Humans have never been solitary creatures. We do get the odd hermit now and again or even have a craving to solitude but generally these are fleeting and the default for a human seems to be that they want to be part of a community of some kind. Throughout the ages clothing such as uniforms and styles of dress have been used to distinguish groups from each other along with hair and even body tattoos. However these indicators have been given an even stronger fuel and reason to align oneself with a group and that is music.
The radio is the key beginning as it brought music to the masses via the BBC. Whilst the program controllers were strongly in control, with Classical music being played, the advent of the teenager and the young’s disposable income that were suddenly available became massive cultural factors in how the DJ of the time needed to modify and change their output to the Crooners such as Frank Sinatra and Johnnie Ray plus skiffle, the blues and Rock and Roll to meet demand. The UK had to rely on the youth to fill roles in employment left vacant by the death of the previous generation so that the nineteen fifties teenager, tired of being moralised at by the generation that had saved them chose to rebel, if only ever so slightly. They began to congregate in places that played the tunes they wanted to hear be it the record shop, the youth club and the coffee shops.
Music and identity became intrinsically linked as the Teenagers formed groups the Bobby soxers for girls obsessed with Sinatra and the Teddy Boys for males. The music that they listen to reinforced there cultural would view. It spoke to them and acting not only as the reflector but also as the director. These pioneers created the cultural landscape that following generations of youth have copied and repeated. It is a powerful tool in marketing where Music for business companies can come into a business and work with them to create a soundscape to increase dwell time and create and aural environment that attracts the customer in as well. There are many examples of music for business that you can talk to the professional companies about.
The Teddy boys gave way to the Mods who in turn were at odds with the Rockers. Then there were the Glamsters and Punks, new Romantics, Hip Hop and that leading onto House, Acid, Garage and now Grime. We have Goths and Emo’s plus the general groundswell of those who just like modern pop. There is a culture of identity and stratification that if it can be tapped into like the good people above can find for you there is audience to attract and cater for readymade and prepared to tell its mates to come and join them.