William Mesa  

A MAP TO READING AND FINDING TOPICS IN HARMONY: Eight Years of Research, Studies, and Articles

William Mesa
November 6, 2019

Society Structure Changes

Social structure changes, driven by a Post-Industrial economy and culture, are characterized by changes in customer demands; shifts in what is desired by individuals; technology changes; and the perceived need for added choices and options. Such characteristics impose pressures on orchestras attempting to preserve the past, yet respond to changing sensibilities. What emerged in Harmony were the following:shifts in customer preferences given constraints on time; the growing gap between generations and orchestral music; the increased foreignness of orchestra concert decorum and manners relative to post-industrial sensibilities.

Environmental changes that brought about challenges for organizations in the 1996 literature focused on customer demands and their shifts in demand; (Judy, 1995; Freeman, 1996) and the relationships between an orchestra and its community. (Judy, 1996; Hope, 1996) With customer demands and preferences influenced by the shortage of time consumers have and the competition for their dollar towards entertainment, orchestras need to respond innovatively. (Judy, 1995 and 1996)

Recognizing the environmental changes generated possible responses in expanded youth concerts, community concerts and even outreach to minority groups, (Starr, 1997) all of which reflect the fact that the concerts may be increasingly foreign to possible ticket buyers. Extending the product to the community and audience would possibly mean listening to the audience. (Starr, 1997; Bachetti, 1997) The conflict perceived between the audience and the music repertoire was an increasing concern. (Korn, 2000; Robinson, 2000) The problem is that as the repertoire grows older to an audience the audience becomes more disconnected to the repertoire. (Korn, 2000; Robinson, 2000) In addition to the customer-product conflict, customers are alienated by the foreign manners that are the context to attending concerts.Elitism and manners of concerts are not understood and are perceived as irrelevant or rude by the post-modern audience. (Korn, 2000) The public buys Pops concerts, but musicians would prefer not to play Pops concerts. (Robinson, 2000) Hence organizational inertia limits the adaptation to creatively meet audience wants without diluting the core product.

Given structural changes in society—namely time constraints on the customer and the foreign nature of orchestra concerts to potential customers—understanding such cultural shifts in society is that orchestras needed to be a part of the community rather than merely in the community. (Hope, 1996) In contrast to the positive outlook on how community orchestras are vital to serving a community and preserving the repertoire, McPhee (2002) provided a different perspective with the possibility that a community may not necessarily need an orchestra.In sum, structural changes in the society are potential threats or opportunities to the orchestra organization.

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