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 Forum index » Reviews, Editorials and Commentary » Commentary and Editorials
Giving your music away: please share your thoughts
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Patchmouse



Joined: Sep 27, 2006
Posts: 140
Location: London

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

modulator_esp wrote:
I disagree that giving music away for free de-values it

The value of a thing should not only measured by its cost

The best things in life are free after all Wink


Oscar Wilde !

"A man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing" !

I wasn't so much referring to the thing itself, but peoples perception of it, whether we like it or not people tend to associate the price of something with it's desirability or quality, if it's cheap it can seem "throwaway" "disposable" and lacking in quality, I know that this in a way doesn't apply so much to music as it does to material goods, but the association is still there. In the visual arts, especially the fine art world, it is "almost"......... solely based on the monetary value of a work, as to whether it is desirable, collectable, or, important in some cases, look at the Brit Art scene, the inherent value of the objects themselves is sometimes nothing, but others, like the Damien Hirst diamond skull, the whole reason behind its conception in the first place was it's blatant monetary value. Music isn't in this category, as it doesn't have any material worth, it doesn't really exist, except as a bunch of digits, or sound waves lost in the ether after a concert. But what we do pay for in our concert tickets is a few hours in the presence of the musicians involved, we underwrite they're costs of putting the orchestra together, or taking the band on tour, once a band would tour to promote the record, now, the tour is almost entirely the main income. I don't care too much about what's going on TBQH, things change, and we have to adapt, I'm enjoying going to see more live music, and it seems to be on the increase here in London, with more smaller venues springing up, which gives more people a platform to air they're music, and to see what else is going on. But that doesn't stop some friends of mine who get royalties from becoming poorer and poorer, as cheques start to get smaller and smaller, due to lack of Cd sales. But I have no answers to this, it's a rapidly changing world, technology wise, and when you look back we aren't used to such rapid change, the vinyl record was with us for decades, and with it the traditional record company sales and structure, nothing changed for a long long time, maybe we are entering an era where change is constant, fluid, and that's what we are having problems getting used to. As a last word I can remember saving up for ages, when I was younger, to get a vinyl album, and buying it was a real thrill, the actual object, the artwork, and not being able to get home fast enough to hear what was on it, it really was an "occasion" and the buying and tracking down of a record was all part of the enjoyment, and experience. It's that whole, special and rarefied experience that has been devalued in my opinion, because you had to really make an effort to get your music back then, especially if you were into anything vaguely esoteric, it was a exciting to walk into a specialist record shop and wonder what you were going to find in the racks, I do miss that in a way, the sense of reward and excitement on discovering something new and interesting was far more than if you just click on Google.

Patchmouse.
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laura woodswalker



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Great thread!

Giving away music: I'm happy with today's technology which gives beginner musicians like me a chance to put my work out there on bandcamp! I believe it's perfectly fine for the new/unknown musician to give their stuff away. I also think it is fine for a more seasoned musician to charge money for it. A compromise would be to give a few tracks away free and charge money for the whole album. Or else, just post 'previews' of the song. Yeah I remember the bad old days when you'd buy an album and it turns out you only liked a few of the tracks. $5.99 for an album was a lot of money in 1969....

As far as selling music: some of it is worth money, some isn't. Now that there are DAWs & soft synths, almost everyone can produce music. But is it good enough that someone will want to listen to it more than once? No matter how many effects & loops you put in there, if you are not a good composer, it will be boring & I won't buy it. Compositional skills are still the most important part of a creative endeavor, whether it's music, art or movies.

I have no problem paying for good music. I listen to an online radio show called psychedelik.com . And I have heard some songs so wonderful that I wished I could buy them. Sometimes I write down the name & find it on Amazon & buy the mp3 for $1.00.

But....buying things online can be cumbersone. I have heard many things online that I wished I could buy. But I don't want to "create an account" for millions of sites and put my credit card number out there too often. So I end up just finding free downloads.

As to the people who hope or expect to make money or get fair compensation for doing music...I think there is a choice: you do it for love or for money. Many years ago I was a bluegrass banjo player. Our band was doing pretty well. We started getting gigs all over the state. A few of the members wanted to go Pro. And guess what... the more 'successful' we got, the less fun it was. I loved banjo, but I didn't like spending weekends sitting in a car, driving to & from a gig, being away from my family. Eventually I stopped loving banjo. We made money, but I finally realized if I was going to have a job I hated, I may as well just have a crappy day job, and keep my hobby separate so that I could enjoy it!

Now I'm doing electronic music, and I've put a lot more money into it than bluegrass. Laughing But if I was to even think about making any money, the fun would drain right out. I do music because I love it. In fact, there is no way I could NOT make music. Money doesn't even enter the equation.

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Patchmouse



Joined: Sep 27, 2006
Posts: 140
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

laura woodswalker wrote:


Now I'm doing electronic music, and I've put a lot more money into it than bluegrass. Laughing But if I was to even think about making any money, the fun would drain right out. I do music because I love it. In fact, there is no way I could NOT make music. Money doesn't even enter the equation.


