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I have personally played Guitar Hero only a couple times but I have friends who play the game very often. After playing, I didn’t even feel like I had played a simulated guitar game but rather that I was just attempting to push a bunch of buttons in my lap. I never felt like I was playing a real instrument but my friends’ opinions differ. The friends that I spoke to said, like Miller mentions, that they learned to appreciate the featured songs more after they had “learned” to play them.
They stated that they began to understand the dedication and focus that it takes to create the songs we love on many different levels. I’m not sure if Miller’s idea can be applied to YouTube parodies the same way that it is applied to video games.
In video games the artists allow the company to use their songs and it is in their (or the estates) discretion whether or not they want their song featured on a video game.
Unlike this idea, there are few to no artists that ask for their music to be parodied on YouTube. Though, on the other hand, Miller’s theory can be applied to the fact that the viewer/consumer can be placed in the role of the performer/artist in that they also create a music video and their own lyrics to the background beat.
I believe that the goals of mash-ups are either to create a comedic take on a piece or to use the popularity of a specific tune in order to broadcast their personal message/opinions in a more popular and accessible way.
For some mash-ups the producers may just see vulnerable aspects of a music video or song that can be played upon for the enjoyment of others. For other mash-ups producers may see another possible message that can be applied to an already popular song and then create a mash-up based on this inspiration. I think that mash-ups are respectful as long as they do not put down the artist that created the original song. More specifically, mash-ups are respectful as long as they do not make direct mention of the artist themselves.
Respectful mash-ups often make the viewer forget about the original artist and shift their focus to the seemingly awesome new message presented in the mash-up. Disrespectful mash-ups on the other hand make fun of the artist’s talent, looks, or downfalls in order to get a cheap laugh. Ultimately, the difference between a respectful mash-up and a disrespectful one is that the comedic value is healthy and fun rather than hurtful and demeaning. Personally, I think that we should definitely relate to other people’s musical creations and get inspiration from them. The purpose of music is to inspire the listener and usually to get them thinking about something or a certain mood. By responding positively and respectfully to this purpose the creators of a parody would be right in their decisions. On the other hand, if somebody uses a “hit”, or the success of somebody else solely to market themselves and benefit financially from their previous work, then this would be very wrong.
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