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[P]
Reclaiming our work

By lb008d in Op-Ed
Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 02:23:20 AM EST
Tags: Music (all tags)
Music

A lot of the discussion regarding the distribution and piracy of recorded music here has made me come to the only solution to this problem: professional musicians must band together and stop recording music. Let me explain why only such a drastic measure will put the control back in musicians' hands.


Professional musicians realize that they, more than in most other occupations, hold control over their output. The result of this realization was the formation of the Musicians' Union long ago, one of the largest unions in the world. I am a member of the AFM and I perform professionally with the Spokane Symphony.

It's no secret that up until this century the only way for music to be heard was through a live performance of some kind - either self-performed or at a concert. That was it. The result of this situation was that musicians had full control over their product. Today, performing musicians have the opportunity to be paid fairly for their work thanks to the contracts and legal support provided by the Musicians' Union. However, those seeking recording contracts often get themselves in trouble by signing contracts that do not have their best interests at heart and remove any and all control they have over their output. Many of the highest-profile pop musicians are not members of the union as well, and are completely outside of its assistance and protection.

Why am I including the Union in this discussion? Most non-musicians would not understand the web of support and brotherhood that is fostered by the AFM. The vast majority of our members recognize the need for the ability to collectively bargain, and here is where I believe that our collective spirit can change the face of music today. The organized professional musicians of the world must band together to halt the recording of music for mass-market distribution.

I receive a common response to this suggestion: those musicians that are hyper-marketed can be easily replaced. I would certainly expect this to happen much in the same way that orchestra management always attempts to replace striking musicians with others. However, this would ultimately fail, since those musicians who I would expect to implement and support a recording ban would be those most difficult to replace - orchestral and opera musicians, studio and film musicians, jazz performers, teachers, and other musicians with real talent. We are not the most visible sector of the music industry, however we are the backbone. Without talent to actually produce the sound, the only production can and will be amateur. If Joe Consumer can only buy mass-marketed music of amateur quality, perhaps he'll begin to see why he needs to attend a live performance to hear something worthwhile.

Note that I also do not support the internet as a means for musicians to distribute their music. Why? Because for the simple fact that as soon as a musician is recorded, the potential for them to lose control of their work exists. The advent of digital recordings and the ability to make 100% exact copies only exacerbates this problem. I also recognize copy control can't remedy this because eventually all copy protection will be broken. That is a simple fact of digital information.

The upside of live-only music will be a re-enrichment of the role of music in our society. The connection between audience and performer will be re-forged, and the best music ever created by mankind will be the end result. If the current state of the industry further devolves, I imagine a bleak future filled with no-talent amateurs marketed to the lowest-common denominator listener, and no place whatsoever for the talented, trained professional producing high-quality music. That is not a future I want to be part of.

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Poll
How do you take your music?
o Live Only 1%
o Mostly Live + Some Recorded 6%
o Mostly Recorded + Some Live 64%
o Recorded Only 26%
o I don't listen! 1%

Votes: 73
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Spokane Symphony.
o Also by lb008d


Display: Sort:
Reclaiming our work | 83 comments (74 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
Musicians vs. Performers (4.20 / 5) (#1)
by Torgos Pizza on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 05:17:49 PM EST

I think that one obstacle is that there are fewer musicians and more performers today. You can define each in a slightly different way, but there are more and more people who don't create their own music, but perform it instead. (Any boy band, Ms. Spears, etc.)

As a question, how does the AFM classify these people? If you don't write the music or the lyrics, can these people be members? Can I get in based on my singing and my hip-hop dancing skillz?

I intend to live forever, or die trying.

Musicians / Performers (none / 0) (#69)
by bloat on Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 06:06:05 AM EST

There's more to music than new music. Plenty of people make a decent living exclusively playing music written hundreds of years ago by Dead White Europeans.

You say these people, who have studied music their entire lives, are not musicians?

Ceraintly the AFM doesn't.

CheersAndrewC.
--
There are no PanAsian supermarkets down in Hell, so you can't buy Golden Boy peanuts there.
[ Parent ]
DWEs (none / 0) (#73)
by lb008d on Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 11:01:05 AM EST

Heh I couldn't help but laugh. I use that expression all of the time. Our concert we're playing tommorrow is classic DWE music:

Weber, Overture to "Oberon"
Schumann, Symphony No. 4 in d
Brahms, Piano Concerto N. 1 in d

Thank god Pink Martini is coming next week! Not that I don't mind heavy Romatic-era music, but it's not my personal cup of tea. The Schumann is nice simply for it's formally structured composition.

[ Parent ]
Well, that is a bit drastic (4.80 / 5) (#2)
by The Writer on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 05:18:28 PM EST

I admit the recording industry has left a lot to be desired. But throwing out the baby with the bath water isn't exactly the solution either.

It was because of widespread recordings that musicians' output have been able to reach people they would otherwise not have reached, creating an interest in some of those people who would otherwise never have been interested in the music. I can say this from personal experience -- it was because I heard a lot of great recordings of masterpieces that motivated me to attend the live concert.

Let's face it -- this generation is a stingy generation. We don't like spending money on something that we're not sure we're going to like. If there's a concert playing something I've never heard before, I'm not very likely to want to go buy tickets for it. But if I hear a recording of either the same music or other music by the same musicians, and I liked it, then I'm far more likely to spend the money to go to the concert.

The recording industry makes widespread exposure possible in a way that no live performance can ever hope to achieve. The problem is not with recordings, the problem is with the money-hungry sharks trying to cash in on somebody else's talent, and doing so by unfairly exploiting the artists. We need to address the real problem, not just throw out the whole thing just because one part is rotten.

Stingy? (4.33 / 3) (#9)
by Torgos Pizza on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 05:28:28 PM EST

I wouldn't say that "this" generation is stingy. First, you have to define what "this" generation is. If you look at Generation Y, this group of people have more disposible income than any generation previous to it. And they spend it. From the Baby Boomers downward, they are all a pretty free spending bunch. It's this large segment of the population that kept the current recession from hitting us sooner and why it's been so mild compared to other recessions.

I think it's that the current generations out there are more informed than ever before. Particularly Gen X and Y, these people make informed choices before purchasing. They're more skeptical as well, not taking everything advertised as face value. They shop around and aren't so brand reliant as the Baby Boomers are.

I think that's one of the reasons while P2P sharing of music is so popular. They can listen to music before they buy. They can also experience new things without taking a hit upfront. If what they hear isn't what they like, it's nothing out of their pocket. It's not a matter of being stingy, but that these people have the abilitiy to look before leaping that sets them apart from previous generations.