I am ill, so I have plenty of time to make music, but when I had my own business, which was nothing to do with music, I always wished that somehow, it was possible for me to support myself doing something I loved, the music. Now, when people ask me what I do, I just say I'm sick and unable to work, I never say that I'm a musician, I know people that say things like "I'm an artist" or, "I'm a musician" and it sort of doesn't feel right when these people have office jobs that are nothing to do with the arts ! It was a bit annoying the other day when a friend introduced me at a BBQ, and automatically told someone "oh yes, he's a musician" aarrgghh !. If the day comes when I can go to the supermarket and buy food, and pay my bills with money that I've made from music then I would be OK with introducing myself as a musician, but until then if ever, it still remains purely a "hobby"
As for the quality of what people do, and whether people would buy it, I don't think I'm at that level TBQH, I've done a lot of music, 30+ Cd's, and lots of collaborations, but I'd say out of those 30 Cd's only a handful of tracks are what I would call a success, and I would have no problems airing them to anyone, but the rest is mediocre, which just isn't good enough, and these days when the competition is so great, and the standards are so high, mediocre just doesn't cut it. I listen to my music and I always hear someone else, the influences are too apparent. I am quite happy to give my music away, but as you said, would anyone ever want to listen to it more than once ? I did have quite a nice experience the other day, I bumped into someone I hadn't seen for a long time, the first thing she said to me was "thank you for giving me that Cd of yours, I play it all the time, it relaxes me !" ........I didn't know what to say ! Smile

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modulator_esp
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I don't think you have to earn money doing music to be a musician, maybe if you want to be considered as a 'professional' musician, then I guess it has to be your job, but anyone who plays an instrument is a musician in my book

As for the value of your music to others, you are probably the least qualified to determine that ;D

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Last edited by modulator_esp on Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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kkissinger



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

laura woodswalker wrote:
... there is a choice: you do it for love or for money. Many years ago I was a bluegrass banjo player. Our band was doing pretty well. We started getting gigs all over the state. A few of the members wanted to go Pro. And guess what... the more 'successful' we got, the less fun it was. I loved banjo, but I didn't like spending weekends sitting in a car, driving to & from a gig, being away from my family. Eventually I stopped loving banjo.


Yep, I understand.

"He that pays the piper calls the tune."

I'll leave it at that.

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Patchmouse



Joined: Sep 27, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

modulator_esp wrote:
I don't think you have to earn money doing music to be a musician, maybe if you want to be considered as a 'professional' musician, then I guess it has to be your job, but anyone who plays an instrument is a musician in my book

As for the value of your music to others, you are probably the least qualified to determine that ;D


I wish I could agree with you on the first statement, but for some reason I can't, I always feel guilty about spending time on something that I don't actually make a living from, that sounds awful I know, but it's just the way I am. Because I am ill and not working right now, it makes me feel even more guilty.

As for your second point, I totally agree, I don't think any of us can hear our work how it really is, simply because "we" did it, and also, we are too close to it, and, even the most "successful" people have periods of total despair thinking that what they do isn't worth anything at all. I am very wary of people who are too confident in what they do, and arrogant, a sense of self critisicsm is absolutely necessary to maintain a sense of perspective and judgment about your work. I often meet people who just go on and on about how good they are at something, and 99% of the time you know they aern't! otherwise they wouldn't have to keep telling people.
I really don't know if my music is of any value, or "worth", some people like it, others hate it, but that's the same for all music. The 64 thousand dollar question is that.....is there a common understanding of what is actually "right" in any art-form, a universal feeling that something has what it takes, or is it purely and totally subjective, I really can't answer that question, at all, sometimes I think it is subjective, and other times I think no, there is a right way and wrong way, it varies according to what mood I'm in.

Patchmouse
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A E J O T Z



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is a very late reply to a very old post.

I started playing music because I was musical. I learned guitar and sang pop songs. Later I wrote a few hundred musically interesting but lyrically awful songs. Still later I became a professional performer, which was one of the worst jobs I've ever had. It almost turned me off of music. It sure turned me off of bars.

After a long hiatus I returned to music, but I had a problem. I hated performing, but the music didn't seem quite finished until and unless someone else heard it. No one ever bought my recordings, so I had to perform in order to get my music heard.

My synthesizer music proved a bigger problem. I played all the parts, one at a time, into a multi-track recorder. It's kind of tricky to do a live performance that way. And it's hard to improvise when the drunks are annoying you.

Having my music heard via the internet is valuable to me. Music is not my job. It's not a hobby. It's not art. It's frikkin music. I make nice sounds and someone listens. If no one listens, I'm kind of wanking.

Not everything has to be a product. Performing is product and I hate it. It's acting, a pretense, a fiction. My synth music is honest.

I have a day job. I'm not rich by spoiled US standards, but by worldwide standards I've got it made. I have a wife, a house, two cars, a motorcycle, a half dozen synthesizers and a few more non-essential "toys." I don't need to get paid for my music. But I need for it to be heard.

I don't put anyone down who produces music for money. It's hard work, like 1:11 said. And if that's your gig, good luck to you. But I need to be heard more than I need money.

When I started hearing my music on electro-music.com I was so happy. And when Bill Fox played my music on terrestrial FM radio in Allentown, I felt high as a kite. I've since played a lot of my own stuff on my ScrubRadio shows and you can even hear my silly ass tunes on the wonderful new electro-music radio MKII (thank you Cynosure!!).

I set up a bandcamp page and tried to sell an album, cheap. No one was buying, so I got impatient and made it free. It's not that I don't care about money. It's just that being heard is so much more important to me.

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robsol
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I love the noise, the flood of freedom and chaos that is the internet in this very moment! You really have to surf it like they did in the good old days and whatever happens will happen. To be allowed to express the universe through my little channel is a great priviledge and I relish every minute of it. I would never (again, as I once did) try to hold that hostage for money... but if it did happen in a natural way that would be nice of course. Very Happy
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