Steven C. Barr(x) wrote:

> Apparently, popular culture works much like economics...there is a
> "law" (forget whose) that runs "bad money drives out good money"
> and that has certainly become true of popular culture ever since
> television took over most peoples' existences...!

You've cited Gresham's law appropriately - though its meaning is quite 
different. The mechanism is that people will hoard 'good' money so that 
it goes out of circulation and only 'bad' money is in distribution. 
Hoarding 'good music' (whatever that means) is hardly an issue. One 
aspect of recorded music is that its supply is essentially unlimited; 
the rules of economics do not apply in that respect. I may be unwilling 
to share an original copy of some beloved title, but its copies are 
*musically* equivalent, hence of no intrinsic value. (Arguments about 
the value of packaging and of other esthetic aspects are interesting, 
but not relevant here.)

What appears to have happened is a shift of values from music to sonics. 
In fact, it is not even 'good' sonics - high fidelity to an original 
source. Most fields in which there is a meaning to the sound of a 
performance have fallen on hard times, not only classical music but also 
jazz, folk and others. Loud, simple, and demanding seem to have won out 
in current markets. Subtlety and complexity are in decline. In short, 
the microphone and the amplifier have set new values which are 
appreciated more widely than musical production per se.

Sorry for the diatribe, but sometimes I succumb.

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