Future of music

Skitch

Pioneer Member
I had a conversation with a manager last week when he informed me of why all of the old big name bands are now touring again, seemingly without end. Due to the current attitude by the public in general of thinking that they should never have to pay for music ever again, as a result, all of the mechanicals and royalties have dwindled to a trickle which has forced all of these bands back out on the road in order to make a living.

Gone is the idea that they would be able to sit back and watch there money come to their mailbox. Record labels will cease to exist but will still control the radio stations, thus making it even more difficult for new artists and bands to get any exposure.

So, with this in mind, what are the thoughts of DW members? Where do you think music is headed?


Mike

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Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Seems like a lot of listening is being done with the eyes now. Looking forward to when casually dressed musicians who just focus on playing came back into vogue. People naturally get excited by shiny new BS so that's what they increasingly get supplied with ... until everyone gets sick of it and starts looking for musical nourishment.

Gaming and DVDs (both with lots of great visuals) have kicked the music industry at least as hard as downloads ... whatever, the upshot is that recorded music has been in decline for a fair while ... but now new online areas are opening up - ergo YouTube heroes. DrumEatDdrum wrote an article on this not so long ago.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Seems like a lot of listening is being done with the eyes now.
Eh, hasn't that always been the case? I mean, the charismatic, cheerful Beatles on Ed Sullivan, Miles Davis' stern countenance, Bob Marley's earnest strain, I could go on forever. How an artist emotes has always been part of the package.

I agree with the OP, but I actually think that it's a good thing that new artists find it difficult to make their big break. And I much prefer that the pop sensation du jour is marketed to an increasingly younger audience (who spend their parents' money). It's much easier to avoid!

I just wish that musicians would start improvising again. I mean, you really can record anything and make it sound incredible these days. The only real test is: can you make it up on the spot, and still sound amazing?

I think the manager is right about old bands touring again, but it may also simply be that A) enough time has passed, and the fans are now nostalgic enough to want to go see the band, B) the fans are older, their children grown, so they can actually get out of the house, or C) the band has simply spent all the money they earned in their heyday.
 

ambientgreg

Senior Member
We are in the beginning of a paradigm shift. Every form of popular American music ( rap,rock,country,jazz,gospel or worship) have seen their greatest days already. It's all being recycled and rehashed and is really over with, in terms of any of them being innovative. What's good is, there IS experimentation happening and the playing field is very level. There are no "great anointed bands" so to speak. No real leaders or voices that stand out. I'm not saying there isn't any good music around. Now is the time to press into your creativity, musicians! We're in a time of a "just before" as in before there was blues, there was NO blues, before there was rock n roll, there was NO rock n roll, before there was rap,it didn't exist. There is a new sound or new form of music or musics on the earth now, and soon we will know about it. Sure some will choose to play and listen to the same things they've played and heard for the last 30 years. But that stuff is over with,pretty much museum worthy really.
 

HipshotPercussion

Senior Member
We are in the beginning of a paradigm shift. Every form of popular American music ( rap,rock,country,jazz,gospel or worship) have seen their greatest days already. It's all being recycled and rehashed and is really over with, in terms of any of them being innovative. What's good is, there IS experimentation happening and the playing field is very level. There are no "great anointed bands" so to speak. No real leaders or voices that stand out. I'm not saying there isn't any good music around. Now is the time to press into your creativity, musicians! We're in a time of a "just before" as in before there was blues, there was NO blues, before there was rock n roll, there was NO rock n roll, before there was rap,it didn't exist. There is a new sound or new form of music or musics on the earth now, and soon we will know about it. Sure some will choose to play and listen to the same things they've played and heard for the last 30 years. But that stuff is over with,pretty much museum worthy really.
I like the idea that we're "just before" and not "just after." In fact, you just made me feel much better about a lot of things, not just music.

Thanks, dude.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
The real paradigm shift here is the point the OP was trying to make.People, including musicians don't believe they have to pay for music and video.Everyone seems to believe that music is free and in the USA at least..that is factually and legally NOT TRUE.

There is federal law in place that protects the intellectual property of songwriters in the form of performance fees that have to be paid to the creator of the material.In other words,when a song is played on the radio,in a video performance like a movie,or by a cover band in a club or bar..a fee has to be paid to the writer of that song.

These fees are suppose to be collected by oganizations such as ASCAP,and BMI.Its their job to go to these venues and monitor the music being played by bands,and collect fees from that venue to be paid to the owner or writer of that song. Standard procedure years ago when bars and clubs had more live music being played, the owners of these clubs paid the fees as an operating cost,the same as paying the electric bill.