I intend to live forever, or die trying.
[ Parent ]

Is this what has happend to art? (4.00 / 1) (#23)
by lb008d on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 06:14:02 PM EST

these people make informed choices before purchasing

more skeptical as well, not taking everything advertised as face value

They can also experience new things without taking a hit upfront.

these people have the abilitiy to look before leaping

I can understand that these are sentiments shared by consumers in the post-modern world. However, I must be old-fashioned in that I don't see art (more than just music of course, mind you) as a commodity that you "taste-test" first. Whatever happend to experiencing it for that sake of the experience, outcome be damned? What happened to leaping before looking and gasping for air when it was over? Are we all so over-marketed that we can only consume the art force-fed to us, only after careful consideration?

[ Parent ]

stingy with our time (5.00 / 1) (#55)
by speek on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 09:39:45 PM EST

$20 to see a concert I didn't like, no big deal. A wasted evening, plus accumulated hearing loss to hear stuff I didn't like? Not a risk I'm willing to take. I only go to concerts when I know I'm going to like the music. Bad live music is too painful.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Over-exposure (4.50 / 2) (#10)
by lb008d on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 05:32:09 PM EST

I would dare say that (popular) music today is over-exposed and over-marketed, with the net result of a lower quality of "art" reaching audiences.

Actually I think a less "draconian" solution could be an education in music that rivals that which we receive in the three "Rs". Those Greeks were up to something when they classified a music eduation as being as important as mathematics.

[ Parent ]
I really appreciate that. (3.50 / 2) (#17)
by seebs on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 05:48:38 PM EST

I'm glad that, in your ideal world, I would be forbidden from liking Weird Al, because he's not art, he's just some guy with a weird sense of humor. I like that I wouldn't be allowed to listen to Metallica's fourth album, because the fan community informs us that they "sold out". I like that you are so sure you know what's good, and that the people who disagree with you are simply wrong.

I like these things because I know they will never affect me, and it's comforting to know that such arrogant pap will not destroy the world I live in.


[ Parent ]
Funny (4.00 / 1) (#21)
by lb008d on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 06:02:11 PM EST

I didn't seem to mention musicians' limiting of performances at all in my article. I wasn't aware that the only way you could hear Metallica was via CD, or that Metallica wasn't "art".

[ Parent ]
Metallica sucks. (none / 0) (#62)
by Mr. Piccolo on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 11:09:41 PM EST

Except for when Dave was in the band. Megadeth has roundly kicked their ass on every single album.

The BBC would like to apologise for the following comment.


[ Parent ]
Yeah, and fuck you too. (3.33 / 12) (#8)
by seebs on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 05:28:16 PM EST

I listen to music a fair bit. Many people I know listen to music as much as eight hours a day; it forms the backbone of my wife's writing environment, for instance.

If I ever get to the point where my idea of "control" is to absolutely prohibit people who don't have lots of spare time or spare money from benefitting from my work in any way, just shoot me.

Recorded music is a vast improvement, for listeners and musicians alike. In your world, once Billie Holiday is dead, there is no way anyone can ever hear her again.

You would deny musicians a chance at immortality. What next, no fiction except at readings by the author?

This is not merely a bad idea. This is an idea so transcendantly stupid as to be experienced by a functioning brain as if it were physical pain.


Immortality? (4.33 / 3) (#13)
by lb008d on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 05:39:04 PM EST

Immortaility in the music world in the musicians' eyes is not gained so much by recordings, but through other means. For composers and songwriters, it is obvious: their works are their immortal contribution. For performers (especially for those who lived before the recording era) their students are how they gained immortality.

For instance, I can trace my lineage of music teachers back a couple of generations. One of my fellow flute players is a second (or third - dont' remember) generation student of the great Paul Taffanel, who taught at the Paris Conservatory and basically formed what is modern flute playing today.

I hope that when someone with Billie Holiday's talent dies, their students can carry on from there.

[ Parent ]

And so... (3.00 / 2) (#15)
by seebs on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 05:45:43 PM EST

Likewise, the only form of "immortality" any fiction should have is if people remember bits of it and reuse them in new stories.

Essentially, the best argument you have is "we used to have only live music". We also used to have only hand-copied manuscripts. We used to have only poultices, not hospitals.

If you want control, go ahead and don't record music. I'll listen to Frank Zappa, who understood music a lot better than you do.

Just *think*, for fuck's sake! What is the big deal with control? When I do something, I want to do it well, and I don't want to waste a lot of effort. I put out a couple of songs as MP3's, and they've been listened to hundreds of times, and I haven't had to spend more time playing a piece that's no longer new to me, no longer *fun*. I can focus on stuff that I think is interesting, and people can enjoy what I did last year, or the year before.

That's freedom, and that's control. Can I prevent people from listening to my music? Probably not. Why should I want to? It costs me nothing; I'm not a pro, and I don't need money from this anyway.

The problems faced by musicians in an era of digital media are the same problems faced by authors since the printing press, and by programmers since the first guy got to put "programmer" on his tax return. Quit your whining. Adapt or don't.

But for fuck's sake, don't call "we will prevent our work from having lasting value" a "solution". It's not a solution to any problem we have.

Your "solution" means that composers give up and go home; they can't earn a living, because they can't produce and sell *recordings* of their works; they live solely at the mercy of live artists, who may want to perform something else.

Your "solution" means that I can't explore the subtleties of a piece unless the "artist" playing it is a talentless fuck who will never improvise; I can only hear it differently each time.

Your "solution" makes as much sense as copying books by hand, and forbidding Cc: lines on email.


[ Parent ]
Calm down! (3.00 / 1) (#20)
by lb008d on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 05:58:00 PM EST

When I do something, I want to do it well, and I don't want to waste a lot of effort.

This statement is contradictory. Let me tell you that porfessional musicians are interested in playing well, whether it be the first or 100th time they've played Beethoven's Fifth, and that they sure as hell will expend a lot of effort in doing so.

Can I prevent people from listening to my music? Probably not.

Neither can recorded musicians who have dedicated more of their lives to learning their art than the majority of people will ever devote to theirs. They lose their part of their work by making the recording, and then some punk goes along and steals from them (however infantesimally) by making a copy. This is my point. Even if the recorded artist sees nothing when you buy a CD, piracy has its own negative effect on the work of musicians by devaluing it. Let me repeat that because I don't think it's been said enough around here: piracy has its own negative effect on the work of musicians by devaluing it.

Why should I want to? It costs me nothing; I'm not a pro, and I don't need money from this anyway.

I am a pro, I have a very expensive instrument and bills to pay. I do want to control my product because I need money from this!

Adapt or don't.

Except in this case the end result will be no more preofessional musicians.

[ Parent ]

No more pros? Good! (4.00 / 1) (#31)
by UncleMikey on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 06:33:47 PM EST

Except in this case the end result will be no more preofessional musicians.

