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music 126 - fullest and revealed to the national industry...

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Music162 5.24.2011 Xun Gu “Nirvana didn’t go to the mainstream—the mainstream came to Nirvana.” These words quoted from Krist Novoselic summarized Nirvana’s road to success, and correctly represented the local Seattle music scene. Originated from the Seattle region, Nirvana and punk rock could not have attracted the mainstream to them if not for the unique geography of the Seattle region. Unlike New York City and San Francisco, the Seattle region was very scattered. Therefore, music cultures developed relatively independently from town to town, city to city. Nirvana’s unique music style must have resulted from its isolated geography, away from the mainstream music. In fact, an isolated geography usually produces very creative and distinct music styles. Often credited as the “Father of Bluegrass”, Roscoe Holcomb’s “high lonesome sound” could not have existed if not for the isolated geography Holcomb lived in. When this unique music style evolved to its
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Unformatted text preview: fullest and revealed to the national industry, both Holcomb’s and Nirvana’s music attracted mainstream to them. Examining the success of Nirvana, I could not help notice another very important factor: money. Thinking back to Blues, when mainstream selected the 12-bar form as the only form to be recorded, Blues lost its uniqueness, its creativity. When mainstream liked only the dembow beats of Reggaeton, Reggaeton became singular as well, losing all of its varieties and creativity. However, the isolated geography of the Seattle protected Nirvana and punk rock from commercialization’s detrimental effects. Rather than playing for money, music is the money as the exhibit described “music was the currency”. After walking through the exhibition, I believe that the music culture of Seattle is just like the public arts we have. It is creative, independent, and free from the lure of money, because at the heart of Seattle music, is purely music....
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