Give The Gift Of Music
By Dendy Jarrett | (edited)
Back in the 60s, the National Association of Recording Merchandisers launched the first industry-wide campaign to promote music. Featuring a ribboned gift box that said “Give the Gift of Music,” record companies pitched in a half-cent for every album sold to put that message in front of the public.
The campaign is long gone, a product of a time when the record industry was smaller, and labels were often owned by something closer to a mom and pop store than a multinational conglomerate. These days, companies say we “consume” music…I guess it’s not corporate enough to use the term “listen to” music.
At Harmony Central, our mantra is “make better music.” But now we’re in the throes of the holidays, and many of us have music gear on either our “wish list” or our “to give” list. But the gift of music is about so much more than giving a…thing. I have a close friend who as he cycles through music gear, gifts the items he no longer needs. He views it as the gift that keeps on giving, and something to inspire the next generation.
Reflecting back, most of my early music gear came through gifts. I have vivid and pleasant memories of getting my first pair of hihat cymbals one year. A crash cymbal and boom arm another year. My first kit came that way, and although she was used, she was the best thing I’d ever laid my eyes on.
As musicians, though, we need to remember that the gift of music is not just about gear. When I was growing up, few gifts were better to find under the tree than a new LP (and with the revised interest in vinyl, maybe LPs will start showing up under my tree again!). These days, we have hundreds of opportunities to give the gift of music—a concert ticket, iTunes gift card, premium subscription to a streaming service, a fun piece of music-making software, a smartphone app, and much more.
Some argue that music is in decline. Others say the same about music gear. But let’s look at the facts: we have more opportunity than at any other time in history to share, listen to (I refuse to use the word “consume”), appreciate, and create music. It’s also never been easier for people to participate in making music. Inexpensive apps and software programs bring not just the “gift of music,” but the gift of music making. That’s huge.
We’ve explored how music can change lives, we’ve discussed how thankful we are for music and we’ve speculated on how more people joining together to make music might help foster better human relations. So, if you’re still pondering what to get that special someone…”give the gift of music.” Not only may you leave a great memory, you may change a life forever. -HC-
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Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.
Edited by Dendy Jarrett