I'm so glad you said this, because watching the tennis match between you and Seebs, this was exactly the counter-proposal I was going to make. I agree with your comments that artists need to get a lot smarter about the contracts they sign, but I take issue with your blaming the digital age for loss of control. In terms of copying music, artists haven't had control since the advent of the cassette tape.

We, as a society, allow entertainers to do nothing but entertain, to do that as their vocation. That's capitalism in action. You can try to make money any way you please as long as it's legal.

But the other side of capitalism is that no-one owes you a living. If the market is there, it's there, and if it's not, it's not. If artists aren't selling CDs in quantity, but the music is getting listened to via copies, that is the Market sending the artist a message: "We like your work, but not enough to pay for it. Full time consideration of another endeavour might be in order."

If one can't make money doing what one is trying to do -- whatever that is -- then it's time to do something else. If entertainers, as a class, honestly can't make a living being entertainers in the digital age (something I doubt), then it's time for them to reconsider the idea of entertainment as a vocation.
--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]

Excellent! Constructive discussion at last! (none / 0) (#34)
by lb008d on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 06:48:40 PM EST

no-one owes you a living

I agree 100%

If artists aren't selling CDs in quantity, but the music is getting listened to via copies, that is the Market sending the artist a message

One could easily say that this is the consumer saying "SWEET - Free Beer!".

"We like your work, but not enough to pay for it. Full time consideration of another endeavour might be in order."

This is unfortunately the message being given to orchestras worldwide. Hence my day job as an SE. I get the feeling that in this day and age people don't want to pay for quality anything. See the post about the notion of "taste-testing" art before consuming it.

then it's time for them to reconsider the idea of entertainment as a vocation.

That is the outcome that I dsee when I'm feeling cynical, however that oucome also has the unfortunate side-effect of nothing of real quality being produced. Music is not the Linux kernel. While people who work day jobs could produce great music, it would eliminate the possibility of large-scale works being written and performed. Perhaps the end is near for the genre of the large ensemble. I hope not.

[ Parent ]

Maybe. Maybe not. (none / 0) (#39)
by UncleMikey on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 07:08:41 PM EST

There will always be (or at least, I would like to think so) individuals with resources to spend who value things that aren't necessarily profitable, and are willing to support those that produce them. This is called 'patronage', and until the last 200 years or so, it was the main way that talented artists survived.

Consider this: Rusty actually makes a living doing K5 -- which may or may not be 'art', but certainly qualifies as 'entertainment', I think. It's not a rich living, but apparently it's sufficient. He's able to do it, despite the fact that the vast majority of K5 readers, and most if not all of the people who use the software he's laboured on for so long for other sites, never pay a nickel. How? Because he has two corporate patrons -- Voxel and Promicro -- who value what he's doing enough to foot the infrastructure bills; and a bunch of micropatrons who are willing to send money his way via text ads, subscriptions, and donations.

This is as valid a form of capitalism as the current 'industry' we call entertainment, but it places the value on the producer rather than the product. Result: it doesn't matter how often the product gets copied for free, because there are people who consider the producer worthy of support.
--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]

Patronage (none / 0) (#40)
by lb008d on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 07:10:59 PM EST

Of course! Patronage is what supplies a lot of our budget. These are people who do realize that some things are worth paying for, and one of the hopes I have for the future of orchestra music. Thanks for bringing it up.

[ Parent ]
There's a long-term tradeoff.. (none / 0) (#36)
by seebs on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 06:51:33 PM EST

You're almost there! Now, think for a moment about what would happen if society, as a whole, concluded that certain things (such as music) were vulnerable to a tragedy-of-the-commons; that, while each individual person is not willing to pay enough to support it, they would be very unhappy if it weren't available.

Then the government does what it always does in a tragedy of the commons; changes the assumptions. It establishes limited "control" of a resource, for a limited time, to encourage people to develop that resource.

You've just invented copyright as a way to ensure the flourishing of the arts. Congrads!


[ Parent ]
You want pay for play, right? (none / 0) (#60)
by richieb on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 10:57:36 PM EST

piracy has its own negative effect on the work of musicians by devaluing it.

I guess you are saying that unless someone pays first, he should not be allowed to listen to your music. Right? This is really what your statement implies.

Another words you don't trust your listeners (actually you clients), they have to pay first and then listen.

I would argue that you should trust your audience and trust the good will of regular people. If your music is really good and enough people are exposed to it for free, there is a much better chance that you will be able to make money selling recordings to the subset of the audience that really wants to support you.

...richie
It is a good day to code.
[ Parent ]

Why should music be exempt from everything else? (none / 0) (#75)
by lb008d on Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 11:23:08 AM EST

I guess you are saying that unless someone pays first, he should not be allowed to listen to your music.

Works for everything else, doesn't it? Can't say I get to test out a restaurant before deciding to pay, or theater production. All I have to go on there is a review.

Now, as others have pointed out, there could be the possibility of "test-driving" music; an idea that may work. Personally, the fact that someone would want to "test-drive" any kind of art bewilders me (is it all just commodities now?), but that's another topic entirely.

For instance, an orchestra could provide an mp3 of one part of a piece that they have recorded. Since it is not available in its entirety, it would only serve the purpose of the test drive.

[ Parent ]

You pay after.... (none / 0) (#83)
by richieb on Fri Mar 08, 2002 at 07:48:11 PM EST

Works for everything else, doesn't it? Can't say I get to test out a restaurant before deciding to pay, or theater production. All I have to go on there is a review.

Actually for a restaurant you pay _after_ you eat. In fact for many services after they are done, so that you have an option not to pay if the service is a bummer.

...richie
It is a good day to code.
[ Parent ]

Hang on... (5.00 / 1) (#44)
by seebs on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 07:31:10 PM EST

>Immortaility in the music world in the
>musicians' eyes is not gained so much by
>recordings, but through other means.

So, just like the RIAA, you think that the end user has no right to an opinion, and no relevance, as long as the correct crowd are all happy? Sheesh!

For that matter, why should all musicians have to be teachers to leave a legacy? What's wrong with a musician who doesn't like to teach being allowed to leave a legacy of music that will bring tears to the eyes of millions a century from now?


[ Parent ]
You really need to read more closely (none / 0) (#74)
by lb008d on Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 11:15:06 AM EST

I stated: immortaility in the music world in the musicians' eyes.

I was referring to musicians, not listeners. Musicians really like being recognized and remembered by their peers, much like any other profession.

Hopefully listeners realize that since they not be able to hear Isaac Stern live anymore, they can hear him in his students. Same goes for Dizzy Gillespie and one of his students, Jon Faddis.

[ Parent ]

So, you speak for them all? (none / 0) (#77)
by seebs on Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 12:44:46 PM EST

So, you're quite sure that all musicians would be completely content to never hear another piece by any dead musician, but to listen only to his students, and all musicians would be quite happy to leave no legacy except students?

