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  • Why Spotify, Amazon and iTunes can’t save musical artists

    Interesting article I found today.

    It concludes by saying something I've believed for awhile now: that musical artists will go back to a pre-1900 way of making a living from their art. That the getting-rich-by-selling-recordings-of-your-music era will be just a blip in the history of music.

    http://www.salon.com/2014/06/20/the_...sical_artists/

    Also interesting was it contained a link to something I've never seen before: An opinion piece written by John Philip Sousa in 1906 decrying "The Menace of Physical Music". He believed recorded music would destroy the artistry.

    http://explorepahistory.com/odocument.php?docId=1-4-1A1
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    https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
    https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
    http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

  • #2
    I understand what we now call standard notation received considerable resistance and was seen as a way of distributing stolen music.

    Of course, musicians had always been able to steal a minstrel's music by listening to it and memorizing, but once John the Wandering Lutist's big hit was transcribed, it made possible a one-to-many distribution scheme -- a disruptive innovation sure to end the musical business paradigm they knew, understood, and had prospered under.
    Last edited by blue2blue; 06-20-2014, 08:42 AM.


    music and social stuff

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    • #3
      I think there is a certain stifling quality to art that exists with recorded music. Very often once a performance is recorded that becomes the definitive version of the song. We hear the same version a million times. Cover bands are compelled to perform it as closely to the original version as possible. Any attempts to do something new with a song are perceived as "wrong" by many.

      Of course, Sousa was proven incorrect about most of his thesis in many ways he obviously never imagined.
      _________________________________________________
      band websites:
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      https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
      https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
      http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

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      • #4
        I agree... but, you know, in this universe, everything changes everything.

        One of the most interesting things I've read lately is the notion that entropy is related to the the 'overhead' of entangled quarks -- which become entangled but apparently don't disentangle. Eventually, the whole universe is so interrelated with itself that it crawls to an effective shutdown.

        I may be muddling that a bit.
        Last edited by blue2blue; 06-20-2014, 09:46 AM.


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        • #5
          All these companies are bottom feeders who make money off of others who are more gifted but less empowered to use their gift.

          YouTube is doing something similar. They use artists/amateurs to make millions and then find ways to flush that crowd away in hopes the cult following will remain like zombies and pay for a subscription that was free to them before. You tube only became popular because of independent artists and amateurs who posted videos there as part of that social network. I'd guess most of them will bail and find other sites to do the same kinds of things. Its likely to make some small site very popular in the not to distant future.

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          • #6
            Digital Music News: Everyone Calm Down. YouTube Is NOT Going To Remove Music Videos

            Because of all the rampant rumors, murky 'facts,' and sometimes wild exaggerations, it's still pretty hard to pin down all the details of this story.
            Last edited by blue2blue; 06-20-2014, 11:59 AM.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by blue2blue View Post
              I agree... but, you know, in this universe, everything changes everything.
              Yep, and I believe that, like life, art will find a way. Which is why Sousa's fears were largely unfounded. Artists don't care about the technology either with which to create or with which to deliver. They'll use whatever is available.

              The recording industry may not be able to exist as a profitable business model in the future. Musicians will then just revert to live performance, finding sponsers, or find some new way to make a living.

              As I've said before, and this article mentions as well---the concept of the filthy rich musician is really just an oddity of the last few decades. We all got a bit spoiled by it (well, the idea of it anyway. Most of us never profited much from it ourselves), and we're still adjusting to the downsizing of the rock star.

              It's OK. Music will survive. It might even be better for it in the long run.
              _________________________________________________
              band websites:
              http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
              https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
              https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
              http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

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              • #8
                Originally posted by guido61 View Post
                ...the getting-rich-by-selling-recordings-of-your-music era will be just a blip in the history of music.
                Probably so... at least for now. Could be another blip down the road. For the time being we have lost the advantage of recorded music. live music in many ways sucks. Back in the day we went to concerts, but couldn't wait to get our hands on the album the tour was promoting because it sounded so much better going from a controlled studio environment to our Hi-Fi systems. Two things: Computer nerds can't be trusted. Some things are better left to an elite that have to pass a minimum height requirement.
                "Everybody loves you when you're six foot in the ground."
                ~John Lennon

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                • #9
                  What do you think would happen to pro football in a parallel universe. If all their games were stolen by fans on the internet so the sports stations couldn't make a dime airing the games. I think the sport would collapse much like the music industry did. The big difference is sports are supported by tax dollars first in schools and later by tax money building these teams large stadiums. The other is people want to see the games in as near to live as possible. Few watch reruns so most of it is built around live exhibitions.

                  The music industry no longer has that kind of muscle to air many live shows unless they are recorded and doctored plus music really isn't a visual art like sports. Radio on the other hand does/did have a lot of live concerts and they do quite well for artists. I don't hear nearly as many where I live now but I used to hear allot going on when I lived in NJ. You'd hear about a free concert on the Jersey shore on the radio and within hours it would turn into a Woodstock. CBGB's had live concerts as well and it made allot of new bands famous over night. We really need that kind of stuff back.

                  Hearing a band live is the true test of their talent as performers and if they come anywhere close to cutting the mustard they can usually sell albums. "Knowing", The feed is live and you have some DJ there between sets talking about what's going on hyping it like some sports announcer to fill in the dead spots is the key element. People like that because it makes them feel like they are actually there.

