Music 345 | English homework help

Group Blog #3: Vocaloids and the Future of Music

Writing Prompt: After having watched a lecture on Miku Hatsune and vocaloids in Japan, this group blog assignment asks you to consider the position of the vocaloid technology in the future of music and music performance. As mentioned in the lecture, this technology has been used for a few years in Japan and has since been used to resurrect dead performers, such as Tupac Shakur, Michael Jackson, etc., as well as being used for fill-ins for absent duet performers (Carrie Underwood, Janelle Monae, M.I.A., etc.). This blog assignment asks you to consider the following questions (you may answer as many or as few as you wish): What did you think of the Miku Hatsune performance? Do you view vocaloid technology positively or negatively and why? Would you pay to see vocaloid performance “live?” Why or why not? Do you think as the technology becomes better there will be a rush of dead celebrity hologram collaborations or projects (think of hologram Elvis performing with Whitney Houston, Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix, etc.)? An attached optional story tells of plans for an entirely new hologram tour of deceased tejano music legend Selena (who was murdered 20 years ago). Is this type of project about earning profits off of the dead or giving new experiences to people who didn’t have an opportunity to see these celebrities perform? More generally, are vocaloid holograms a technological extension of music making or a further distancing of the public from actual music performance (and if so, is this even a negative development)? Is Miku Hatsune a corporate scam (a corporation owns the product and earns money while other people make the new product for them) or a democratization of music making for anyone who can afford the technology (dedicated fans can contribute to the art they enjoy)? Will holograms of living performers be the simulcast technology of the future, enabling artists to perform everywhere virtually without needing to travel (and putting more musicians out of work)? Perhaps instead of attending a concert, the same amount of money could get hologram Beyoncé to perform for your birthday party. How closely is vocaloid performance related to electronica, where some DJs perform by not playing musical instruments but by activating prerecorded sounds? Does it matter whether or not vocaloids are real if you get real feelings from the music?

Essay Assignment: Using the above ideas regarding the nature and potential of vocaloid technology, describe your opinions regarding the vocaloid phenomenon based upon the lecture (and performance). You may also incorporate any ideas from the previous assignment on authenticity and technology. As with our previous assignment, students may choose to view vocaloid technology positively, negatively, or both. The important thing to do to fulfill the assignment is to 1) evaluate vocaloids (positive, negative, mixed) using any of the prompt questions and then 2) support your opinion. Again, this is a reflection and opinion paper, not a research paper. There is no single correct answer here, but move beyond saying you like or don’t like something to explain why. If, in the end, you feel ambivalent about vocaloids, explain your ambivalence and demonstrate an awareness of positive or negative viewpoints of the subject as expressed by the people in the film or the reading assignment’s author. Use any of the questions raised in the writing prompt above as a point of departure. The assignment is worth 10 points. You will be graded on content

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