I don't buy it.

I don't care about immortality in the minds of three nutjob elitists who believe that recorded music is depriving them of "artistic control", and I suspect most musicians would feel the same.

You have some strange belief that music which has been recorded is somehow a bad thing. You're a kook, and you're clearly missing the point. Music is about communication; if you are so adamantly opposed to breaking off the best channel for communication, you're not very supportive of music.


[ Parent ]
Here's the basic problem (none / 0) (#78)
by lb008d on Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 01:11:20 PM EST

You automatically take my statements as absolute, probably because of the tone of the original story. However, had you read some of my other comments, you would realize that the absolutist tone was necessary to grab people's attention.

With that said, I know I'm in a better position to represent what performing musicians believe having worked with many of them over the past 10+ years of my life.

[recorded music is] the best channel for communication

That statement it 100% pure opinion and one to which I take personal offense. Recorded music is an effective way to reach a wider audience, and has been used and abused to questionable ends, but it is not by far the best means of communicating music to any audience. Recorded music should be used as a means to get people to appreciate the music itself along with what goes into producing music, and that appreciation can only be fully realized live. Music is as much about the human interpretation and performance as the composition behind it and recordings cannot capture this element the same way a live performance can.

Electronic-only music that can't be "performed" is exempt, of course. I shouldn't have to add disclaimers such as these, but enough "what about recorded-only music" posts have surfaced that I feel I must.

[ Parent ]

What about Britney Spears? (none / 0) (#54)
by seeS on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 09:22:10 PM EST

once Billie Holiday is dead, there is no way anyone can ever hear her again.
once Britney is dead, there is no way anyone can ever hear her again.woo! woo!
You see, there is an upside to everything.
BTW, if you banned professional recordings, some enterprising people will just sell bootleg recordings. No supply but lots of demand will always win.
--
Where's a policeman when you need one to blame the World Wide Web?
[ Parent ]
You can be replaced (4.00 / 5) (#11)
by Bad Harmony on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 05:33:47 PM EST

As a classical musician, you must be aware of the many East European orchestras who will perform for recordings and soundtracks at much lower rates than Western musicians. Not to mention the huge libraries of recordings that have already been made of popular classical works.

5440' or Fight!

However (4.00 / 1) (#16)
by lb008d on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 05:46:25 PM EST

The majority of those recordings cannot compare in quality to the live performances produced by professional orchestras in this country.

I have had the experience of working with one ensemble in a similar situation to the East European orchestras: the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. We did a gig in Carnegie Hall in December of 1998 featurning Rossini Contralto Arias with Eva Podles (a fabulous singer, by the way). These people were barely scraping by and here they were playing in Carnegie Hall?!?!? That didn't make sense to me until I realized that while the opportunity to perform live does have its benefits, it also can be exploited much in the same way that recording artists can be exploited. It really was sad to see such talented musicians working for peanuts.

[ Parent ]
Past ban and Art Form (4.71 / 7) (#12)
by Woundweavr on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 05:34:32 PM EST

From my post on a similar story a few hrs ago...

It didn't work before. The AFM from 1942-1944 had a recording ban. Then it was over playing records on the radio, royalties and an unemployment fund for musicians. Instead of going back to live performances, people listened to old recordings. In fact, it was a big reason that modern 'pop' music cained control over jazz, since people like Sinatra sang a cappella and gained popularity.

Wishing we could be back to pre-recording of music might be a nice pipedream, but thats all it is. I know and you know that live music is superior. However, its basically the choice between listening to the occassional band or having 1000s of songs on demand. Add that jazz and classical musicians record their music and depend on it almost as much as manufactured music and the plan becomes impossible. Also, without recording, music can not be experienced so widely. Any genre who refuses to record is signing its own death warrant.
In addition....

Recording stimulates the development of music as an art form as well. Without recording, jazz would have been lost. Without recording, rock, rap and basically every modern form wouldn't have been born. How many other local innovative traditions such as jazz were lost over the years because of no way of recording them. Without the influence of music from a wide range of areas music becomes stagnant. Those who refuse it will become extinct.

South American music (4.00 / 1) (#19)
by epepke on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 05:57:11 PM EST

One of the effects of this ban was increased radio play of music from South America, which had no such strike on recording music.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Baby's in the bathwater (4.25 / 4) (#14)
by tudlio on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 05:39:05 PM EST

As a consumer of music, I think your solution to a legitimately troubling problem is itself troubling. While I laud your efforts to keep control of your music, I don't think the solution is to severely limit the ability of the majority of your listeners to access it.




insert self-deprecatory humor here
I want to ask a musician (5.00 / 1) (#22)
by Tatarigami on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 06:08:25 PM EST

What exactly do you mean by 'control' of your product?

I know what the RIAA mean by control -- telling me where, when and how I can listen to music. Which is one reason I'd rather go without music altogether than have access to it only on their terms.

If you had the power, what would you do with it?

Sure I'll bite (none / 0) (#27)
by lb008d on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 06:26:18 PM EST

If a recording could br created so that it could not be copied, as well as the income from that recording could go back to those responsible for producing it (musicians, recording engineers, stagehands, performance hall owners, the physical media producers) in a fair way, then, yes, I would say that musicians should record their music. However the reality of digital information coupled with inconsiderate listeners (the "it's only a copy, it won't hurt anyone" attitude) and a totalitarian recording industry will prevent this.

Recordings should be treated as frozen live performances. Unfortunately, that isn't even accurate because the musicians have potentially lost income from a lack of opportunity to perform the material multiple times. Hopefully the sale of multiple legitimate recordings coupled with a fair distribution scheme can make up for this deficit. However, this currently is not the case, hence my (intentionally) inflammatory story!

[ Parent ]

So (none / 0) (#53)
by Tatarigami on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 09:07:59 PM EST

I couldn't, just for example, rip the recording to play from my very own hard drive, for my own personal benefit? Or record to tape so I can listen to it on the way to work?

Not wanting to nitpick, but I think you need to differentiate between copying and distribution.

I also think I don't think I want to be part of your revolution unless you're significantly less evil than the RIAA.

[ Parent ]
But.... (none / 0) (#57)
by richieb on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 10:02:15 PM EST

If a recording could br created so that it could not be copied, as well as the income from that recording could go back to those responsible for producing it

But if the creation of the copy cost you nothing, and noone is selling any of the copies what do you loose? You think those people that received copies would go and buy your recording? In most cases they would not, 'cause they don't like it.

However, if the free MP3 is spread around the world then you are more likely to find people who really love it and will want to own your CDs (or whatever).

Let's say 1% of population that hear your music will like it and buy it. Would you like to have 1000 people hear it or 25,000,000?

