforts. Drake as well as various artists like Nicki Minaj, and Kanye West have collaborated with many talented individuals which can alter the perception of authenticity broadly, and to a high magnitude.

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  30. I think to be authentic is to be natural or original. with that being said i believe all artist should just be them. it doesnt matter where you come from its about whats your story…

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  31. Ultimately what constitutes a true banger? How does commercialism contribute to these factor of cultural identity, and authenticity of music? Also how would compare authenticity to being accessible?

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  32. What is considered perfect music? every artist thinks that their music is perfect. there are songs that literally just scream at you and its number one on the billboard.

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  33. In the above text, Placido Domingo is an opera singer, tenor. He sang aria of Nessun Dorma without microphone. Whereas, Aretha Franklin is a gospel singer, she sang same aria of Nessun Dorma with microphone. This fact identify that we cannot judge if Placido Domingo is authentic musician or Aretha Franklin is inauthentic musician. The reason is because of populace’s tastes are different. Also, although new authentic can look like inauthentic, I think that old authentic can develop or regress new authentic. Therefore, I want to tell that we need respect and think rational way.

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  34. In class we talked about what makes music “good”. Whether it was based on how popular that artist was or how much money they made etc. I believe we came to the conclusion that it’s extremely difficult if not impossible to judge how good music is based on the questions because there’s no set standard. Our different taste, opinions, experiences and cultures affect not only how we listen to music but also how we judge it. And just like how we can’t all agree on what makes music good, it’s also impossible to decide what makes music authentic or not. I think the good think about this is that it’s not really necessary for us to agree on these sort of things. Everybody is free to listen to whatever music they want regardless of what anyone else may think of it and whether it’s “good” or “authentic” doesn’t really matter in the end.

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