In the modern world of technology, the television and music are interconnected and mutually dependent. The fact can be proven by the existence of a big number of music TV channels, on the one hand, and the need of performers to appear on those channels, on the other hand. For the past few decades, MTV as one of the most popular music channels has significantly influenced the music preferences of people and pop music in general.
The music has always been present in people’s lives. With the appearance of television, it became much easier to pass different data to the great number of people in various countries all over the world. The music could not stay apart from this source of propagation; consequently, various musical performances started to penetrate into the television step-by-step. The cooperation grew in the second half of the twentieth century with the growing number of musical concerts, performances, and song recordings featured on the TV. The appearance of MTV in 1981 allowed for even greater spread of the musical culture; in few years, it became an instrument of shaping the youth’s tastes in music.
From the very first days of its existence, MTV has influenced the people’s tastes in music. As a rule, the music fans unconsciously chose the records they had previously listened to on TV. Video Killed the Radio Star was the first music video shown on MTV and communicated a symbolic message as the contemporary TV channels enjoyed more popularity than the radio waves. For the first twenty years, MTV has been considered the most influential music channel due to the number of people watching it every day and the number of musicians eager to work with the channel. The Second British Invasion in music can be a perfect evidence for this assertion. MTV played not the last role in shaping the people’s tastes in general and this situation in particular. The performers with their hits were on the channel constantly so people could initially become interested and finally go crazy about them. The singers and music bands from the United Kingdom had been creating the videos to their songs since some earlier period; consequently, the United States appeared to be a promising market for the expansion.
However, the impact of the channel is much bigger than shaping the preferences for singers and music styles. The influence of the music videos featured on the channel on youth has been argued for many times. The debates started when it became evident that numerous videos portrayed violence in various forms and praised the practices not correspondent to the common norms of morality. Sex, brutality, and irresponsible way of life were present in most videos shown on MTV. The problem was that the teenagers accepted the given picture as possible and even preferable for their daily routine. The youth started to imitate their idols and demonstrate the same models of behavior. Therefore, the role of MTV deviated from the primary task.
The initial aim of the channel was to spread the music culture and help young performers gain recognition. Many committees issued petitions against the content of the videos and strived for restricting the activity of the channel itself or the videos represented on it. In 1984, the National Coalition on Television Violence communicated their concern with the formation of the youth mindset and MTV’s role in the process. In 1985, the Parents Music Resource Center visited the U.S. Senate Hearing concerning the presence of too much sex and violence in the current videos. The initiative of the center achieved certain results. The law restricting and prohibiting the offensive albums was adopted soon afterward.
Although, there were heated debates about MTV, its role in creating the new music preferences is undoubted. For instance, at the beginning of the 1990s, the bands performing alternative rock were promoted by the channel a lot. As a conclusion, people became interested in this genre of music, which won more and more fans not only in the US but also worldwide. Electronica was promoted by the channel a bit later; thanks to the immense attempts of the channel, it gained great popularity. MTV also took part in the neo-swing bands recover. The channel televised their videos; however, the response from the music fans was not as the expected. It becomes evident, that even though, the role of the channel has always been great, the public always makes the final decision.
By the middle of the 1990s, MTV has stopped to broadcast only music videos but launched a number of programs and shows. The original channel acquired some sister channels, existing in other countries as well, and it caused the creation of more narrow directions followed by MTV Hits, MTV2, MTV Base, and MTV Dance.
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The creation of videos has become not only an accompanied thing but also a kind of art. MTV became the place for this art to develop, as well. The spectators were eager to not only watch the singer and listen to his songs but also to see the story or performance. The demands of the public made the artists put all their efforts to become/stay the most popular. They started to employ creativity, sense, effects, and other things to promote their songs. The great number of new music artists caused the extremely fast development of the video genre.
In conclusion, according to all the arguments and examples provided above, it can be concluded that MTV has achieved its target to spread music through television. It does not matter how people regard certain songs or music videos, they do watch MTV that influences their music preferences and mindset in general. Moreover, MTV has become a springboard for the young performers; it is one of numerous advantages that the television offers to the music.
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