The Sounds of Capitalism: Advertising, Music, and the Conquest of Culture

The Sounds of Capitalism: Advertising, Music, and the Conquest of Culture
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Chapters 3 and 5 follow the rise and fall of the jingle as the dominant form of advertising music. A quintessential "hard-sell" strategy, jingles emerged in the s as a direct consequence of the escalation of aggressive advertising that Taylor outlines in the previous chapter. The vogue for jingles spanned sixty years until they fell out of favour during the s--a trend that Taylor attributes to the increasing professionalization, rationalization, and homogenization of jingle composition and production.

In the intervening Chapter 4, Taylor considers advertisers' increased interest in the s in Freudian psychology, a phenomenon that led to new forms of advertising that sought appeal to consumers on a visceral and emotional, rather than on a rational, level. Advertisers worked to deploy music's myriad affective qualities, Taylor suggests, using techniques that took advantage of the arrival of television as a newly pervasive mass medium that permitted the juxtaposition of sound and image. Chapter 6 explores the "discovery" of the youth market in the s. Taylor discusses a number of advertising campaigns --focusing particularly on Pepsi and Coca-Cola--that were addressed specifically to youth and to "those who think young," to quote the Pepsi tagline of that era.

This fetishization of youth culture, Taylor suggests, would become a predominant logic that has structured advertising discourses and practices ever since.

The Sounds of Capitalism: Kennedy Talks with Ethnomusicology Professor Tim Taylor

In Chapter 7, Taylor describes the increasingly sophisticated marketing research methods of the s and s --from UPC codes to the Nielsen ratings system--that led to new concepts of demographics and psychographics. With exponentially more detail available to them, Taylor proposes that advertisers became increasingly conscious of the value of music as a means to target particular demographics--or market segments --with greater accuracy and effectiveness. As advertisers' methods continued to improve, and as the s Ronald Reagan administration enacted new discursive and legislative methods to increase consumer spending, consumption ideology was insinuated into virtually every aspect of life in the United States.

Stanford Libraries

Advertising, Music, and the Conquest of Culture He is an editor and compiler for Music, Sound, and Technology in America: A Documentary History The Sounds of Capitalism is the untold story of this infectious part of our musical culture. Here, Timothy D. Taylor tracks the use of music in American advertising for nearly a. The Sounds of Capitalism: Advertising, Music, and the Conquest of Culture Paperback – February 24, “In The Sounds of Capitalism, Timothy D. Taylor presents a rich and compelling story about music’s emergence within the broad fields of US advertising and consumer culture.

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Read preview Overview. Like the way that he interprets the story of the Pied Piper, etc. And I think I would credit Adorno more than I did when looking at the project of music and capitalism. With respect to what my book does, I have to say, I really struggled with the theoretical perspective in the book because nobody knew that history except me when I was writing it.

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Some people knew bits of it, like Bethany Klein knows all the stuff about licensing in the book that she wrote, but nobody knew the overall history of music and advertising, including topics dealing with medicine shows and sheet music, etc.. So, I made a conscious decision to let the historical narrative that I was trying to tell be the main focus and not spend a whole lot of time talking about, or theorizing about, American consumer capitalism until the last chapter, after the historical narrative has concluded.

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Music did pay a powerful role in this process. I wanted to tell this historical narrative which nobody knew…. Your book does an excellent job at starting the conversation. So, advertising music just fell through the cracks. A few years ago the independent record label Asthmatic Kitty began a music library series. Growing interest in the compositional traits and production values of ad music points to an appreciation for the work outside of its original context.

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Do you see music done for advertising as having its own sound? In the early days of radio programs, before the jingle, the music sounded like the popular music of the day.

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This sound lasted a long time. Given the current interest in all things retro and the resurgence of vinyl consumption, it makes perfect sense that labels such as Asthmatic Kitty and other boutique labels would be embracing this aesthetic. One person at a jingle house in New York told me they think they have to get everything vetted by a musicologist before doing the work. When I was doing the research for the book, people seemed to be more concerned about licensing and about how that would affect their work.

The Sounds of Capitalism: Advertising, Music, and the Conquest of Culture

The days of the soundalike seem to be on the way out. The record industry has been really stupid about how to deal with digital technologies.

The advertising industry has been much smarter about filling the gap. The advertising industry is full of hip, young people who listen to interesting stuff and who have an effective way of getting it out there.