Ways in which the political economy of music seems to be foreshadowing / predicting other changes. Including applying the idea to recent trends in (particularly dance) music, and seeing what else it predicts.
How the music industry foreshadows inequality : http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/06/how-the-music-industry-explains-inequality-globalization-middle-class-decline-basically-everything/276830/
Sampleing and TurnTableism
Early applications of (sometimes digital) technology : Sampling and TurnTablism
Music as HyperText : Sample-based music is HyperTextMusic in that samples are references to other pieces. Sampling and turntablism have turned music from being a set of isolated hermetically sealed worlds into an interconneted multiverse. Sampling became mainstream at the end of the 80s. The web (which breaks up isolated documents into SmallPiecesLooselyJoined trailed music by about 5-10 years) other media and areas of human life are following.
Re-use as real work : Of course, for a long time work has been organized into hierarchical levels of organization. And the SupplyChain distributes that between different companies. Some make components. Some assemble components into sub-assemblies. Some make final products. Others may merely package and brand these products. However, the use of samples (among other trends) introduced this idea into new domains. DJs and sampling artists started with the stigma of (that's cheating, using someone else's stuff) but after a while, higher-level organization of other people's stuff became a more widely respected activity. Now we have weblogs which sample and reorganize the traditional media. Search engines like Google or Technorati do higher level curation and indexing of the pieces. The explosion of importance of these things in the digital domain was heralded by the rise of the DJ as curator / archivist of music.
Copyright and IntellectualProperty
Resistance to copyright : the dance explosion occurred in conjunction with the first phase of a public rejection of copyright. Sampling artists wanted to use pieces of other people's music and tolerated other artists sampling them. Since this explosion in the late 80s, IntellectualProperty has become hotly debated everywhere.
More copy-right issues. Napster, herald of the PeerToPeer file-sharing revolution. But the debate about who is allowed access resonates through more serious fields like GeneticModification. This struggle has new twists (eg. undesires transference) but also follows patterns layed down in the war between the music-industry and the file-sharers. (Eg. do you own the album or merely the CD? Do you have the right to plant your own seed, or merely a temporary license)
BootLegs route around copyright. Only when the internet allowed bootleggers to distribute mashups without the gatekeepers of the copyright industry
Remixes -> reorganizations of the same material have value.
Cheap, recordable cassettes created the culture of the MixTape. Everyone could (or should) be a curator, a scheduler of music programmes. More encouragements to customize and make your own remixes followed. The Punk DIY ethic (start your own label, make your own noise, collage your own 'zine, hack your own clothes (with scissors)) More recent incarnations (turntablism and sampling again, plus all those non-musicians using cheap synths and drum machines (ListenToTheMachines)
Now we're moving towards case mods for our computers, CircuitBending, BootlegObjects, MassCustomization, FreeSoftware, magazines for hackers like "Make" (OnHacking), and in the future we're going to be SpimeWranglers.
OReilly's EmergingTechnologyConference is advertised with the slogan : "Remix your world" (http://conferences.oreillynet.com/pub/w/36/register.html))
Music as organizing principle
In the discussion between DouglasRushkoff and PaulHartzog on OpenSourceMoney, Paul says Also, MusicForward is making the first steps toward the scenario above by developing a system that allows for music communities to create and use their own currencies in a virtual music market.
Dance music as meme ecology : particular samples, fragments of film dialogue, sounds, cultural ideas flow through ardcore continuum popping up in different guises, triggering the happiness of recognition through the audience. Isn't this like the flow of PictureMemes through Facebook and Twitter these days?
Electronics mediates music. And in the future it will mediate life
We accept electronic substitutes
Who, now, would claim "keep music live" or worry that electronic music is an inferior copy of real music?
We acknowledge that both electronic and live have their strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately one of the strengths of electronic is ubiquity. Electronics allows music to permeate our lives
Bootlegs show that mash-ups and remixes, cross-pollination and juxtaposition become ubiquitous . (NetworkMusic)
Music heralds suggests that all becomes electronically mediated and mashed-up.