...let me count the ways.
First up, let me make the rather unfounded assumption that the majority of a symphony musician's money comes from salary, not recording royalties. If this is the case, then it makes some sense that you would advocate avoiding an activity from which you receive little return. If it's not the case, you're even more shortsighted than I think you are.
So. Let's assume for the moment that you can only give away recorded music; that due to rampant copying of perfect recordings and the inherent greed and lack of scruples of all mankind, you will never sell a single copy of a recording. You'd still be insane not to do it.
The fact is, assuming that you're even remotely talented, people who listen to your music will always prefer hearing you live to listening to the recording. There are also people who will pay a fair amount to see a live performance who would probably never bother to buy a recording by the same artist. In this case, your recordings act as advertising, and grow the size of your audience. Bigger audience, more people come to hear you play, you make more money. Even in the worst case scenario you come out ahead.
Okay, keeping in mind that everything above remains true, let's get a little more realistic and say that some people will pay for a recording even if they can get that recording for free (I do, so there is at least one of us). Let's further assume that you're reasonably intelligent and a distribution medium which costs you relatively little is one you'd use. Therefore, you make your music available online.
Because it's not too hard for people to make perfect copies, you'll want to be setting the cost per download at a reasonably low level. What is that? Depends on your audience. Let's say you set it high enough that in a group of friends, only one person buys your recording and then shares it with everyone else in their circle. Unless your audience is prohibitively small to begin with, you'll still make more money than if you hadn't recorded. Now you've made money from recording two different ways.
I could actually go on like this for quite some time, but the point is that the "I won't record because of those thieving pirates" attitude is a knee jerk response. In the internet age, it may very well be true that being a popular recording artist no longer means you can create one hit and live off of the proceeds for the rest of your life. You know something? That's a good thing. Besides, the average musician is more likely to hit the lottery than have that happen, so what the hell do you care?
Additionally, despite what Hillary Rosen and Michael Eisner would have you believe, copyright law in the United States has never given the copyright holder total control over his work. Ever. As a matter of fact, a little reading of some history will show you that copyright came within a hair's breadth of being explicitly outlawed in the Constitution (it turns out to be a good thing that didn't happen; the "no copyright" thing was tried after the French Revolution, and it was a disaster).
Basically it comes down to this: if you record, yes, someone will hear your music without paying for it. Get over it. Even if you don't become a millionaire (and if you're thinking that being a musician somehow entitles you to that, you're already in fantasy land) you'll make more money by recording than not unless your audience is so small that it doesn't matter anyway.
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