Crisis in Music

mtarrani

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This speaker maybe highly educated, but he is seriously mixed up.
Record companies care about one thing and one thing only......UNITS SOLD.
If a female jazz singer who weighed 300 pounds and did not look like a fashion model
came out with a record...called..."the fat lady sings" and it sold 10 million units.
The "Fat lady sings volume two" would soon be on its way.

This dude needs to grow up.
The flaw in your argument is assuming that the female jazz singer who weighed 300 pounds would be taken seriously enough to be given a change to record the album in the first place. The dude, IMHO, knows what he is talking about and his whole presentation in that video avoided logical blind alleys and unrealistic assumptions when he laid out his case.
 

drawtheline55

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The flaw in your argument is assuming that the female jazz singer who weighed 300 pounds would be taken seriously enough to be given a change to record the album in the first place. The dude, IMHO, knows what he is talking about and his whole presentation in that video avoided logical blind alleys and unrealistic assumptions when he laid out his case.
I guess we agree to disagree, to me he is using technology as an excuse, its about markets and marketing.
And they change...the golden age of Jazz is gone, the golden age of rock n roll is also gone.
It is not forgotten, and it will be an important part of history.

I knew the rock thing was ending when in 1991 I saw Vanilla Ice on SNL...it was like watching
a bad high school variety show. He didnt get a record deal because he looked like a model, or had talent.
He got it because he was a rapper and rap was SELLING. And he stole the song !

Same thing happened in the 60s...if you were in a band and had long hair and were in San Fran.
And people showed up to your shows...real good chance you would get a record deal.
Why ? because the rock thing was heating up and selling.

It is not good or bad it is the way it is.
 

mtarrani

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I guess we agree to disagree, to me he is using technology as an excuse, its about markets and marketing.
And they change...the golden age of Jazz is gone, the golden age of rock n roll is also gone.
It is not forgotten, and it will be an important part of history.

I knew the rock thing was ending when in 1991 I saw Vanilla Ice on SNL...it was like watching
a bad high school variety show. He didnt get a record deal because he looked like a model, or had talent.
He got it because he was a rapper and rap was SELLING. And he stole the song !

Same thing happened in the 60s...if you were in a band and had long hair and were in San Fran.
And people showed up to your shows...real good chance you would get a record deal.
Why ? because the rock thing was heating up and selling.

It is not good or bad it is the way it is.
Good points, but they are all in the past. A good 25 years had passed between your 1991 example and the 2015 presentation in the video. Nearly a half century separates the 1960s example from the presentation. Time does move on and things changed (much to the chagrin to those 1930s musicians he also mentioned in the presentation :) )
 

ARGuy

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I guess we agree to disagree, to me he is using technology as an excuse, its about markets and marketing.
And they change...the golden age of Jazz is gone, the golden age of rock n roll is also gone.
It is not forgotten, and it will be an important part of history.

I knew the rock thing was ending when in 1991 I saw Vanilla Ice on SNL...it was like watching
a bad high school variety show. He didnt get a record deal because he looked like a model, or had talent.
He got it because he was a rapper and rap was SELLING. And he stole the song !

Same thing happened in the 60s...if you were in a band and had long hair and were in San Fran.
And people showed up to your shows...real good chance you would get a record deal.
Why ? because the rock thing was heating up and selling.

It is not good or bad it is the way it is.
I don't think he is blaming technology at all as the cause of the problem. What I took from it is that he is saying that the musicians are the ones using technology as the culprit, when the other mediums that are even more dependent on technology, like video streaming services, premium cable channels and video games, are doing just fine because they don't give their product away. The whole lame argument that some musicians use - "content wants to be free" - just doesn't fly. I don't recall hearing anyone say that HBO should have made Games of Thrones available for free. People were willing to pay for excellent content. Unfortunately, music has become so devalued in spite of the fact that it is everywhere and consumed by everyone. Even here at DFO, which I would hope is more supportive of supporting music and musicians by paying them for their efforts, all you have to do is bring up ASCAP-BMI and you'll find out what some people think music is worth.
 

