Gone are the days when music was merely considered to be a hobby, or a good way to pass time. Music today is much more than a vocation. It has to have passion and zest. It is very competitive and youthful. And therefore this article has to be young; having the flavour of something new, probably because I am young, my readers will also be young, and it is the youth who make what the present day India is all about - a Young and Dynamic India. Thus foraying into the vast ocean of Music, and especially into Hindustani Music, many young buds like me are likely to be concerned about their careers in this field. With the growth of the entertainment industry, which comprises of all sorts of faculties and organizations, like the film industry, advertisement industry, radio and television industry etc., music has become a highly respectable and lucrative career option. But unfortunately, many of us from a small town like Allahabad are unaware of where music is actually turning to.

Well, in this fast paced age, where everything has converged to the era of "Nano" (I am talking of the latest technology that has zoomed up like a Sapaat Taan of the Gwalior Gharana), I better express my views in a simple, direct, but a comprehensive manner.

First things First - What is Music? Let us first know what Indian music in brief is all about.

"Geetam, vaadyam tatha nrityam, triyam Sangeet muchchyate", a maxim from the granth - Sangeet Ratnakar by the famous musicologist Sharangdev.

The above maxim says that Indian classical music, which is a school of thought, comprises of three different arts which are:

(a) Vocal, or Singing (the expression of sound vocally like Khayal, Ghazal, Bhajan etc.);

(b)Playing of a musical Instrument (the expression of music through an Instrument like Sitar, Veena, Harmonium etc.) and last but not the least,

(c)Dancing (The expression of music bodily through the art of Dance).

No matter how you express it, these three arts are interdependent on each other. This is true of either the styles, or Paddhatees, in Indian music -- the North Indian Music and the Carnatic Music.

The growth of the entertainment Industry has opened many new avenues and vistas for those who want to seriously pursue their love for music professionally.

The field of Music (Singing, Dancing and Playing of Instruments) offers many different kinds of jobs based on a person's interest and capabilities. Broad categorizations of jobs available in the music industry include -

1. Teaching: One of the most traditional trades in music. Those who prefer a one to one interaction can start their very own music school where they can teach / train other aspiring singers. You can open coaching class for training students for scholarships and competitive exams such as the Sangeet Natak Academy, MHRD, NET, for shows like Sa Re Ga Ma etc., jingles for ad campaigns. This is no doubt a very lucrative career option as well.

Nevertheless I would like to suggest, come out of this and explore some other options as well!

2. Sound Recording: For this you need to be a trained sound engineer, or a trained sound recordist, a combiner or an editor. But for this one must know the latest computer softwares in the market, recording gadgets and should be able to manage the recording instruments and the techniques easily.

Singers too with a good trained voice can sing at recording studios and lend their voices as back up voices etc.

3. Concerts / Performances and Live Shows: A professional singer/instrumentalist/dancer, or a freelancer, has the choice to perform in front of a live audience at concerts and live shows, including marriage parties, birthday parties and can be a religious music impresario for the NRIs looking back to their roots in religious functions etc.

4. DJ's, VJ's & RJ's: Those who are not directly into singing, but enjoy music all the same, can become a DJ (Disc Jockey), RJ (Radio Jockey) and VJ (Video Jockey). All three deal with music. However, what differentiates them is the medium they use to reach the audiences. A VJ presents music on Television like a Music compere for Antakshari type programmes, an RJ presents music on Radio and a DJ presents music at live shows, or Discos.

5. Instrument Repairing / Instrument Manufacturing: This industry has a lot of scope and prospects, particularly in large urban towns. The traditional as well as modern electronic instruments, or instrument substitutes, are spreading their wings and are getting accepted across the world. A career in this focused zone can not be ignored in today's world.

6. Event Management/ Organizer: You need to be creative and an instictive manager, or a supervisor. One can organize music shows. These days jobs are available for teaching Mehendi and Banna Banni songs for marriages/event management etc. After all, what does SpicMacay do? Or, why to go that far, the music conferences organized by Prayag Sangeet Samiti every year too are an example. Wonder, they may be looking to outsource the management of the event to some one who can deliver.

7. Music Therapists: Examples are plenty where music has been successfully utilized for therapeutic purposes. It has been used even for increasing crop , or milk production. One can setup a clinic in a Spa, like that is done by an aroma therapist or a gemologist etc and cure people and do something for a social cause.