As wonderful as the internet is,it allowed anyone to log onto any number of web sites and download music.This unfortunately bypasses the system that was in place that collected the royalties that songwriters/musicians were paid.Thats why you do see all these bands on prepetual reunion tours.It was one of the reasons as an example that the Who and Cream started touring again after how many years?John Entwistle was broke as well as Ginger Baker,and I believe Jack Bruce needed the cash as well.No more checks in the mail box.

So....sorry my friends,but music and video is NOT FREE.Everytime you play live,and cover a song..performance rights fees have to be paid.Everytime you download music for free...you are stealing.Just check out US federal copyright laws.This is not my opinion....this is fact ..and the law:in the US at least.Musician/songwriters are being ripped off every day,and if you partake in these actions...you are ripping off your fellow musicians.

Steve B
 
S

sticks4drums

Guest
The real paradigm shift here is the point the OP was trying to make.People, including musicians don't believe they have to pay for music and video.Everyone seems to believe that music is free and in the USA at least..that is factually and legally NOT TRUE.

There is federal law in place that protects the intellectual property of songwriters in the form of performance fees that have to be paid to the creator of the material.In other words,when a song is played on the radio,in a video performance like a movie,or by a cover band in a club or bar..a fee has to be paid to the writer of that song.

These fees are suppose to be collected by oganizations such as ASCAP,and BMI.Its their job to go to these venues and monitor the music being played by bands,and collect fees from that venue to be paid to the owner or writer of that song. Standard procedure years ago when bars and clubs had more live music being played, the owners of these clubs paid the fees as an operating cost,the same as paying the electric bill.

As wonderful as the internet is,it allowed anyone to log onto any number of web sites and download music.This unfortunately bypasses the system that was in place that collected the royalties that songwriters/musicians were paid.Thats why you do see all these bands on prepetual reunion tours.It was one of the reasons as an example that the Who and Cream started touring again after how many years?John Entwistle was broke as well as Ginger Baker,and I believe Jack Bruce needed the cash as well.No more checks in the mail box.

So....sorry my friends,but music and video is NOT FREE.Everytime you play live,and cover a song..performance rights fees have to be paid.Everytime you download music for free...you are stealing.Just check out US federal copyright laws.This is not my opinion....this is fact ..and the law:in the US at least.Musician/songwriters are being ripped off every day,and if you partake in these actions...you are ripping off your fellow musicians.

Steve B
Pretty heavy stuff for this early in the morning buddy, but you are right on.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Where do you think music is headed?
Mike
My fear (&I prey I'm wrong on this) is we're heading for an even more defined two tier system in popular music. Group 1 who follow the requirements set by producers of popular media according to the business model in vogue that year, & group 2 in the pursuit of creative gratification devoid of the shackles of corporate models. Occasionally group 1 will take something from group 2 & morph it into the new group 1 culture. Although I'm pretty much describing the current position, I can see it becoming even more polarised, until something else breaks through.
 

Arky

Platinum Member
BTW, on the Derek Roddy forum there's an interesting thread, having some relation to this one:

Should We Pay For Music?
http://www.derekroddy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=18446

My opinion is that the royalties musicians get from CDs are so ridiculously low it's not a fair share of the revenue to begin with. Sadly, this is further reduced by illegal downloads, but the biggest part of the money is collected by the producers and record companies. That's why many musicians try to get away from the record companies, prefer smaller labels or do their own promotion/marketing, thus also having more control over their music including graphics etc. IMO that's exactly the way it should be, having no external people (even with an enormous amount of experience from countless productions) to participate in the band's/musicians' creative endeavours. In this situation any illegal downloads will still be reducing their revenue but with the producers' share being eliminated, there will be more money at the end of the day.

I'm listening to exactly the music I like, with the exposure of music on the TV and/or radio having very little influence on my preferences. I completely avoid being in discotheques, I'm not listening to the radio, I don't follow who or what is in the charts (if I did, it would make me sick within seconds)... and couldn't care less what's going on in general. Well, I do care because 90% of the music "out there" is complete sh*t (my humble opinion of course), but apparently, the masses want this so they get what they deserve and the system is in balance. (It's called music _business_ because there's money involved, and money vs. arts/creativity... I see some conflict in this.) I'm just making sure those 90% of music aren't getting into my way/ears - I'm fine as long as I can avoid being exposed to it.

Also, I'm trying to do the music which is most attractive to me (provided I am up to this as far as technical skills, knowledge of music harmony etc. is concerned), and I'm aware that doing 'my' music will never result in making much money which has never been (and most likely will never be) an objective.

Art is always subjective. At any time anybody will find interesting stuff, sometimes finding the 'nuggets' within the sh*tpile might take some time/effort, depending on the 'good' vs. 'bad' music ratio.
 

