News-Antique.com - Oct 18,2010 - Portraits as Art Market Currency Pt. 5 – artmarketblog.com
To appreciate exactly why classical music is such a good example of the benefits that can be gained from investing in classical figurative art, and figurative portraiture in particular, one needs to look at the opposite of classical instrumental music – namely contemporary pop music. One of the most dominant characteristics of pop music is the emphasis put on the profile of the pop performers themselves. In fact, the actual music of the pop music genre is often treated as less important than the profile of the performers to the point where the whole pop music genre is defined more by the personalities than the music they produce. Consequently, pop performers and their managers make elaborate efforts to project the desired image through their clothing, music video clips, manipulation of the popular press, and similar tactics. Indeed, many pop acts are formulated around achieving the desired image. Take a look at the popular music charts and you will find that it is dominated by a range of highly theatrical personalities who have personas that are more akin to that of a movie star than a recording artist.
What really differentiates contemporary popular music from classical instrumental music is the extent to which the artistic integrity of the music is compromised in favour of commercial appeal and profitability. Whereas classical instrumental music places greater importance on the artistic and intellectual integrity of the work being produced, contemporary pop music is usually focused more on satisfying the desires of the celebrity obsessed target market. Instant mindless gratification and short term fads define the commercial consumer culture that dominates the contemporary pop music scene and record labels have become extremely good at taking full advantage of this market. As we all know, most contemporary pop music record labels seek to produce music that appeals to as many people as possible and will earn as much money as possible in as little time as possible. The problem with this approach is that the music being produced has become a sort of disposable product that often has very little or no long lasting artistic or historical value. The real value is in the persona of the performer.
When one considers the fact that songs are often written and arranged by anonymous producers it becomes clear exactly how little value the music actually has. If the actual instrumental music and the words to the songs of the contemporary pop era were completely disassociated from the performers who we associate the music with, would the music and the words have any value at all? The answer I think would have to be probably not. However, as long as the persona of the performer is linked to the music that music will continue to have value. Would it be fair to say that one of the reasons that classical music has remained so popular is the degree to which one can disassociate classical music from the period during which