More Liberation from Campus Folk Songs to Today's Popular Music in Taiwan?
I think Cicily did a very good and clear analysis of campus folk songs from the perspective of ideology. The ending statement that we are always inside the ideology and determined by ideology is quite revealing. Considering the social and political background of campus folk songs, we see that the style of campus folk songs is actually an outlet to avoid strict government control and a limited expression of creativity. No doubt that the political situation in Taiwan has become more democratic and liberated since the time of campus folk songs, but is today's pop music free to show more diversity in both style and content? In style, probably yes, considering the many forms of music. Content? Maybe the answer is no.
We cannot deny that today's pop music is much less under the control of governmental institutions, which belong to the I.S.A., compared to the time of campus folk songs. But Taiwan is becoming a highly capitalist society. We might say that today's pop music here is more or less free from the control of the I.S.A., but just look at the mainstream of popular songs today, you will see that we are still inside the ideology created by the capitalists who have much influence over the mass media. It's those capitalists who determine what we hear on radio, from MTV, and in CD stores.
The popular songs that really sell today have two common traits. First, they are mostly love songs. Secondly, the singers, their albums and their promotion activities are all supported by huge capitals and have very good superficial packaging. Take this year's ª÷¦±¼ú for example, I heard many people criticize that it's unfair that none of those famous singers got the award for best male singer. But those who made such criticism never even heard the songs created by the winner of this award. People tend to think that the award should not go to this particular winner, just because he is not as famous and not supported by large companies. Therefore, the consumers today are actually inside the ideology created by the powerful capitalists, but most consumers are not aware of how their preference for pop songs is already conditioned by the capitalists.