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The Popularity of Contemporary Music, Research Proposal Example

Pages: 8

Words: 2160

Research Proposal

Introduction

Music is a universal language that serves the same purpose, regardless of creed, race, ethnicity, and identity. With music existing in several fields, different genres adopted to accommodate artists’ styles and moods. The majority population is inclined to popular music genres such as pop, rock, rap, and country. The drive towards specific music fields is based on culture, upbringing, neighborhood, and message within the particular song types. However, music also transforms with time, giving birth to revolutionary genres such as contemporary music relative to the modern-day listener. New music is a piece of classical music revolutionized to suit the present-day listener. Also referred to as tonal music, the genre was adopted after the death of Anton Webern in 1945 and has risen in prominence incorporating soft rock and rhythm and blues in its influence.  With the rise of pop music, many people question the popularity of contemporary music. Answering the question, this paper will look at the popularity of modern music in research carried out within different states in America. Consequently, the form will look at the case studies of famous new artists such as Chance the Rapper and Imogen Heap to establish the market of contemporary music albums.

Background of the Study

Contemporary music is a significant parcel of the music genre, with many people adopting the modern revolutionary style. Since its birth in 1945, many artists have adopted new contemporary features to complement their talents. Contemporary music is a vital feature in modern musical art with many skills. Moreover, many people have adopted liking to the music genre, with many of the new artists coming up subscribing in the process. While many people align music popularity with synonymous genres such as hip-hop, pop music, and rock, contemporary music shares a majority of followers; as such, new music artists also receive the same critique and analysis as musicians from other music genres.

Artists such as Marron5, Ed Sheran, Justin Beiber, and Michael Buble are some of the top-charting artists who have capitalized on contemporary music and experience recent success. Moreover, the new music genre has successfully shaped career paths of past artists such as Toni Braxton, Baby Face, and Back Street Boys. The following of contemporary music has led to successful album sales and career drive of different artists in the music industry. According to the Rolling Stones Magazine, some of the best 500 albums recorded included songs from B.B. King, Yola, and Post Malone record sales over the last two decades.

Methodology

This research paper adopted a systematic literature review methodology. Then rationale behind the adoption of this methodology was based on the notion that will enable the researchers not only identify, but also evaluate and synthesize relevant research work. Besides, the literature review approach is critical in answering the research question as well as validating the research hypothesis. To examine the popularity of modern music in research carried out within different states in America. Consequently, the form will look at the case studies of famous new artists such as Chance the Rapper and Imogen Heap to establish the market of contemporary music albums relevant research materials from notable data sources were selected.

Once the data has been retrieved from notable data sources such as EbscoHost and Google Scholar, the selected literature review materials will be sent to the Institution’s Research Review Board for validation. Relevant and recent materials written within the past 5 years will be strategically selected to be part of the literature review. Afterwards, there will be a need of addressing any ethical concerns that will arise by accurately citing the sources. Also, the research work will be typed from scratch to avoid issues that relate to plagiarism.

Literature Review

The literature review carried out to establish the market of contemporary music not only in America but globally.  Many artists focus on other genres as a way of generating money and popularity. As shown by the literature review, contemporary music is popular in many regions in America through topping Billboard single hits and albums and other online streaming platforms. Contemporary artists such as Chance the rapper and Imogen Heap are some of the artists, who have experienced success in chart-topping hits not only in billboard but also streaming platforms such as Spotify, tidal, and Deezer. This paper gives evidence, and proof of the qualitative survey carried out on several streaming platforms.

Chance, the rapper’s Coloring Book, managed to debut the Billboard number 8 despite not selling a single copy during its first week.  The 57.3 million streams of its first week translated to 38,000 stream equivalent albums (SEA), making it the first and only streaming album in chart history. Before Coloring Book, Kanye West’s album “Life of Pablo,” which can be considered a contemporary album, was disqualified on Tidal’s grounds, not sharing streaming numbers upon the album release. Released on 13 May 2016 was critically acclaimed as an album of the year by several critics with an aggregate such At  Metacritic, which is responsible for assigning out of 100 reviews in the mainstream publication researched from and based the album and gave it an 89% overall score. According to Aggregator AnyDecentMusic? The album scored a high rating of 8.2 out of 10, based on the critical assessment.  Consequently, the year’s album gave it a grading of 86 out of 100 as per  26 reviews it received.

According to the Chicago Tribune article written in May 2016, the music Pundit Greg Kot dubbed the album as a celebration of harmony, singing, and voices that make joyous sounds of togetherness. Pitchfork analyst Kris ex named the Coloring book as the most vital album released on the year 2016 with a spiritually uplifting message grounded on the generalization that even atheists can relate.  Writing for the Vice, Robert Christgau compares the coloring book’s vibe to a relatively cheerful, substantial vocal muscle that deploys fine instrumentals and gospel elements.

Music’s spiritual gospel elements had encouraged a stronger “vocal muscle” and controlled vocal range.  The New York Times  writer Jon Caramanica argues  that Chance had drained on the spirituality and realization of the modern West in West’s music while “blossoming into a crusader and a pop savant, coming as close as anyone has to eradicate the walls between the sacred and the secular.” He found his flow melodically and rhythmically dense yet deft and effortless while deeming his narratives both intimate and universal, touching on familial duties, violent crime in Chance’s native Chicago, and being an solo artist in the modern music industry era. In the opinion of journalist of Slate Jack Hamilton, Coloring Book was “the first true gospel-rap masterpiece.

In December 2003, Heap announced on her website that she was going to write and produce her second solo album, using her site as a blog to publicize progress. Heap sidelined herself a deadline of one year to make the album, booking a session to master the Album one year ahead in December 2004. She re-mortgaged her flat to fund production costs, including renting a studio at Atomic Studios, London (previously inhabited by U.K. grime artist, Dizzee Rascal), and purchasing instruments.