A.TomicMorganic

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There are other things in the world now that are more interesting to people than music. Video games and the internet to name a couple. Tech is the leader here, and it was also in the 30s when people first had access to music through recordings and radio. In the 50s, the 45 RPM records spread R&R LIKE FIRE. 60S, 70S, and 80S were spurred by LPs and the beginnings of digital life. Novelty is what folks are looking for. I'm glad I was there for the music explosion, and I'm also glad that I have retired from it.
 

Pounder

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The video was posted in 2015, so if the legislation was passed in 2018 it would possibly have rendered some of what Gioia said moot.
The law is called the Music Modernization Act. This article is from the Berklee College alumni publication Berklee Today.
45936CA4-3D54-49B6-AF32-E3A1DA203B76.jpeg


I'm digging this topic, Mike! I think the answers are somewhere between all the extreme opinions elucidated above.
 

Pounder

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To be fair, the lecturer is making lots of sweeping generalizations that provoke various reactions ranging from "Agree!" to "Idiot!" I believe he intended there to be lots of discussion, it is more thought provoking than it is informative. I'm not seeing the scene as being "in crisis" as much as "in flux". There are many new artists out there, and many older artists out there still making money. The cover bands and non-original artists are not doing as well as in the past, probably, but that was happening since the Disco era.

I find the current scene very healthy BECAUSE of the decline of usefulness to the artist in the old production company paradigm. HOWEVER it does require the artist to take initiative in the marketing and they need people skills. Music is/has been a visual medium as well as audio, and so fresh faces and good looks have been an important part of the multimedia package, as it were.
 
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dsop

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Kids in general don't care or listen to music. (yes, there's a few here and there and we gush when they love Led Zepplin, but for the most part, kids don't listen to music.)
Sorry, but that just isn't true. More music is listened to by more people now than at any time in history. The big difference now is that the profit generated by all that listening is going to a very few tech companies as they break the law every second.
 

cozy4ever

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Sorry, but that just isn't true. More music is listened to by more people now than at any time in history. The big difference now is that the profit generated by all that listening is going to a very few tech companies as they break the law every second.

Do you know that many younger folks? I don't disagree that there is a strong base of them who are into old rock but it is very much a niche thing. The vast majority of them listen to pop singers, rappers and electronic artists.
 

troutstudio

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Streaming is unsupportable in its current form. That’s the essence of the problem. It’s true there is more competition for the entertainment space now. But now it’s difficult to even find venues if you are an artist with an audience because everyone is playing live to survive. Young people still like music. Streaming makes it like the radio, virtually free. But it doesn’t pay like radio. I have an album coming out this year and it won’t be on YouTube or Apple Music or Spotify because those services are pointless. I will be using CD Baby and iTunes and putting one song or excerpts on YouTube. And I will vigorously pursue any tracks I don’t authorise. I have songs I wrote on YouTube channels I had nothing to do with but the record company has dropped the artist so they don’t care. It’s streaming. Got to be changed and unless it does, you’re going to see a lot of musicians go under. And I mean well known ones.
 

lrod1707

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Don't listen to music on mainstream radio and venture out to find music. Tons of good new stuff out there. Crisis solved!
 

troutstudio

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Don't listen to music on mainstream radio and venture out to find music. Tons of good new stuff out there. Crisis solved!
With all due respect that misses the point and solves nothing. There’s no money in it for the artist. So what does your suggestion help? You mean buy their music? That would help.
 

lrod1707

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With all due respect that misses the point and solves nothing. There’s no money in it for the artist. So what does your suggestion help? You mean buy their music? That would help.
Yep that's what I mean, buy the songs & not just listen to them. Sorry, I wasn't specific enough. And I do think there is money for the artists. I really don't think one thing has changed though: You are good enough and become popular and you make money. It's always been that way!
The guys at the top made money and the guys at the bottom didn't. Is it not still that way?
It's just a different era with a different way of making money. For example: I am a member of Amazon prime music unlimited and they have milions of members. I'm pretty sure the artists get a cut for their music being there. This also applies to other things in life. Things evolve and we need to adapt (even the artists). Mr. Gioia explains his point of view in his presentation (which I respect) but there are also millions of other points of views online on every single subject you can think of.
 