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
I wonder if the ability to so simply click a button on iTunes (or other programs) to download a single song from an artist has helped or hurt the industry? I know we always had 45 singles, but I can't count the number of record albums I bought because I wanted to hear 1-2 "good" songs. Then there are all the albums that collected dust because I belonged to one of the record clubs that required me to select 12 albums for a penny.
 
S

sticks4drums

Guest
I wonder if the ability to so simply click a button on iTunes (or other programs) to download a single song from an artist has helped or hurt the industry? I know we always had 45 singles, but I can't count the number of record albums I bought because I wanted to hear 1-2 "good" songs. Then there are all the albums that collected dust because I belonged to one of the record clubs that required me to select 12 albums for a penny.
I think the other side to that is that if it wasn't for places like Itunes all the music would be stolen. I also like the fact that you don't have to buy the whole album. I remember buying many albums and it was quite obvious that they really only concentrated on making one or two hits. The rest were just filler. Now they have to have 11 good songs on a cd in order to try and sell them all.
 

larryz

Platinum Member
The older bands still tour because their music has withstood the test of time. Good songwriting, singing. The stuff out today, most of it, is terrible. Lazy singers in the American Idol style. Yelling, oversinging, vocal runs, etc.,etc. Putrid. They are forgotten as soon as the American Idol season finishes. Need I go on? :)
 

drumr_102

Senior Member
My fear (&I prey I'm wrong on this) is we're heading for an even more defined two tier system in popular music. Group 1 who follow the requirements set by producers of popular media according to the business model in vogue that year, & group 2 in the pursuit of creative gratification devoid of the shackles of corporate models. Occasionally group 1 will take something from group 2 & morph it into the new group 1 culture. Although I'm pretty much describing the current position, I can see it becoming even more polarised, until something else breaks through.
This is a good description. Also it seems people are beginning to like electronic music with no instruments and nothing more than a mac and a set of digital turntables
 

HipshotPercussion

Senior Member
The real paradigm shift here is the point the OP was trying to make.People, including musicians don't believe they have to pay for music and video.Everyone seems to believe that music is free and in the USA at least..that is factually and legally NOT TRUE....

So....sorry my friends,but music and video is NOT FREE.Everytime you play live,and cover a song..performance rights fees have to be paid.Everytime you download music for free...you are stealing.Just check out US federal copyright laws.This is not my opinion....this is fact ..and the law:in the US at least.Musician/songwriters are being ripped off every day,and if you partake in these actions...you are ripping off your fellow musicians.

Steve B
This argument has been raging for years in my primary business, television writing and production. The basics of our situation are the same in that downloads keep the above the line talent - actors, directors, writers, producers - from getting their piece of the re-use action.

Friends of mine in the music business - I guess here I mean specifically solo performers and bands - have had their incomes cut into pretty damn heavily and have learned to view it as an opportunity to do what most of them like best anyway, get out there in front of live audiences and perform. They've learned to regard their recordings, old and new, as commercials for their live appearances and those live appearances are bringing the big guns some great paydays, and helping hot new performers quit their day jobs.

The record companies are in a different situation. They are, basically, screwed. I honestly can't find it in my heart to care because I've seen all too well how they screwed the talent over the years. In fact, sometimes I find myself secretly smiling because - lookit that! - "What goes around comes around" is serving up some fastballs at last.

In my part of the business both the companies and the talent are losing out, but it's the companies that suffer most because the royalty/residual arrangement has always been so lopsidedly in their favor. Actors, directors, writers, and individual producers have been getting very, very small percentages of reuse fees, and more often than not the companies' accounting practices have made them so much smaller that for all practical purposes they've been nonexistent anyway.

Unlike musicians, actors et al can't regard their films, TV shows, and DVDs as advertising for live gigs because we don't have live gigs. We can, however, regard them as "auditions" for our next job because whether or not we work again and how much we get paid for that work depends greatly on the artistic and financial success of our most recent project. And, I admit, I also do the secret smile thing over my own situation because my loss via the download is nowhere near as huge and punishing as the losses of the companies who've cheated me out of millions over the years. (Even the "honest" studios and networks are complicit when it comes to writers: The practice of the industry, since Day 1, has been for the studios to own the copyrights of everything they put out to the public. We're paid as workers for hire - employees - and not creators. It's non-negotiable. If you don't give up your copyright you don't make the deal.)

The way I look at it, this is a brave new world for all the popular arts. Our job is to continue doing what we do best - create and perform. And keep our eyes open for the moment that some entrepreneurial genius comes up with a way to make more money instead of less from new technology, and jump on that smart sunuvabitch's bandwagon ASAP.
 

Too Many Songs

Senior Member
There is so much to disagree with in this thread and lots to agree with as well.