8. Music Composer: This is one of the most creative and innovative field in music where, "You Make Music". Yes, you will make people tap and rap to your music. This seems to be very interesting but at the same time it has to be an intelligent work done. A music director, or a composer, must know various kinds of music. Suppose, you are given a task to make a track which has the 'feel' of Arabic music or Boul geet or Lavani. Did you notice, I said 'feel of'..., that means it should present the mood of Arabic music (or Boul or Lavani), but at the same time it should not be totally Arabic music.

9. Music Arranger: His job is different than that of the music composer but is not exactly what people think. He has to 'arrange' music of a song or background scores. One needs to have a great knowledge of various instruments, sounds etc. and should be able to setup a network of all kinds of music professionals whose services can be harnessed as per need of the Music Director.

10. Orchestration: Remember "Maihar Band" of Ustad Allahuddin Khan! Another one of Zubin Mehta? I can suggest some more names like, Beethoven, Mozart, Hyden etc. All of them created music using various instruments and instrumentalists and created history.

11. Website or Software Designer: I am not joking. If you are a software professional, or a website designer, you can create a music website of your own and also a software and people will admire you.

12. Paper Reading: If you have a good understanding of music, you can write a paper and read it to discerning audiences. That means explain your research or project to an audience. If you know how to use power-point of Ms Office in Windows you can make a power-point presentation and can give lecture using it.

13. Music restorer: This means you can restore music recordings by becoming a music historian, like CDs, Cassettes, Videos, Tapes, books and create you own archive or a library.

14. Music vendor: You can sell music by opening a music shop etc..

15. Others: Go on for music in Hotels, Airlines, Railways, and Army Bands which are fancy and equally professional with fixed salaries. You can drive yourself towards a music Choreographer's job if interested in dance but again be sure that you must know dancing styles from Kathak to Salsa or Jive, Music Journalism/E-journalism [where you need to have good writing skills].

There are many schools and institutions which offer training in music like Music Departments in various known Universities, autonomous bodies like Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Prayag Sangeet Samiti and Bhatkhande University etc. Make sure to check the course schedule before enrolling.

Whichever field you choose, if you want to seriously pursue a career in music, you must get professionally trained. Basically there can be nitch marketing concepts and ideas which create job opportunities. A strong professional training will help you to make your space in this highly competitive industry. Make sure to train well for a good number of years to gain confidence and go a long way in your career because music is a performing art where you cannot afford to have a phobia for stage or Manch as we call it. Try to 'think' beyond the routine. After all, a major part of our music is based on the simple theory of Khayal. Thus be bold and come forward because you have opted for the most wonderful and creative subject which can never be measured. Believe me!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Create, Produce, and Sell Your Music - 10 Reasons You Can do this from the Comfort of Your Home

1. You don't have to be an expert.

Create music the best you can, just get it recorded and 

polish it up later. Rough tracks are not always a bad 

thing. They can be an excellent starting point for a great 

song. Many people can appreciate raw music and may even 

want to collaborate with you to make your music even better. 

Putting together music that isn't perfect is better than 

keeping the music inside of you and not sharing your 

creativity and talents with others.

2. You can create quality recordings without going to a 

professional recording studio.

There is excellent home recording software and recording 

devices available. Reading a manual, contacting customer 

support, and visiting chat rooms can go a long ways in 

helping you improve your recording skills. Don't be 

intimidated. Play around with your recording device, or 

recording software. If you are patient with yourself, you 

can have a lot of fun, learn a lot, and your recordings can 

really start to come together.

Also consider hanging out in a music store occasionally to 

learn some great tips from other musicians. Sales reps are 

normally more than happy to help you out and even share 

their personal experiences they have had with a product. If 

they don't have experience with the product you are looking 

for, chances are they can find someone in the store who has 

experience, or can direct you to the right place.

3. Home is your sanctuary, when you relax get your 

inspiration from your environment then capture your 

creativity in your recording. When you create music from 

the comfort of your home your creativity can be limitless.

You can create, record, and sell music from home while 

you're in your pajamas. Nothing wrong with that! A lot of 

good creativity can happen at home...channel that into a cool 

new song, and record it so you'll remember it for years to 

come. You can mess up a thousand times, and no one has to 

know. Practice to your hearts content, then record your 

tunes as many times as you need to until you get the sound 

that makes you happy.

