Discussion Questions #6
1.According to Krukowski, what are the main differences between a microphone and a cellphone and why is this difference important?
According to Krukowski, the main difference between a microphone and a cellphone is that with microphones, we can make full use of proximity effect which is the adjustment of our voice with the distance from the microphone. The reason why people loved Frank Sinatra is because he mastered this microphone technique which made people feel like he was singing right in their ear. However, cellphones are only made to communicate our words. They did not get our feelings related to our words across. According to Roman Mars, “There is no proximity effect on a cellphone. Everyone sounds just as near or just as far as everyone else”.
2. What do Krukowski and Gary Tomlinson, the professor he interviews, assert about the “musical” qualities of the voice and how are these changed by digital transmission?
Krukowski and Gary Tomlinson asserts that the musical quality of our voice is the nonverbal part of our voice to communicate. Tomlinson states that, “It is not only in our memories from our early childhood, it is coded into the genetic makeup of our species itself”. Krukowski resonates with him because he believes that his mother constantly singing when she was pregnant with him somehow influenced him in becoming a drummer. He feels that her musical quality of her voice got embedded in him. With technological advancement, we see that the digital transmission has changed the musical quality of the voice because the nonverbal qualities of our voice are lost in the coding of our voice. There is so much left out with the aspects of our voice when it is digitally encoded and transferred
3. What is the significance of Krukowski’s comments on the voice to ideas about community and interpersonal connection?
Krukowski’s comments on the voice is significant to the ideas of community and interpersonal connection. He believed that our voice is a sound which is not being listened to properly these days. The shift from analog to digital transmission of voice has made a big difference in the community. The introduction to cellphone has certainly made interpersonal connection better, but the quality of that connection has reduced. The message is conveyed, but the emotional aspect of it is left behind. They can hear the words, but the musical quality of voice is certainly denied. The mikes on the cellphones are so sensitive that it picks up all the noise in the surrounding that it is unable to produce the quality of sound that was generated by the old analog ones. We cannot communicate with the part of our language where voice is not needed. If Frank Sinatra was born to this generation, people would not connect to his love songs like they did during the analog days.
4.Krukowski begins by discussing the issue of music file sharing. What is your opinion of this issue? Should music be freely available, or should one have to pay?
Krukowski discusses the issue of music file sharing. He mentions that the file sharing has made it difficult for the musicians to earn a living. They are not paid enough for the work they put in to generate their music. In my opinion, I feel that, file sharing has in fact affected musicians. People get access to their music online for free, so they don’t actually have to buy it. However, their music has gained a wider audience because it was easily accessible online. Krukowski says, “Our music has made it through all those barriers, barriers that made it impossible for records to get there. Barriers that made it hard for musicians to get there”. So, if it was not for the file sharing online, his band would not have an audience singing along with them in Belgrade and that couldn’t get them more emotional than ever. Regardless of the wider reach of music, I feel that people should pay for the music they want to listen to. Music is a work of art, just like other arts in the market. Musicians have worked hard to produce their music. They also have a livelihood to earn, so we should respect their effort and pay for their music they are selling.
5. How does this episode represent the relationships between music, community, and culture?
This episode talks mostly about how we experience music these days. Krukowski feels that music file-sharing has enabled his music to reach such borders that even musicians themselves can’t reach. He mentions that, “Jace Clayton investigated some fascinating ways, the digital music tools developed in the first world have made their way to third like auto tune in North Africa, where a technology intended to polish notes and Western pop has been put to entirely unforeseen uses”. These musical tools produced in the first world were used in a different way in North Africa and came up with new interesting music at their weddings. This new era of digital music created in the Silicon Valley can affect a Berber wedding in North Africa and vice versa. So, a whole new meaning, an interconnectedness among the music community has formed.
6.Does charging money for music impede the formation of communities around this music or does it help support the circulation of music?
I think charging money for music doesn’t impede the formation of communities around this music because if people like certain song or music, I think it will circulate well regardless of its price. People have the tendency to buy only things that they like. So, if a song is liked by the audience, they will pay the price to listen to it. Those people who liked the music can in turn become a fan of the music and form a community. The collection of these funds can strengthen the musicians’ status to pay for better promotion of their music. These promotions can help them expose their music to public and widen their audience. With this, there is a possibility that more people will buy their music. Now we can see that there is a flow of income, so once musicians feel that they have collected enough funds, it will be easier for them to make their music free to public. Therefore, charging money for music eventually supports the circulation of music.