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The Power of Social Networking in the 21st Century: The Case of Pink Floyd's The Endless River
Language: English This thesis is written in English
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Andrea Zanti, Università degli Studi di Catania, 2015-16
Andrea Zanti
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This work has the purpose to examine and analyze the impact and the fundamental role of social networking in the 21st century taking the case of Pink Floyd’s The Endless River as one of the best examples of web marketing and communication.
In every field in which it is employed, Social networking has always been a powerful way to make advertising, important announcements, to share thoughts and impressions easily reaching a large part of people in a short amount of time. This is possible just by “following” and by being “followed” (as in the case of Twitter or Instagram) or having a virtual friendship with people (Facebook). Somebody is often a celebrity such as an actor, a musician, a sportsman or a politician. In this way the social networks can become a source of communications, places where everyone can share some thoughts and feelings, giving useful information and making the point of the day. Social networks are also convenient because it is possible to talk, answer and directly discuss with the post’s author.
It is in this light that The Endless River was configured, the latest Pink Floyd record which came out in November 2014. Everything started with a tweet shared by Polly Samson, novelist, journalist and lyricist, also known as wife of David Gilmour, the voice and the guitarist of Pink Floyd. In few words, Mrs. Samson created a real musical earthquake announcing the imminent release of the album when nobody could even imagine a piece of news like that: a new Pink Floyd album after twenty years since the last one (The Division Bell, 1994).
The first chapter of this thesis starts out with a general picture of the social networks and their impact in the 21st century. Through some of the most particular, curious and popular tweets and Facebook posts of all times, it will be possible to retrace the history of social networking analyzing its important role in music business nowadays.
In the second chapter, the spotlights will light the figure of Polly Samson, her role of lyricist in many of Pink Floyd’s and David Gilmour’s works and her tweets. Polly Samson’s tweet will be examined in a pragmatic and linguistic way, starting from the context to arrive at the maxims of the cooperative principle, their effect and the approach of politeness. The second chapter discusses the review of the album too. It will be necessary to understand what The Endless River is, telling its history, how it was made and analyzing the whole set list. The lyrics of the song “Louder Than Words” will be the object of a linguistic analysis. An interpretation of the song, in the form of an exegesis, will be matched with research into the principal figures of speech too.
The third and last chapter focuses attention on the social networks again. Ultimately, the matter of politeness will be important, trying to bring attention to some positive, neutral and negative opinions about the album from Roger Waters (Pink Floyd singer, bassist and main composer until 1985), Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd’s backing singer during the ʼ80s and ʼ90s) and Mike Portnoy (drummer, ex Dream Theater).