You may also be able to tune out negative influences at 

home, so that's a good place to foster your creativity. 

Your home is a great place to kick back and relax, and when 

you're relaxed and feeling good, or bad, this is a great 

time to go play some music and/or lay down a couple of 

tracks of music. You are free to work at your own pace with 

no one looking over your shoulder, so that can be great time 

to be creative and come up with some music ideas. Work in 

the comfort of your home, be comfortable and relaxed, be 

creative and show how unique you can be through your music.

4. You can create music as fast or slow as you want...go at 

your own pace.

There doesn't have to be anyone pressuring you to lay down 

your tracks at warp speed. You can record a track, go eat 

some lunch, workout, then record another track if you 

choose. You can lock yourself in your music room for as 

long as you want if that works for you, and really make some 

great progress on working out some licks, writing some 

tunes, or even recording music. You don't have to pay for an 

expensive recording studio, so you can take your time 

creating your music.

5. Home recording trends are growing, and you can easily 

take advantage of new technologies developed for musicians 

just like you who want to record their music at home.

Resources are available to easily record music at home at a 

very reasonable price, so no more excuses. Thousands of 

people are recording their own music from home. They have 

all different skill levels. There is a place for you out 

there too...go get yours!

6. What you don't know you can learn from home using your 

computer and some great online resources.

You can instantly download music lessons and work at your 

own pace. You can join forums full of people just like you, 

who are working on making their own music from home, and you 

can share tips with each other. There are resources where 

you get video demonstrations that walk you through different 

processes e.g. playing a guitar...step by step.

7. The internet has endless possibilities and reaches 

millions of people...get your good music in front of more 

people on the internet and you can have more music sales.

You can sell your music right off of your website. You can 

sell your music from an online music store. There are free 

advertising resources available where you can get your music 

in front of other musicians and prospective customers. 

There are online communities for musicians who want to get 

their music heard by others...you can offer support for other 

musicians, and they can do the same for you. This can lead 

to more CD and MP3 sales too. You can get your own online 

radio station to play your music, or get your music played 

on other online radio stations to increase your exposure. 

The possibilities for getting your music heard are endless 

if you take advantage of the power of the internet.

8. You have full control over how your music turns out.

You are creating, producing, and selling your own music. No 

one should stand in your way. You can keep 100% of your 

hard earned profits if you choose.

9. You can have a huge sense of accomplishments by creating 

your music from scratch, producing it, and selling your own 


You are responsible for the music you create. A lot of 

satisfaction can come with that...taking action will show you 

that you can do it, like you always knew you could!

10. Don't underestimate your abilities. You may be a better 

musician than you think. You can get your music out to the 

public to let others experience your unique creativity.

You may not think your good enough to sell your own music, 

but how do you know if you don't even try? Get your music 

in front of others and let them appreciate all of your 

creativity and efforts. For every person you think won't 

like your music, there may be 10 others that do. Fear is 

natural, but don't let it stand in the way of you achieving 

greatness that may be within you.

There are some great recordings, and a lot of rough 

recordings out there that may get some great buzz because 

they are getting their music out there. Why can't you do 

the same? Taking action is the first step. You may be a 

better musician than you think.

Your music may sound pretty good to you, but get your music 

in front of others, and they may be amazed on what you can 

do. That interest, and/or amazement with your music can be a 

great tool for fostering your motivation and creativity too! 

Remember, you never know what you can do until you try. No 

more excuses...you CAN Create, Produce, and Sell your music 

from home. You have nothing to lose, so get started today!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Country Music - The Soulful Rhythms

No matter what your preferences are, no matter what kind of disposition you have- you simply cannot refrain yourself from being mesmerized and enticed by music. Since its inception, music has been the most loved source of entertainment and people with different tastes and likings admire several kinds of music. It has different kinds and forms. Across the world different kinds of music has evolved with the emergence of distinctive civilizations and the characteristic nature of the people in different countries etc. The influence of music can be felt in every corner of the world. Various genre of music like rock, pop, classical, jazz etc have been immensely applauded by the people.

