The Song Machine in the New Yorker strikes me as a must-read article on the state of the commercial music-generating industry.
The material in it is probably no surprise to any 14 year-old know but fascinated me. It seems that we are no longer in a world of songwriters but of producers and “top-liners.”
There is interesting fodder for discussion here about music as commercial product v. art. However, it strikes me that every age maximizes the technology and marketing tools that it has in order to create and promote products. (Really, there was no reason for an attractive cover on the piece of sheet music except to sell it.)