...richie
It is a good day to code.
[ Parent ]

Copyright is two way (none / 0) (#76)
by maroberts on Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 12:09:23 PM EST

The position stated by the author of this Op-Ed piece is absurd, and borders on being a form of troll.

Copyright is a privilege granted to musicians and authors to allow them a return on their work. In return for the privilege of copyright you make your work publically available.

If copyright didn't exist then like any other field anyone would be able to make copies of what you produced, in this case your music. Progress and advancement of humanity relies on being able to make copies, and copyright and patents are a means of ensuring the original author/ inventor is rewarded for their work.

If recording of music were banned, what record would we have of your achievements if you were a world famous player? What would you have contributed to the public for their enrichment after you died? How would other players learn to develop and improve playing their instruments from listening to your technique?

Of course, if recording of music is banned, then lets take this to its extreme - it is obvious movies should be banned too, so to parody your ending:

The upside of live-only acting will be a re-enrichment of the role of acting in our society. The connection between audience and performer will be re-forged, and the best acting ever created by mankind will be the end result. If the current state of the industry further devolves, I imagine a bleak future filled with no-talent amateurs marketed to the lowest-common denominator viewer, and no place whatsoever for the talented, trained professional producing high-quality performances
~~~
The greatest trick the Devil pulled was to convince the world he didn't exist -- Verbil Kint, The Usual Suspects
[ Parent ]

Competition is good for you. (5.00 / 2) (#24)
by chipuni on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 06:22:59 PM EST

You're right that before the twentieth century, all music had to be performed live, which ensured musicians a fairly steady salary. But I feel that your solution would hurt music itself.

The studio itself is a part of creating music. In the 1970's and 1980's, some studio engineers became famous in their own right. For example, Alan Parsons was a mediocre composer and singer, but he became famous for being a superb studio engineer, bringing together orchestrations and several bands and singers.

Recorded music itself becomes the subject of other recorded music, through sampling. Both Negativland and The Art of Noise are examples of bands who extensively used this technique. (It was picked up by Dub, Hip-Hop, and many other styles of music.)

Your proposal would eliminate these branches of music, putting fellow music creators out of work.
--
Perfection is not reached when nothing more can be added, but only when nothing more can be taken away.
Wisdom for short attention spans.

Wow (4.33 / 6) (#25)
by Anatta on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 06:23:39 PM EST

This is the best troll I've seen on Kuro5hin in ages! Congratulations! You've managed to sound pompous and Luddite at the same time, while cheering on the ol' unions and trying to take people's choice away from them in order to elevate the culture a bit. Rock on!

So I should stop doing something I dearly love, creating sounds and recording them, because I'm not truly a talented musician (unlike the "real" musicians, like jazz musicians and opera singers)? I'm sorry, but this is completely ridiculous. I'd be fascinated to put an aforementioned "talented" musician in front of an unpatched modular synthesizer and see what they could do. Now do you want LFO Depth to modulate the Pulse Width on your Analogue Step Sequencer, or are you going to run it into the VCO Frequency of your Synced Oscillator? Don't forget to route the Filter Cutoff into the ADSR Envelope (or would you prefer an AD Envelope?) I find routing Pink Noise into the Sample and Hold circuit, triggered by sequencer gate produces very cool results.

My point is that you're deluding yourself if you think that only opera singers, classical musicians, and jazz musicians are talented. There hasn't been any truly off-the-wall genius jazz since Miles Davis was in his prime, and while there have been some interesting classical composers in relatively recent memory (e.g. Morton Feldman, John Cage), I haven't heard anything truly mind-blowing in quite a while. That said, there are a hell of a lot of incredibly brilliant musicians out there who are innovating in ways that haven't been seen since the golden age of jazz. Autechre, Aphex Twin, u-Ziq, Amon Tobin, etc. are all out there creating complex, truly innovative music. And then there's soul: Johnny Cash did more with a broken heart, four chords, a bottle of Bourbon, and a parole violation than 99% of impeccably-schooled musicians could ever do with thousands of dollars of government subsidy. Not much in the way of innovation, but at least you know he's honest.

I'm sure the whole world would be peachy keen if everybody just stopped recording those damned no-talent mass market records (they do all sorts of nasty things like make people take DRUGS and DANCE and have SEX!) and everybody get dressed in their Sunday Best in order to head to Symphony Hall to see a real performance. Why, if we broke everybody's recorded music, then such live performances would be a very special treat indeed. Not that people necessarily want to go, but if we've forcibly removed all other choices.......

It seems to me you're just bitter that when consumers actually have a choice, they listen to idiotic crap like Britney Spears instead of Schubert or Liszt. Yeah, it sucks, but the upside is that we all get to listen to what we want and don't have our culture imposed on us. The US is the only Western country where culture is actually dictated by the masses... and as the saying goes, when the masses revolt, it's pretty revolting. If you want to change the current situation involving the record company control, instead of forcibly removing choice, why don't you write something so compelling, so creative, so ingenius, so passionate, so emotionally orgasmic that I and the rest of the world simply cannot stop listening to it?
My Music

Good points until......... (none / 0) (#30)
by lb008d on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 06:33:26 PM EST

[we] don't have our culture imposed on us

I was with you until that statement. One could say that the marketing efforts of the entertainment industry have forced their idea of culture on America more effectively than any Soviet ruler could imagine.

[ Parent ]

Riiiiight (none / 0) (#35)
by Anatta on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 06:51:30 PM EST

I was with you until that statement. One could say that the marketing efforts of the entertainment industry have forced their idea of culture on America more effectively than any Soviet ruler could imagine.

Oh come on. This is ridiculous, you're deluding yourself. Markters don't define trends, people do.

No marketer told hip hop kids in the ghetto in the early 80s to wear baseball hats backwards. The trend came from people who dressed the way they wanted to, it's not like "Big BaseballCap" was running low on revenue and created a new revenue stream.
No marketer told ravers in the late 80s/early 90s to suck on pacifiers and swing glowstix around. The trend came from people who dressed the way they wanted to. Again, it's not like "Big GlowStix" just wasn't generating enough revenue, so they went searching for a new market to exploit.
No marketer told Kurt Cobain and Whatzisname from Pearl Jam to wear flannel during the Grunge Years. They just wore what they want, and started a fashion revolution... there was no attempt to placate the desires of "Big Flannel".

Here is an excellent argument showing why the suggestion that Marketers control culture through advertising/mind control is a bunch of bunk.
My Music
[ Parent ]

Merketing tactics (none / 0) (#48)
by lb008d on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 08:04:53 PM EST

I suggest you try to catch a re-run of The Merchants of Cool. It is an excellent Frontline investigation into the teen marketing world.

While it's true that very tiny demographic groups begin trends, it is the duty of the Marketers to search them out and sell them back to the general teen audience, and then look for the next big thing. It's a cycle that repeats itself extremely quickly.

Would these trends have grown to the size that they did without the power and influence of the Marketers? Probably not.