Country Music is also well accepted and admired by the music listeners across the globe. This highly melodious and mellifluous form of music is awesomely pure and subtle. Unlike the conventional pop and metal music, this genre is known for its flawless and soft rhythms that are soothing to the ears and pleasant to the soul. Many popular artists have given amazing performances and great albums that have remarkable influences from this music. These albums have achieved admirable success and recognition from the listeners.

Country music is a remarkably enticing genre of music that focuses on the melodies and the rhythms. It is identified by its immensely mellifluous tones and upbeat numbers. It is a blend of various distinctive music forms from across the world and mainly has influences from the music that was originated in the southern parts of the United States and the region of Appalachian Mountains. Around 1920, this category rapidly evolved and gained popularity among the masses. This kind of music has its roots in the various traditional and classical types like folk music, old times music, Celtic music, gospel and the blues. In the southern United States the various ethnic groups created music of different styles and the combination of all these styles emerged as the Western Music that comprises a major part of the country and western music.

There have been a number of artists and performers who have gained immense popularity with this genre of music. Elvis Presley, who was earlier known as The Hillbilly Cat was one of the biggest pop icons in the history of music. He won recognition through his immensely admirable country music performances. He was featured on the radio program Louisiana Hayride where he used to give amazing performances based on this music. Similarly Garth Brooke is one of the most appreciated Country Music artist whose albums were chart toppers. He made short debut in other genres too. This genre saw its greatest high in the year 2006 when the country albums sales increased by the 17.7 percent to a whopping 36 millions.

The country pop has its roots in the soft rock and the country-politan which emerged as a sub genre of this music in the 1970's. It was well accepted by the wide variety of audiences during the same decade. The singers like John Denver, Glen Campbell and Anne Murray were some of the most admired artists of this genre. "RhineStone Cowboy" by Campbell is amongst the best and biggest crossover music hits. The songs in this music CD are still hummed by the teenagers and youngsters. Olivia Newton John is considered as the best female country vocal performer.

Outlaw country revolutionized this genre of music completely with the derived Honky Tonk sounds of late 1950's. After 1935, the Western Swing Big Band leader Bob Willis used drums as the major instrument in his band Texas Playboy. The drums were readily used by the country musicians and the rockabilly groups till 1955. Later, they became significant in the country bands also. The electric guitar was used in the bands that were originated in the beginning of 1938. Arthur Smith achieved immense success with the Guitar Boogie a MGM records album that declared the beginning of guitar as the most influential instrument in the country band.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Colorado Creative Music Case Study Part 2

STEP Analysis

The STEP analysis of the Colorado Creative Music aims at analyzing macro-environmental factors of the music business the company is engaged into. These factors fall into political, economical, social and technological groups (Pearce, Robinson, 2000).

Political factors affecting music business in whole and CCM in particular: strong political stability in the United States; regulatory and legal issues concerning music business including copyright laws for copyright protection of both music writing and recording, copyright-related legislation touching upon the issue of virtual internet promotion and distribution, such as The Audio Home Recording Act (1992), No Electronic Theft (NET) Act (1997), "The Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act (DPRSRA) 1995, The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, "Pending legislation: Music Online Competition Act and the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Protection Act (CBDTPA)" and others. Environmental regulations and employment requirement do not affect business CCM is engaged into. As for the tax policy, in 2000, from total income of $216,614.05 the company had to pay $4,744,97 of taxes, which is not high rate and amounts to nearly 2 percent from the total income. In whole, it should be noticed that political factors are favorable for music recording industry and for CCM particularly.

Economic factors include indexes in the macro economy that can affect music recording industry. Here also, macroeconomic factors, such as economic growth, interest rates and inflation rate are favorable for CCM. Thus, the U.S economy kept growing steadily since 1995. CPI falls down in 1997, 1998. Unemployment rate decreased gradually from 1995 to 2000.

Social factors, covering demographic and cultural aspects of the environment external to music recording industry are rate of population growth, age distribution and carrier attitudes. The population growth in the United States is steady and age distribution also favors the music recording industry. It should be noted that for music industry in whole, teenagers and 20-years-olds are primary customer segment, but CCM aims at attracting people of 40-60 age range. Thus, the considerable share of American population fits this target market.