At the end of 2004, with the album completed, Heap, premièred two album tracks online, selling them before the album’s release – “Just for now” and “Goodnight and Go.”In the month of  April 2005, The O.C. featured the hooded-vocal track, “Hide and seek” in the closing scenes of their season two finale. The way was released immediately to digital download services, such as iTunes, in the U.S., where it charted and on the U.K. Billboard charts where it was 22. The track was released to iTunes U.K. on 5 July 2005 and entering the official U.K. download chart. The song has since been certified gold by the RIAA. Heap released the album on her own record company, Megaphonic Records. The album was titled Speak for Yourself.

Speak for Yourself was released in the U.K. on 18 July 2005 on CD and iTunes U.K., where it entered the top 10 charts. The initial 10,000 physical copies pressed sold out, distributed through large and independent record stores and Heap’s online shop. In August 2005, Heap announced that she had licensed Speak for Yourself to RCA Records for the album’s release in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The album was released in November 2005 and débuted at number 144 in the Billboard Top 200 album charts. In concert, Heap performed solo, controlling the sound through her laptop device, as well as singing and playing the piano and array mbira. She returned from the U.S., already having sold over 120,000 copies. Heap also announced, her return to the U.K., that she had signed a deal for the album to be released internationally, as well as re-promoted in the U.K. With a new imprint of Sony BMG, White Rabbit, run by former Sony BMG  vice president Nick Raphael.

Speak for Yourself was re-released on the label on 24 April 2006, ahead of a full promotional push on 15 May, a week after the second single, “Goodnight and Go,” was commercially released in the U.K. In August 2006, Heap performed a set at the V Festival, where it was announced that “Headlock” was to be the third single to be lifted from the album, and released on 16 October 2006 in the U.K.In late September and early October, Heap embarked on a tour of the U.K., holding a competition on MySpace for different support acts for each venue, before touring throughout Canada and the U.S. in November and December. This was her first tour of North America that included a band, incorporating upright bass, percussion, and support acts Kid Beyond and Levi Weaver on beat box and guitar, correspondingly. In December 2006, Heap was featured on the front page of The Green Room magazine. On 7 December 2006, Heap received two Grammy nominations for the 49th Annual Grammy Awards, one for Best New Artist and Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television, Or Other Visual Media for “Can’t Take It.

Discussion

From the two album projections and sales, it is evident that contemporary music not only sales but gains publicity from renowned pundits of the entertainment field. Imogen Heap’s the O.C. and Speak for yourself with the Coloring Book are responsible for aiding the respective stars to stardom. Through this research, this paper establishes that artists can develop album projects that signify the contemporary culture and still manage to a mass of followers.  Imogen Heap modern musical style involves the incorporation of features such as rock, electronic, and dance. Some of the collaborators included in the Album Jeff Beck have urban species of music such as hip-hop and theater film movies. Massive manipulation of music is responsible for the album’s success, proving that different rhythms and elements can coexist and create a friendly vibe.

Additionally, the coloring book meant to be hip hop album hailing from Chicago gives a different vibe courtesy of different producers. The album provides a gospel with feel which is enriching to other fans that do not listen to hip-hop but are gospel fans. The album targets all age groups’ races and beliefs. It is starting from the elderly who are interested in spiritually fulfilling music and the young and hippie fans interested in hardcore rap, singing, and relevant issues. Moreover, He targets social-economic problems such as the same drugs, which are meant to help those struggling with addiction.

The two new music projects are instrumental in signifying the success experienced by contemporary artists in the past and present stages. For the upcoming artists, a new genre is significant in defining uniqueness in the music approach. The main element that stands out from the two projects is their unique nature and attraction of different factors. Consequentially, contemporary music is transverse and cuts across various music fields, depending on the genre of interest. Whether slow or fast, involving spirituality or dance, the best of contemporary music held to higher standards because of the unique sound influence.

Conclusion

Many artists shun away from contemporary music because of popularity and the market. However, Chance the Rapper and Imogen Heap prove that there are a market and listeners for the modern music genre. They stick to their original music and transcend their sounds by incorporating different elements that source out other listeners. Hopefully, many artists will learn from the two examples and stay unique to their respective courses.

References List

Clarke, E.F., and Hoffman, M. eds., 2017. Distributed creativity: Collaboration and improvisation in contemporary music. Oxford University Press.

Edgar, R., Mann, F., and Pleasance, H., 2019. Music, Memory, and Memoir: Critical and creative engagement with an emerging genre. Journal of Writing in Creative Practice12(1-2), pp.181-199.

Kearns, R., Andrews, G.J., and Dunn, J.R., 2019. Placing Narrative and Metaphor in the Flow of Contemporary Music. Innovations in Narrative and Metaphor: Methodologies and Practices, p.183.

Lee Cooper, B., 2018. Top Pop Albums, 1955–2016.

Paddison, M., 2016. Introduction Contemporary Music: Theory, Aesthetics, Critical Theory. In Contemporary Music (pp. 21-36). Routledge.

Schmutz, V., 2005. Retrospective cultural consecration in popular music: Rolling Stone’s most significant albums of all time. American Behavioral Scientist48(11), pp.1510-1523.

Sernoe, J., 2005. “Now We’re on the Top, Top of the Pops”: The Performance of “Non‐Mainstream” Music on Billboard’s Albums Charts, 1981–2001. Popular Music and Society28(5), pp.639-662.

Sholl, R., and Van Maas, S. eds., 2016. Contemporary Music and Spirituality. Routledge.

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