We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Kings of the Jingle

27th November 2012

Read it.

Could Mozart write jingles? “Are you kidding,” responds the ad copy for a 1990s music marketing production house. “A Little Night Music had ‘beer commercial’ written all over it.”

As does most Beethoven. But maybe that’s just me.

Some music fans still deride these increasingly common deals as sellouts. Others simply ignore them, as if they were the sporadic infidelities of an otherwise loyal spouse. But Timothy D. Taylor, professor of musicology at UCLA, puts them under the microscope as part of this history of the modern marriage of music and commerce. His conclusion—“There is no longer a meaningful distinction to be made between ‘popular music’ and ‘advertising music’?”—may be an exaggeration, but it is true enough to give the heebie-jeebies to those who still look to popular music for a clarion call of rebellion against the System.

I must have missed the bit where God decreed that the function of popular music is a ‘clarion call of rebellion against the system’. So, I think, did most of the people writing music during one of the two World Wars of the last century. But what do they know, compared to Ted Goia, a writer you’ve never heard of?

Actually, I could really go for a Big Mac right about now….

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