Technological advancements in music recording, promotion and distribution have several effects on the recording industry. One aspect of the issue is that musicians are no longer dependent on major recording labels to create or distribute their products. (Viljoen & Dann, 2000) The MP3 software alternative to the CD becomes more popular since 1998. In the space traditional audio can fit 12 to 15 audio tracks; MP3 software can store approximately 150 music tracks. "The move towards MP3 as the new format to replace CD just as the CD replaced vinyl albums have been accelerated by the rush of new portable MP3 players on the market - some for less than conventional Sony Discmans." (Viljoen & Dann 2000, p. 173). On the other hand, new digital technologies which appeared in late 20 century not only facilitate the process of music recording, but make it considerably cheaper, providing the possibility for multiple firms with limited resources to enter the market. Thus, if in 1980s, professional recording studio with all recording equipment, working on vinyl or tape carriers, cost several million dollars and therefore was a domain of 5 or 6 major recording companies, in 2000, assembling professional recording studio could be carried out at cost of only $5,000. All the equipment and hardware, due to the global advancements in technology, are much more affordable for an average artist or businessman.

SWOT Analysis


* Cost advantages with new technology arising from the digital revolution. Not only assembly of studio with all necessary equipment and hardware is cheaper, but duplication of CDs, storage and shipping are less expensive as well. Low cost of production, duplication (duplication of 500 CDs ranges from $1.90 to $3.63, duplication of 2000 CDs costs about one dollar per CD), shipping and storage makes the final product less expensive and more affordable for the customers, thus widening the range and scope of the target market.

* Positioning of CCM in a distinctive market niche. CCM is microlabel recording company which specializes on classic and traditional instrumental music.

* Growing customer base and customer loyalty within target group. Customer base growth due to expansion of product lines (4 already, each year 2 new product lines emerge), and geographical coverage of listeners.

* Good customer service shown through the direct contact between Darren and his fans.


* No clear strategic vision: CCM needs a long term vision which includes all areas of the business, from marketing and management to distribution and human resources. At the moment the company faces a dilemma of further strategic development, which will be focused on either enhancing or developing the recording company or more active promotion and distribution of the products through the possibilities of other companies (the company is currently regarded by its management as potential object of acquisition or investment)

* Competitive disadvantages: CCM are not able to enter the retail market due to its current level of sales. Competitors such as major labels have advantage because they have major market power and influence. Such firms can specify when their music should be played on radio and negotiate large contracts with distributors and retail outlets, hence giving themselves broader appeal.

* Limited channels of distribution: at present moment the company heavily relies on such distribution sources as direct sales, which include sales at the gig, shopping mall distribution and sales in the back end (800 number order, website order processing and mail orders). These channels are major sources of profit for the company. Nevertheless, to expand its consumer base, the company needs to acquire formal distribution channels, such as sales through traditional music distribution networks and others.

* CCM is short in financial resources to pursue new opportunities. Profits are thin, meaning new opportunities may be unobtainable and long term improvements may not be afforded due to initial costs. To conclude a contract with major labels, which would provide the company with the access to traditional product distribution, the firm needs to sale at least 15,000 copies of its products per year. From the other hand, high sales numbers are impossible to obtain without good traditional distribution channels.

* CCM is losing ground to larger firms because of limited exposure. CCM at present does not reach global or national audience like independents and major labels. CCM needs to broaden its reach and widen its customer base.


* Serving additional customer groups by expanding co-operation with other artists and enlarging the Acoustictherapy and other product lines with new marketing strategies.

* Internet through expanding e-commerce and releasing MP3s.

* Expanding sales nation wide.

* Acquiring channels of traditional distribution to reach wider customer base exposure

* Developing new technologies to cope with the driving forces of the industry.

* Releasing compilations with other artists has proven popular. One strategy could be to assembly the songs (such as Accoustictherapy) at the studio, and sell the completed disks at a discounted rate back to the performing artists in their hometowns. This method would cover the costs up front and give the players a financial incentive to push the product.

* Pushing sales into non-traditional areas such as weddings, shopping center music etc.


* High number of new entrants and growth of other smaller labels due to the digital revolution. In addition, major labels or independent labels could decide to enter into CCM's domestic markets and try to drive the smaller labels out of the market.

* Lose sales to substitute products like mp3s or internet downloads

* Vulnerability to industry's driving forces because of CCM's weak position in its industry, taking into consideration the fact that the company occupies microlabel segment of the market and is profitable primarily due to the low costs of digital recording.

