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Yung's Music Industry Blog

Archive for May 17th, 2010

Journal Entry #6: The Industry

The music industry as a business have really grown to be a more complicated than before, especially now a days with all the copyright battles and lawsuits. Donald S. Passman’s book “All you need to know about the music business” was very helpful for me because it really broken down all the numbers for this business. I never knew much about it but now I definitely have a good understanding for it. But one problem that all these things run into is the fact that alot of people leak songs on youtube and also leak digital album copies online for download. From the numbers of the artist royalties I see, it can definitely hurt them. It is already hard as it is to be a songwriter, especially if you are constantly finding inspiration to write songs that will appeal to the public. Which brings up my next topic of composition. When I took my composition classes in the Aaron Copland school of music, alot of things were actually very theoretical and had some skill and meaning behind every note we write down on staff paper. Other than that, we also had to make the music appealing, not in a sense of beat or rhythm but by the way the notes relate to each other melodically and harmonically. However, composition with modern pop songs seem to be quite different. It’s not that it doesn’t take any “skill” but the fact that there is only so much you can do with the same 3 or 4 chords that after a while, you start to realize that all music sound the same – but not. The only varying element is/are the rhythm of notes and its repetition.  Some do it well, in that the rhythm and repetition creates a strong composition, some don’t do so well and rely solely on repetition to drill the music into our brains.

Another issue I see is the budget and funding problem. The artists are given a set amount of funding, and new artists are usually given less. After seeing the possible numbers for creating an album I can see why most people use programs like Pro Tools and make it digitally themselves. Although technology does greatly benefit our society, I feel at the same time that most people have gotten more lazier and forget of their musical history and origins. I feel as a musician that we need to know what we want to use in a song, but how will we know what to use if we don’t even know whats the difference between how a bassoon or a clarinet sounds like? But I guess that is why we have Pro tools to thank, most of the sounds don’t even exist as a physical instrument yet we use it in our music. At the same time, musical instruments such as the ones I’ve mentioned seem to be out-of-date in today’s society. It is good to have cool sounds created by technology, however I feel that organic sounds are just as important in composition. Technology is not only replacing old media but also all of our instruments.

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