Column: Spend money on music carefully

Joe Tucci, Staff Reporter

With faster broadband speeds and larger audiences, streaming has been taking the musical world by storm. Bands and artists alike are outraged at their lack of compensation.

If you use Spotify or Apple Music, or if you share music with your friends, you do not have to feel bad (not that you would have ever had to feel bad in the first place).

In the early days of Napster, bands like Metallica worked to make you feel bad for not giving them your $10 for a compact disc. Now huge icons like Taylor Swift are just as upset about streaming her music through Spotify.

So in this dilemma of artist and listener, who is correct?

To truly decide what side of the fence you are on, you first need to ask yourself what music means to you. Understanding how you view the creation of and consumption of music is, and should be, different for every listener.

Music can be political in that it aims to make statements or commentaries on issues in government or society. With this in mind, certain artists may wish to garner large audiences that seek to advocate for change. So to gain a wide audience, the correct method may be to charge listeners a fee that allows the artist to continue to develop their ideas and distribute them to their listeners.

Music can also be about introspection and reflection of the self. While music can be outwardly trying to portray any given message, it just as easily can also be reflective of an artist’s thoughts or feelings. If an artist is, for example, releasing bits of depression or despair through music, then to create the music may already be enough and not warrant any sort of compensation other than the listener’s attention.

Yet with any given intention there can easily be an opposition. Politically-fueled songs can ask nothing in return other than your thought on a matter and willingness to be open-minded. And deeply personal music by an artist can also warrant some sort of monetary compensation to reward them for their hard work.

At the end of the day, though, you the music listener need to ask yourself how you are going about listenership. Supporting a band or artist can vary depending on what you classify as support.

If you make an effort to see a band live every time they are near you, share their music with friends, buy t-shirts from the band directly or even make your own shirt for yourself, you are doing your part as a supporter of music.

Showing support for an artist should not be exclusively financial. Just like artists can express themselves through music, you can express your support through various different forms. If your favorite artist is someone as widely popular as Taylor Swift or Metallica, chances are they probably have enough money already.

Joe Tucci is a senior English major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]