Five Forces Model of Competition

Michael Porter's model of competition (Porter, 1980), if applied to music recoding industry, comprises the following components: Rivalry among sellers of recorded music (competition for better market position and competitive advantage); artists and other suppliers of music to producers or sellers of recorded music; distributors, retailers and individual customers of the music; competitive pressure coming from substitutes of recorded music towards winning customers; and threat of new entrants to the industry of recorded music.

Perhaps, the strongest competitive force belongs to such factor as Rivalry among producers and sellers of music products. The music recording industry has 4 clearly identifiable segments: major recording studios, independent labels, microlabels and vanity labels.

Major, or first-tier, companies have large quantities of artists under contracts, reaching the number of 100, specialize on multiple types of music - rock, country, jazz, classical, traditional and other, and have formal and reliable national and international channels of distribution. The examples of such companies are Columbia, Sony Music, EMI, GMG, Warner Brothers, Atlantic Records and some others. As the mater of fact, such companies are not numerous and their recording equipment is rather expensive, amounting to no less that couple million dollars, since these studios record music with analogue and not digital equipment, thus receiving three-dimensional, saturated, rich sound, instead of correct but plain digital sound.

Independent labels have 10-100 artists under contract, focus on recording of one or two major music styles and have either national or most often regional distribution channels. Examples of independents are: Higher Octave, Metal Blade Records, Rhino Records, WAR, Windhan Hill, Soundings of the Planet. Such companies are more numerous than first-rank companies and can use analogue equipment as well as digital. Generally, independent labels strive to grow into major ones, but for that they need to invest large amount of money into amelioration of their equipment.

Microlabels have less then 10 artists under contract and are tightly focused on definite style of music. They are characterized by small staff and manager performing as the leading artist of the studio. Microlabels have rarely formal distribution system and heavily rely on direct sales to fans and wholesale to clubs and specialty retailers. On American market, microlabels are presented with Etherian, Evol Egg Nart, Cuneiform Records, CCM and a large number of others. Generally, such companies survive competition due to low cost of digital recording.

Vanity labels are the fourth, the last and the most specialized segment of the music recording industry. They are founded by independent artists for recording and selling their products. Examples of vanity labels are Bob Culbertson, Watson and Company, Lao Tizer, Esteban Ramirez and many others. (Darren & Winn , 2003). At present, CCM is the microlabel that strives to convert into independent label.

In the first place, the competition among rivals is carried out on the basis of popularity of the performer and songs recorded by their companies. Recording studios intensively compete to attract popular of promising artists to sign contracts with them. If the songs or artists are highly popular, price is secondary factor which may influence the competition. However, if the artist is lesser-known or songs recorded are not very popular, price does play role as the competition and strategy factor. In the distribution process of the rivals, the particular importance is attached to getting access to traditional channels of music distribution, such as retail musical stores, major chain record stores, independent record stores and Internet distributors such as Amazon.com. These means are very important for selling CDs of the artists apart from direct sales on their performances. Also, another factor that greatly influences CD sales is advertising of songs and radio promotion and transmission.

For CCM, rivalry is by far the most important competitive pressure source. The strong competition from rival producers and sellers of music can be explained by the fact that the performers of CCM are not known to the wide public in comparison with the artists of the first-tier and independent labels.

The competitive threat of new entry, is, to the opposite, by far the weakest competitive force, ranked between weak and moderate. Barriers for entry are not high for the new producers of recorded music, especially those targeting limited segment of the market and employing cheap digital technology of recording. CCM can serve the brightest example of such entry. Such cheap digital recording technology can be assembled nowadays for no more than $5,000. Still, expensive analogue technologies keep costing hundreds thousand or even millions. The technology employed by the firm automatically determines its resources and rank in the music recording industry. Besides cost of the equipment, the main subject of the competition for new entrants will be distinct market share and sales volume. Considerable sales volume, in its turn, depends on the ability of new entrants to attract famous, popular or widely known performers and singers whose songs are able to get to the top of the popularity charts. Given the fact that virtually all popular artists have already signed contracts with major recording studios, this is significant barrier for new entrants. Another important barrier is gaining considerable channel of distribution. Generally, large distribution centers and music CD retailers are interested in selling the music of famous performers and unwilling to accept the products of relatively unknown artists. For the CCM, the threat of new entry is not very strong, since the company targets rather narrow market segment. Though, if the new entrant uses the same recording technologies, distribution channels and targets the same niche in the market, the fact may become an issue of major importance.

