basics with Do-along Dave

Bubbles and shakeouts in making music pay

Bubbles and shakeouts in making music pay

Secondary profiting from non-live music has gone through similar boom-bust cycles already. From the earliest, when music was disseminated only through personal learning by performers and travel, the first technological step in separating original creation and publishing was written notation on paper. Bach’s family was his duplicating machine.

Securing proprietary rights of an originator to his creation then became the aim of copyright law.

In the mechanical printing era, Scott Joplin’s father-in-law cheated him of a large part of the monetary revenue from his artistic output in sheetmusic form.

When sound recording came along, the train of steps from no-audience performance to ear became shorter, making print notation unnecessary, for some musics, and cutting down the numbers of music print publishers and, in turn, spawning a recording bubble.

About another bubble in the entertainment industry generally, historian John Kenrick wrote:

Top vaudeville stars filmed their acts for one-time pay-offs, inadvertently helping to speed the death of vaudeville. After all, when “small time” theatres could offer “big time” performers on screen at a nickel a seat, who could ask audiences to pay higher amounts for less impressive live talent? The newly-formed RKO studios took over the famed Orpheum vaudeville circuit and swiftly turned it into a chain of full-time movie theaters. The half-century tradition of vaudeville was effectively wiped out within less than four years.[11]

Inevitably, managers further trimmed costs by eliminating the last of the live performances. Vaudeville also suffered from the rise of broadcast radio []

And now we’re discussing the passing of another bubble, typified by the Simmons interview, Rock is Finally Dead.

The technology for making what passes for music has enabled a flood of sounds I regard as musical garbage. We seem to be heading for a shakeout where live performance is valued again as the easy money from mass-produced and streamed tracks dwindles.

If you’re inclined and equipped to deal with a live audience, of whatever size down to intimate, this should not be an occasion for sadness. If track ownership is now or soon to be an illusory concept, accept the fact and get acquainted with, who are helping performers and small live audiences find each other.

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