New ACT writing essay prompt: Free Music

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Free Music

Free music is now available through many legal sources, from streaming services to online radio stations, making it largely unnecessary to purchase an album or even a single song. As sales figures continue to drop, some musicians, both high-profile and relatively unknown, have even quit trying to sell their music altogether, choosing instead to release new material for free online. Perhaps this trend is a matter of simple economics: cheap is good, but free is better. But it is worth considering whether our apparent unwillingness to spend money on music is an indication that its value in our lives is changing.

Read and carefully consider these perspectives. Each suggests a particular way of thinking about the changing value of music in our lives.

Perspective 1

Digital technologies and the Internet have changed our relationship with music. It is so plentiful and readily available now that all value has been diluted.

Perspective 2

Music competes for our attention with many other kinds of inexpensive entertainment these days. We still value it, but we also have a lot of other ways to spend our money.

Perspective 3

With so many free sources, people are listening to more music and discovering more new musicians than ever before. Wide availability has only increased our appreciation of music.

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