[ Parent ]

Musical snob (none / 0) (#41)
by Entol on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 07:11:45 PM EST

Hmmm... a kinda inverted musical snob! Boy oh boy, do you have a chip on your shoulder about classical music. Get real matey, don't be prejudicial because this guy is a classical musician. By dissing this bloke you only make yourself look foolish and don't do anything for your cause or arguements (which I can't seem to find). Never mind, keep plugging away at your synthesiser and I hope it all works out for you. Regards, entol. http://www.rcm.ac.uk/
__________________________

This statement is false...
[ Parent ]

Not at all (none / 0) (#50)
by Anatta on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 08:13:25 PM EST

I like classical music quite a bit... hell, without even looking at my post, I can remember mentioning (with the assumption that they are at least good or even mind-blowingly brilliant): Schubert, Liszt, Cage, and Feldman. All of them, last time I checked, are filed under "Classical".

I simply have a problem with people who consider classical musicians or jazz musicians to be the only ones who have "talent". I also have a problem with people who consider electronic musicians to be the only ones with talent. Really, I'm all about variety, and feel that the skillz required to play the violin like Paginini are hard to compare to the skillz required to make sounds like u-Ziq, and that the skillz required to Beat Box like that guy from the Fat Boys are hard to compare to the skillz required to improvise like Miles Davis.
My Music
[ Parent ]

Nice to hear... (none / 0) (#79)
by Entol on Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 03:58:10 PM EST

Apologies then for the allegations of musical snobishness. :-) However, you gotta admit that the tone was kinda hard. entol.
__________________________

This statement is false...
[ Parent ]

Hold on there (none / 0) (#46)
by lb008d on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 07:39:09 PM EST

the "real" musicians, like jazz musicians and opera singers

I did say "others" since it is practically impossible to enumerate musical genres.

What bothers me is your backlash against my apparent classification of musical talent, followed immediately by a statement concerning talent in a particular genre: There hasn't been any truly off-the-wall genius jazz since Miles Davis. I'm sure there have been jazz geniuses since Miles, we just haven't heard them. I personally don't consider "innovation" to be a necessary component of great art, just one element of what can make art great. We'll leave the discussion of aesthetics to another Op-Ed piece!

As a suggestion for mind-blowing music, I would suggest carefully listening to J.S. Bach's Crab Canon (from the Musical Offering), and then getting the sheet music if possible. It is exact image of itself forward and backward. Nothing that hasn't been done since, however it is a cool thing. Depends on your definition of "mind-blowing".

I also left music that by necessity must be recorded from my argument to see who would bring it up first. Without recording we would never have had "Come Out" created by Steve Reich, or many other tape/electronic works since.

[ Parent ]

Lots and lots of "4'33" (none / 0) (#51)
by Anatta on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 08:38:58 PM EST

As a suggestion for mind-blowing music, I would suggest carefully listening to J.S. Bach's Crab Canon (from the Musical Offering), and then getting the sheet music if possible. It is exact image of itself forward and backward. Nothing that hasn't been done since, however it is a cool thing. Depends on your definition of "mind-blowing".

Yes, I'd have to say Bach is my overall favorite in the classical genre... he writes like a mathematician, but yet he can conjure up a simple soulful melody in the midst of such complexity.

I also left music that by necessity must be recorded from my argument to see who would bring it up first. Without recording we would never have had "Come Out" created by Steve Reich, or many other tape/electronic works since.

Obviously, much of Reich's work would never have been created if no one was recording, nor would the art of DJing have been born. Of course, without recording, there would probably be an awful lot of John Cage's "4'33" repeated over and over and over again :) and I'm not sure I'd like it.

Did you ever see the documentary on electronic music called "Modulations"? It's well worth renting. They go back to Stockhausen and Reich and the early electronic musicians, back when it was strictly avant garde classical music, to find out what they were thinking... they also interview Miles Davis' producer, and he talks about how he would start each of the track tapes slightly out of sync in order to give the songs more groove, etc. It really gets into how the act of recording a piece by necessity turns it into some sort of "electronic music" (where do you put the mics? Are you going to EQ/compress the sound?), and how the production of that recorded piece can be as important as the piece itself. If you remove the recordings, you necessarily forefit that art.
My Music
[ Parent ]

ADSR? (none / 0) (#61)
by KnightStalker on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 10:57:58 PM EST

Cool, I had no idea that was used on anything other than the C64 (and 128 and perhaps the Amiga :-) Good old SID.

[ Parent ]
Aah, the SID Chip! (none / 0) (#65)
by Anatta on Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 12:10:45 AM EST

ADSR = Attack Decay Sustain Release, the common stages of an envelope. The SID chip certainly used em... and guess what... SID's still around! In fact, in my music, I currently use QuadraSID, a software emulation of the SID chip (you can download Win or Mac demos). They are also available in hardware form via the Elektron SIDStation and as a sound card in the HardSID.

I'm not nearly as strong on FM or WaveTable synthesis as I am in Subtractive, but I have been able to make some pretty freqed out noises with the QuadraSID.

Yes, the SID rocks!
My Music
[ Parent ]

Just some thoughts... (5.00 / 2) (#26)
by rebelcool on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 06:24:06 PM EST

Musicians ought to band together (no pun intended) and create their own non-profit distribution system. Really, the only reason why the companies that comprise the RIAA are a necessary evil is because they are the distributors of music in disc format.

By making yourself non-profit and musician ran, revenue from album sales can go to the artist, rather than the rather pennies most artists now get per album.

Embrace the internet. This goes against some immediate logic, but think for a moment. Most of the people who are going to be interested in the 'quality' music are much more likely to purchase discs. I know I do. If I find a song or two by a band I like, I'll buy the album that song is on.

People want distribution choices. There are 2 main reasons why sharing music on the internet is so popular. 1 is convienence. Getting singles you want is a click away. 2 is price.

And finally, make the physical albums affordable. I'm sorry but $15 for an album is much too expensive. Make CDs cheaper and you give great incentive to music downloaders to purchase entire albums.

So in summary, start your own distribution organization, if you are non-profit and musician ran, you can reduce CD prices and still give musicians more money than what the for-profit greedmongerers of the RIAA will give.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

See other comment (none / 0) (#28)
by lb008d on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 06:29:18 PM EST

I do agree with this except for the fact that digitized music is so easily copied. In your scheme the weak link is the recording media itself.

Here the potential for piracy to affect the artist is magnified since there is no greedy middleman to steal from as well.

[ Parent ]

it's an untested matter of opinion... (4.66 / 3) (#33)
by rebelcool on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 06:38:41 PM EST

Think about it the other way for a moment, as in "How can free copying of my music online be helpful?"

Myself and others I associate with (we tend to think of ourselves as 'quality' music lovers..this is entirely subjective i suppose) download MP3s of bands we are interested in. If we enjoy those mp3's, we buy the albums that contain those particular songs.

Secondly, by allowing file transfer sharing, you allow yourself to gather more fans quickly. I myself have discovered many bands I enjoy purely through downloading mp3s. I subsequently purchased their albums and attended their concerts. File sharing allows people to discover you. This in turn leads to more albums sold, more concerts attended.

