Taste

 

 

Elana Levine and Michael Newman discuss the concept of taste and the way that it shapes culture through what people prefer and consume on a daily basis. They quote Immanuel Kant as he “equated taste with the judgement of beauty.” In other words, the decisions that we make on what to eat, wear, listen to, watch etc. are based on what we believe is beautiful in the world which refers to our “tastes.” However, who is deciding what is beautiful? Is it a personal choice or is it something that is fed to us through our society? Negus writes about his experience in the music industry in his book Music Genres and Corporate Cultures. In the music industry, decisions are constantly being made about what artists to sign based on the tastes of audiences or based on what they judge to be “beautiful.” He says that “individual preferences were often eclectic, defying any simple association about a direct connection between musical “taste” and social identities.” Music is an example of how other decisions shape our identities. For people in the music industry, they are making decisions about what the audiences judge as beautiful. On the other side, the audiences are only making opinions about the music that they are exposed to. But are either of these groups making this decisions base on their own taste or are they being molded by each other, the media and others to decide what is beautiful? Most of the “successful” music that is on our top radio stations is catered to a large population of young, white people because this group is often the taste makers. For example, Justin Timberlake’s new album, Man of the Woods, has been critically panned; however, it has still shown success given his appeal to a young, white audience. This example shows that the music industry is making these decisions to appeal to the taste of a large audience; however, this audience isn’t always making their own decision of what they believe to be good music.As you can see in the image from his new album, he is wearing a nice suit, looking like a very mainstream, successful, young man and attractive man. If others around them like it and the artist is someone who has been successful in the past, they will judge this music as beautiful and will perpetuate this cycle of these corporate decisions to sign labels that are based on the taste of young, white people rather than the actual talent of an individual. 

I got this image off of google when typing in Justin Timberlakes new album. I used Picfont to add the text over the image and uploaded it onto the blog. I downloaded the song from youtube. The song is one of the most popular off of his new album. The second time was very easy to do all of these steps now that I have the hang of it.

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