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mebeatee

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Right off...no I haven't watched the vid...
However I'm sure this is nothing new and has been going on for eons in various guises...as there has always been a crisis in music...industry...and always will be. The music has always been fine and it's up to the musician to decide how they want to do their business.
There are hills and valleys in any "business". Some uphill battles (especially today) are a little steeper but really folks all ya gotta do is dig in and work harder......good old DIY principle works every time. I've been an independent, full time musician for almost 50 yrs. and have found my "niches" and niche markets so am doing ok.
Put the blame on who or what you want....the real culprit is the consumer and their laziness and apathy in acquiring and appreciating music, although this can be a positive if one buckles down and beats the "industry" at their own game.
Also put the blame on the musicians who pander to the spotify/facebook/streaming/et al mentality in giving everything away. The market is ripe(ish) if you eschew these things, dig in and have realistic expectations.
bt
 

studrum

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There was some major legislation passed last year that was supposed to remedy the issues with streaming services, outdated ASCAP regulations and the monetary rights of song writers and performers. What's happened with that?
This is one of the main things my union, the American Federation of Musicians, works on now. They are working with legislators and the streaming services and music companies to get the songwriters AND performers paid from the streaming services, as well as increase the pay rate from terrestrial radio.
Any other Union musicians on this Forum would know this if they read our monthly magazine, the International Musician, free with membership.
 

Mongrel

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"Something" happened in the intersection.

Officer: "And what did you see sir....?"
Ted Gioia: "I saw....(insert 45 minute lecture here)."

As the police work their way through the crowd of witnesses many different perspectives are noted. Some more accurate and valuable than others-but all valid in some sense to the one observing.

Naturally the police will give more weight to the testimony of those, like Mr. Gioia, who have some credentials, experience in, and understanding of, what they have witnessed. However, Mr. Gioia's perspective cannot completely invalidate the view from across the street so all accounts must be consdered to arrive at the fullest understanding of what indeed did happen.

But at the heart of the issue is whether or not there was a fatal accident, a fender bender, or just a parade of time.

As others have already noted, maybe the issue is not so much a "crisis" as much as an evolutionary change in the role music plays in the average person's everyday life and what value is placed upon it.
 
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Vistalite Black

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Food for thought from Canada's SonicBids blog:

Five Times People Said Music Was Dead

  • The Invention of the Gramophone:
    This invention necessitated professional musicians; recorded music needed musicians who were both very talented and had incredible stamina. However, there were some who dismissed this incredible technology, as it devalues the integrity of live music and those who perform it; it was a "death" of live music. John Phillip Sousa was among the outraged, though he contributed to recording music.

  • Commercial Radio
    With the invention of commercial radio, all of a sudden music was broadcast on a large level and listeners could hear the same music they purchased for free. Record companies were not happy. They feared that the radio would kill record sales... and sales did, in fact, decrease after commercial radio made its debut.

  • The Disco Craze
    By 1975, over 12,000 discos opened across the country, the first 12-inch single appeared commercially, and the Hustle Craze hit the dance floors.Disco had consumed the music industry, and while many listeners adored the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, making it the best-selling soundtrack album, others saw the genre as a threat to music performance and poetry.

  • MTV
    While radio was still prominent and popular during this time, the launch of MTV transformed music into a multi-sensory medium. The grand premiere of Music Television was the moment when being just a musician ended; you had to be a performer, too.

  • The Takeover of Streaming
    Here we are today in 2016. Streaming services have taken over the way we listen to and discover music – and certainly how we (don't) purchase it. As technology has evolved and helped the music industry evolve alongside it, the digital age has also had a hand in the downfall. When music is produced, recorded, and distributed digitally, where does analog fit in? Unfortunately, not in many places. Streaming services have killed traditional music sales on a whole different level.
    But despite all the past and present negative Nancys in the music industry, we look past the downfalls, haters, and fears to keep moving forward. Not to mention, opinions are not always facts. We should never let harsh critiques prevent us from enjoying and making the music we love.
 

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