Third, with the current price of CDs, I am not about to spend $15 for a disc that might contain music I dont particularly care for.

Think about your plan for a moment..who all would go to your concerts? The diehard fans right? The diehard fans are going to purchase your albums whether the capability to get them from mp3 or not anyway. Those who are not all that interested in you are not going to go the concerts.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Ack! (5.00 / 1) (#37)
by lb008d on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 06:53:00 PM EST

(gasp) Good arguments......can't counter......making too much sense........

I'll bring it up with our orchestra's board of directors and our orchestra committee. Perhaps you'll be seeing mp3s of my orchestra available someday from our website.

Now isn't this kind of discussion exactly what Kuro5hin is about? I love it!

[ Parent ]

a caveat.. (3.50 / 2) (#38)
by rebelcool on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 07:02:59 PM EST

I could be entirely wrong when applied to the whole world, of course. But here's usually how it goes for me:

Friend IM's me and says 'hey check out this song'. Sends song over.

I listen to song. Sounds nice. I get on whatever file sharing network happens to be working, find more by the band.

If I like, I head over to CDNOW and preview the rest of the album. If the majority of songs sound pretty good. I buy. And that ban has one more new fan.

I'm guessing that the seattle symphony doesnt exactly have widespread radio play and could considerably benefit by symphonic fans spreading recordings, thus leading other fans to purchase recordings.

My suggestion is to distribute choice samples yourself. See how it works out over a period of time, and put a writeup about your experience on k5 since nobody has really done much research into it.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Works about the same for me... (3.50 / 2) (#45)
by Danse on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 07:35:26 PM EST

I do a lot of browsing for music on the net. I often look up bands that I like, and find references to others that I might like. So I use Gnotella or whatever I have handy at the time to look for songs from these other bands. Sometimes I listen to Live365 or Shoutcast/Ampcast stations and jot down the names of the bands/songs I like and go look for more songs from them later. If I like what I hear, then I hit CDNow and grab the album. MP3.com was always an interesting place to find new music, and even new genres that I had never heard before. (Unfortunately I don't go there anymore, mostly on principle (Vivendi truly does suck), but also because they just don't support independent artists like they should anymore.) If CDs were cheaper, I could buy more of them. If artists got a bigger cut, we'd both be happy. We just need a way to get rid of the expensive middlemen (record labels and retailers).






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Think of MP3 as radio... (4.00 / 2) (#56)
by richieb on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 09:56:45 PM EST

Don't think of MP3s as a product, think of it as free promotion (like radio). Today, the main stream radio does not play any interesting music. I like to listen to new things, when I find MP3 of an artist I like I go and buy the CDs. I've become a fan of many artists that way, even though you'd never hear them on commercial radio.

Think of people copying your MP3s as distributors and they do it for free. You don't have to put up big servers to serve many request, you don't have to sign away your soul to a record company.

If you can provide a product that people would like to own, we'll buy it. But please don't expect to produce crap and expect us to shell out money for just to hear it.

...richie
It is a good day to code.
[ Parent ]

Not true (3.00 / 1) (#49)
by streetlawyer on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 08:08:54 PM EST

Really, the only reason why the companies that comprise the RIAA are a necessary evil is because they are the distributors of music in disc format.

This is a relatively trivial part of their role. Most importantly, the companies who are members of the RIAA are the financiers of recorded music, paying for the living expenses and studio time of musicians while they record albums which, nine times out of ten, are unsaleable dogs. Since musicians don't want to (can't afford to) take that risk on their own behalf, we're left back with the ugly old profit motive.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Nah. (none / 0) (#52)
by rebelcool on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 08:45:13 PM EST

I used to work in a rehearsal studio. Occasionally we'd get big-name acts in there. Most of the time though it was small time bands. Most of them were pretty good (to be able to pay for the time in there, you need frequent gigs, to get frequent gigs, you need to be good).

The idea you need a big company to finance you making music is a myth. You *do* need a well organized entity to distribute it however.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Nah, (none / 0) (#70)
by FredBloggs on Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 06:07:24 AM EST

theres no connection between `good` and `popular`. You need a big company to finance you if you want to be more than just a local blues band.

[ Parent ]
Hardly. (none / 0) (#72)
by rebelcool on Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 10:22:15 AM EST

Looking at the various CDs on my shelf, most are members of smaller labels. And they're not bands that nobody has ever heard of, but they do tend to not get much radio play.

Go to your local music store. There are hundreds of bands available. Look at how many marketing advertisements there are..maybe a dozen. To be successful, you do not need a big marketing machine behind you.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Maybe while you're banding all together... (3.00 / 1) (#42)
by etherdeath on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 07:24:00 PM EST

... you might see what you can do about replacing the music industry. This would be easier if you had some of those rich musicians on your side who aren't part of the 'backbone', and I've wondered why this hasn't happened sooner. Some musicians have created their own music labels, but it seems common that they either get bought out or the actual recording gets distributed by some large company. Maybe it's just that the solution wouldn't yeild quite enough millions to enough of those at the top now who have the resources to start an alternate music industry where instead of a $1 of a $10 CD going to them, $2 of $5 CD goes to them (or some other ratio, or the same ratio, but cheaper).

Cost-benefit analysis (4.50 / 6) (#43)
by seebs on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 07:29:22 PM EST

In the end, this scheme is just the RIAA's anti-MP3 stance on steroids; while they would turn the clock back to when they could make money, you would turn it back even further so you could make money.

First, let's dispose of the obvious lies: Live-only music would not enrich the role of music; it would eliminate it. Movies would have no background music. Video games couldn't have it, either. Poor people would get no music at all. People who are depressed would not be able to sit at home, quietly listening to their favorite blues album.

Yes, all copy protection will be broken, just as books can easily be copied.

Now, let's look at what your "live-only music" costs us.

It costs us every piece of music ever produced by a single visionary who could play several parts, but not all at once.

It costs us much of the history of music.

It costs us soundtracks. Soundtracks aren't important? Try trimming the sound track from a good Warner Brothers cartoon; the sound track makes a huge difference.

It costs us the ability to listen to music on our own schedule. It costs us the choice of what music to hear. Right now, I have a choice of a few hundred albums, by perhaps a hundred artists. In a world with live-only music, my options are to go out and hear whatever's playing, or to have no music at all.

Music while reading is dead.

Music while eating out is limited to expensive resturaunts, that can afford live musicians.

In short, one of the greatest cultural achievements of humanity is utterly destroyed.