But I'll start by saying that the quality of music and musicianship has never been better than it is right now.

The music industry business model is changing but this has both costs and benefits to us as consumers as music. The 'American Idol' effect is not really that different from the days when the record companies' A&R men were kings. That was the system that led to the ridiculous pompous and overblown creature that was prog rock. Some of you like that stuff - lucky you. Many of us didn't and felt that the music we liked was marginalised and ignored (sound familar guys?). At least now you have so many choices - don't like what's on the one hundred channels on TV; put on one of a hundred radio stations. Don't like that well there is always the internet. And if you want to pay a few cents you can actually access exactly what you are looking for from iTunes. Beats queing all day for a crappy piece of vinyl.

It is harder to make a living now as a musician. You have to be prepared to tour and play live and you are much less likely to become a multi-millionaire than a decade ago. Perhaps a benefit of that will be that the people who stick with it and make a living will be the ones who want to be musicians and not 'stars'. Suits me.
'
 
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tamadrm

Platinum Member
The older bands still tour because their music has withstood the test of time. Good songwriting, singing. The stuff out today, most of it, is terrible. Lazy singers in the American Idol style. Yelling, oversinging, vocal runs, etc.,etc. Putrid. They are forgotten as soon as the American Idol season finishes. Need I go on? :)
True also.Some will dissagree saying that we have done it all to death,and we need to experiment again,but to me its just reinventing the wheel.I'll listen to anything new once or twice,but I do like the music I grew up with.That includes Classical,pop,jazz,rock,r&b(real r&b like motown)Electronic stuff is just BS to me.You don't even have to be a musician to program that nonsense.

There is some mucic that is timeless,and to me a lot of the "music" today does not fall into that catagory.And I HATE vocal runs.

So,more OT... for the mean time...I will pay for my music,and I will go see the Allman Brothers,BB King,Chicago,Little Feat,Return to Forever,Jeff Beck,various tribute bands ect.,but don't look for me at a Beyonce concert.Just my opinion.

Steve B
 

larryz

Platinum Member
Can someone explain what a vocal run is, or even better, cite an example?
I'm thinking Whitney Houston + Mariah Carey on too much caffeine. That's "pomposus", in my opinion. To the person who said prog rock is/was overblown I completely disagree. Sure, you may not think a band has a right to sing a 25 minute piece with solos everywhere, but really what's rock with that? It may be self-indulgent but if the musician can play well, so what?? I unabashedly love Kansas and their drummer Phil Ehart. One of the best I've seen live. Some other bands like old Genesis, Yes, Frank Zappa...who else Gentle Giant? Those bands all had their moments. Most of today's new stuff is really junk. Sorry it is. Overprocessed, pitch-correct, this-correct, that-correct.

There are many pompous artist who've done 3 minute songs as well, without solos.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
I would like to see honest music,not cookie cutter overproduced,commercial packaged crap.Yeah I know somebody is going to "well weren't the Beatles like that"Initally I might agree with you but,the music they created is timeless,and they individually and collectively,shifted the then pop/rock music paradigm..Can you really compare Justin Beber with any of the Beatles as far as songwriting ability or musicianship?

In the future I would like to see,the complete dismantling of the music business from the ground up.Musicians/songwriters/bands/actors should have exclusive rights for life,and their heirs to their own material,not a record/movie company.I'm not a lawyer but I believe that called work product,and it belongs exclusively to that company.In the Beatles you had 2 publishing companies.Lennon/McCartney was Northern music,and Harrison was Harrisongs.

Bands/songwriters/musicians/actors should be self employed; their own corporation if you will.So as an example,if you sell a cd,you choose wwho you want to distribute your music(The Eagles have already done this with great success).The band pays a per cd fee,and promotion can either be done collectively,or by either party.

The artist is now in control of their intellectual property.Performance rights will still apply and fees will be paid.Venues that have live music,will pay performance fees to ASCAP,or BMI or whom ever.Its the price of doing business.

So no more record companies.Initial music advertisment and promotion wiil be done on a contigency basis,by various companies.The company listens to you music and decides if they want to promote you.They are allowed to charge you promotion costs and a reasonable fee..protected by law.

Recording studios will all be independant,and the artist will pick engineers,producers,ect,to control costs.Of course these artists will need good management.Peter Grant basicly ran Led Zepplin this way.

Anyway..that my version of nervana for artists,who have been ripped of by the industry for decades.Can you imagine writing a song that has sold millions of copies,and not getting a dime out of the intellectual royalties.Then not being able to perform you own material,because you had to sign away your rights becaues thats the way the business is,and the guy at the top is getting your money,and he can't even play the radio.Just my opinion

Steve B
 
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