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                  • #10

                    Originally posted by WRGKMC View Post
                    What do you think would happen to pro football in a parallel universe.
                    The difference is musicians would never agree to a universe where their product was so tightly controlled by the business ownership. Pro football is able to prosper because there's nobody putting together their own small leagues and trying to sell tickets to games. No local teams playing at the neighborhood park with a competitive product. If the music business consisted of no more than 36 bands who only performed on live on certain Sundays and never released recorded material to compete with those same concerts.....yeah, you could probably create a similar paradigm where nothing was stolen on the internet.

                    Music, like most art, is a function of technology to a certain degree. The artists adapt to whatever the technological universe is at any given time. The technological universe of music for the last 50 years or so was such that delivery methods could be pretty tightly controlled and therefore big money could be generated from it.

                    That doesn't really exist anymore and isn't likely to return anytime soon. I predict that in the future it will become all about the live performance. So maybe your football analogy will come to fruition to a certain degree. The only way to make big money will be to create musical entertainment spectacles/environments that can only be experienced at the moment. Recordings will be used simply as means to build awareness for the artist and the material. Somewhat reverse from the paradigm of the last few decades where the live concert was all about trying to sell albums.

                    Someone will eventually come along---The Beatles for the 21st century, I suppose---who will figure out the way to put it all together and connect it to the audience in a manner that will bring them massive popularity and financial rewards and a new era will dawn. For a few select artists at the very top, anyway.

                    SOMETHING new has to come along though. One of the reasons for the decline of the music industry, IMO, is that along with the technological changes that depress record sales and downloads, is that we're still operating on a 50+ -year old business model: 4 lads with guitars, bass and drums write and play songs together and record them in a studio and perform them live. When you think of how far movies and TV and other forms of entertainment have grown and evolved since the 1950s, it is any surprise that music is moribund when going to see a live band isn't much different than it was when the grandparents of today's teenagers were doing it? When the best "new" bands are the ones that sound "retro"?

                    It's not just the business that needs a reboot, but the art form itself.
                    _________________________________________________
                    band websites:
                    http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
                    https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
                    https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
                    http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

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                    • #11
                      Most of the people releasing music can't even get heard. Let's not forget that about one fifth of the tracks on Spotify have never been heard. And, after touring it via Forgotify, I can report that that is not all just bedroom musicians, there are some of what were clearly premium releases -- that no one had even listened to, premium or 'for free' (or paid for by listening to ads, if you will).

                      People don't want 'free music' -- they want the music they've been programmed to respond to by constant exposure. That's why payola (legalized and not) for radio play and other exposure is currently such a huge part of promotion in the US.

                      Because of the problem of getting heard -- which I've recognized since I was active as a studio freelancer working on indie projects in the 80s -- I figure fear of getting ripped off can be a big contributor to the even more pressing problem of getting people to want your music in the first place.

                      How to deal with that paradox?

                      I figure by trying to make music that people care about and being someone who people don't want to rip off.

                      You're not going to find me in my next video, blinged out in a silver lame tux and draped with gold chains getting out of a stretch Humvee with gold plated bumpers.

                      For more than a couple reasons, I suppose.
                      Last edited by blue2blue; 06-21-2014, 05:57 PM.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by guido61 View Post
                        I think there is a certain stifling quality to art that exists with recorded music. Very often once a performance is recorded that becomes the definitive version of the song. We hear the same version a million times. Cover bands are compelled to perform it as closely to the original version as possible. Any attempts to do something new with a song are perceived as "wrong" by many.

                        Of course, Sousa was proven incorrect about most of his thesis in many ways he obviously never imagined.

                        I think I get what you're getting at... and it's an interesting point... but I disagree. recorded music is to music what growing lungs and walking on land is to evolution.

                        besides, there are tons of examples of creative covers being embraced, often more than the originals.
                        Last edited by Goober(s); 06-21-2014, 08:52 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by blue2blue View Post
                          I figure by trying to make music that people care about and being someone who people don't want to rip off.


                          if people don't want to rip you off, you're doing something wrong.

                          but yes to the first part!

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                          • #14
                            Don't be difficult.


                            I have, for at least 3 decades, what I have called Tom Major's Rule of Thirds: one third of people are basically decent, stand up people. One third are dishonest and selfish, always angling to get the best over the other guy. And the other third sort of float back and forth in the middle.

                            It might seem cynical, but it's very effective for predicting social behaviors.

                            From that perspective, I already understand that some folks will take advantage -- but usually just on the general principle of stealing it because they can -- because, you know, my music is designed to not appeal to the depraved, the deceitful, or the terminally selfish. I aim for the decadent, debauched, but basically decent.
                            Last edited by blue2blue; 06-21-2014, 10:09 PM.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by blue2blue View Post

                              How to deal with that paradox?

                              I figure by trying to make music that people care about and being someone who people don't want to rip off.
                              I agree with your post except for maybe this point. I've never seen any evidence that well-respected or well-liked musicians are less likely to be ripped-off than others. I'm pretty sure The Beatles are illegally downloaded as much as is Pitbull.
                              _________________________________________________
                              band websites:
                              http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
                              https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
                              https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
                              http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

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