The "benefit"? Talented players of music (not to be confused with musicians, who may be excellent composers, but not very good at playing instruments) will have an easier time earning a living.

You advocate that I should have to go to a live performance to hear something good. Why? Have you never played something good enough that I would be enriched by hearing it whether or not I was even *born* yet when you played it? Do you want to spend your life repeating that performance, instead of performing something else?


youre basically calling for a strike, of sorts (2.00 / 1) (#58)
by zzzeek on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 10:22:49 PM EST

and I can think of no industry on earth that has a more unbelievably massive supply of potential "scabs" than the music industry, since for every musician's union member, there are at least 10,000 non-union members that would love to be professional recording musicians. Such a drastic move by the union would wind up diffusing its power and rendering it powerless.

+1 for a fresh idea ... but it needs some work (3.66 / 3) (#59)
by omegadan on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 10:27:24 PM EST

This is an interesting Idea, but Id like to ask ... what about kids of music that simply can't exist live? ...

I am an electronic musician (and I dont want any crap about "talent" either -- I am an accomplished jazz saxaphonist... I got tired of jazz -- because *nothing* interesting has happened in jazz in the last 10 years).

How do you suggest one would apply your paradigm to electonic music, which for me lives in half a dozen synthesizers? ...

The flaw in your logic is, your ignoring the good the internet can do for you ... the *only* way people hear about my music is on the internet ... with those nasty mp3s. If it weren't for that -- no one would hear my music at all (save for my neighboors maybe)

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley

The sound of music (5.00 / 1) (#63)
by CheSera on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 11:43:04 PM EST

Your premise is somewhat flawed in that you assume that letting music be put on a medium such as a CD, tape, or even the net is going to insure that the musician loses control of it. Clearly this isn't the case.

In the current market it is true that the middle man, the one who acutally translates the content to the medium has become more powerful than the musician. This is due to better orginization, more money, and a diffrent focus. While "talanted" musicians like yourself may be content to create your art, many other musicians, with fully valid creations, may wish to attract a larger audience than can be reached by concerts.

I agree that in order to regain some of their lost footing musicians will need to unionize more effeciently, and take back some of the control they've lost already. But abandoing the medium to the control of the middle man entirely is like abandoning the battlefield in the middle of a war. While you won't sustain many more caualties, you won't advance either.

I believe this is the main drive behind the desire to get music onto the net. The middle men haven't setup shop there yet, and thus the musicians could create a new medium to operate themselves for much less than it would take to start their own record label. In any case, this is a new idea in the debate, and thus spurs new conversation.

+1 FP for originality and comments.




============
**TATDOMAW**
============

How could this be a good thing? (4.00 / 1) (#64)
by Wiccabilly on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 11:52:20 PM EST

Live music could certainly use a boost but a general stike against recorded music is a bit of an elitist stance that would ultimately bankrupt such musicians. This is for the simple fact that it's based on the RIAA policy of grasping tightly at the method of distribution with no focus on the real-world market. A strike on recorded music would simply drive people away from orchestra, opera, jazz, etc which are all areas of music that need BROADER appeal to reach new people, not pander to a shrinking elite.

Sure... (2.00 / 1) (#66)
by DeadBaby on Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 02:16:35 AM EST

Ok, let me get this straight. You expect the most popular artists to band together and stop recording music? Why? They already have no artistic control and they obviously don't care. Most popular groups owe *ALL* their success (and therefore money) to the record companies ramming them down the throats of young music consumers.

If the record companies were dead, there would be no concept of "top 40" because there wouldn't be enough money to heavily advertise and promote groups past others. Successful artists making millions are NEVER going to risk breaking from the record companies who created them.
"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
Totally OT: What does Op-Ed mean? (2.50 / 2) (#67)
by anno1602 on Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 05:11:11 AM EST

As a non-native English speaker, some abbreviations just elude me. Interestingly enough, some newspapers seem to use it, too, but what does it stand for?

Thanks,
Anno.



Opinion-Editorial [nt] (4.00 / 1) (#68)
by Sunir on Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 05:18:01 AM EST


"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r
[ Parent ]

Thank you (n/t) (none / 0) (#71)
by anno1602 on Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 07:31:18 AM EST

(no/text)

[ Parent ]
STFU (3.00 / 1) (#80)
by Fon2d2 on Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 04:32:29 PM EST

As any music teacher with any merit would tell you, music isn't about raw talent, it's about expression. Just because an artist reaches a lot of people with a few chords and some effects is no reason to be condescending. A lot of times the best music is often the simplest. Take Bob Dylan for instance. His music is very simple yet is enjoyed by millions of people. Dylan expresses himself in a way he finds natural and sings about things that are not only meaningful to him, but to lots of other people as well. And although there may be artists like Dylan, there is no replacement FOR Dylan. In your world there would never be any incentive for the common man to take up an instrument since the only music would exist as private performances put on by elitists like you: something that would eventually wend its way beyond the common man's grasp or care. The simple fact of the matter is that musicians such as yourself benefit greatly from the public domain and shouldn't be so opposed to giving back to it. Most of what you perform is probably work by classical composers that is out of copyright anyway. The irony here is that even though these works have existed in the public domain for years, nobody would ever be able to hear them without paying royalties. That's kind of the way it is now and the internet is just beginning to change that. The only thing I see with your solution is a de-enrichment of the role of music. So please, keep your propagandist, elitist theories to yourslef and STFU.

Kick Ass Sound (1.00 / 1) (#81)
by D Jade on Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 11:41:29 PM EST

The upside of live-only music will be a re-enrichment of the role of music in our society.

And I reckon a Symphony Orchestra would sound heaps better than my stereo!!!



You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
Picture This (3.00 / 1) (#82)
by D Jade on Thu Mar 07, 2002 at 11:50:06 PM EST

You get home from a hard day at the office.

After being stuck in traffic during one of the hottest days of the year, all you want to do is crack a beer open, collapse on the couch, and listen to your favorite AC/DC song with the volume on +11.

After the intro to thunderstruck is over, you jump up off the couch and start banging your head and making devil signs with your fingers.

After making a complete goose of yourself, you are so relieved that you forget what a sh*tty day you have had at work, and you can kick back and relax.

If there was no recorded music, we would have to sit and listen to the sound of the fridge, or the ticking of a clock, and that would suck...

We would have to leave the house again, and go to a venue to listen to someone play music, and I can guaruntee that they won't be playing ACADACA songs.

Please note, I am not an AC/DC fan... I just like the one song. I am not going to go to a live concert to see them everytime I want to hear thunderstruck.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive

Reclaiming our work | 83 comments (74 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
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