Competition from substitute products can be considered moderate competitive force in the music industry. Such substitute products are be presented in the form of providing consumers with possibility to listen music with other that CD means such as radio, cable TV music channels, live concerts, local bars or night clubs with live performances or recorded music, and internet. Internet has become by far the most important and strong substitute to traditional buying CD, since music provided on the web is most often cheaper or completely free and is not much inferior in quality than .wma format of CDs. Therefore, for certain amount of people these means serve as effective substitutes, but for music fan, buying official CD is obligatory. In the case of Colorado Creative Music, people can enjoy the performance on live concerts of these artists and decide not to buy their CD. Therefore, from CCM's viewpoint, this may be regarded as fairly significant competitive force.

The forces left are bargaining power of suppliers and bargaining power of buyers and collaborative buyer seller relations, which are both strong competitive force.

The first, bargaining power of suppliers depends on the popularity and reputation of artists. Those who are popular and whose recordings sell well, have strong bargaining power, they can chose among numerous recording studios. CCM specializes on recordings of infamous artists, and therefore it enjoys weak bargaining power, since artists involved with CCM do not have many alternatives for studio record and CD distribution.

Bargaining power of buyers and collaborative buyer-seller relations is very strong competitive force. The major distributors of recorded music supply CDs to the leading music stores and other retailers of music, these leading distributors stock about 40,000 copies of a CD and work on 60-90 working schedule retaining the privilege of full return of investments for the unsold copies. So called "one-stops" are distributors which provide products for the independent music stores in smaller quantities and very often with limited range of music types. Generally such distributors prefer to handle stock CDs of the very popular artists or at least well-known artists and often they are not interested in going into distribution of CDs of unknown performers. Therefore, CCM faces great difficulty in acquiring decent and formal distribution, especially in getting its products sold by such music stores as Sam Goody, Tower Records, Borders Books and Music, and Barnes and Noble.

Also, a great role in the distribution process is played by getting the music heard by people so that they would be more willing to buy the CDs. This includes playing the music on the radio stations, on TV music channels and including soundtracks into movies. Until the performers and artists of CCM become so famous that they are asked for in retail music stores, the company has little chances to receive considerable representation by major CD distributors. The manager of the company, Darren Skanson, has contacted some retailers on his own and found out that it is very time-consuming and onerous task to get his CDs distributed by retailers in his own local area. The people he hired to tackle the problem had little luck either. CCM has had some experience of selling the CDs through one-stop distributor, but it was not very successful due to high markup imposed by the distributor on the CDs of CCM. In the long run, Darren plans to make his product lines such as Darren Curtis Skanson, Music for Candles and other artists, popular enough to have their CD distributed through major music stores. But at the present moment, predominant part of CCM sales volume stems from direct sales such as sales at the gig, shopping mall distribution and internet, mail and telephone orders of the musicians' CDs.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christian Sheet Music

You don't have to pay for Christian sheet music. It is available on the web for free. People can download Christian sheet music in gif format. Christian sheet music sites offer various types of sheet music, such as keyboard music, piano music and guitar music.

Let's check out the piano music first. Online Christian sheet music stores offer piano music. You can download Christian sheet music from those sites. Thanks to those sites, you can enhance your Christian sheet music collection. Some sites offer rare Christian sheet music samples that you won't find anywhere else. Christian sheet music sites have an extensive database of some great Christian sheet music.

Another vital aspect of Christian sheet music is guitar music. People taking an interest in this type of Christian sheet music can download guitar music notations from the web. Thanks to Christian sheet music sites, popular Christian Music titles such as Worship Together or Integrity Hosanna have become extremely popular. But, while downloading your favorite Christian sheet music, you have to be careful. It's always advisable to download Christian sheet music from renowned sites in order to prevent downloading viruses along with the music titles. Christian sheet music sites add new music titles all the time. So, you will get all the new Christian sheet music albums from them. The demand for Christian sheet music is always going up. The Internet has become the best place to buy Christian sheet music titles.

Add to that previews and customer reviews. You can check out the latest Christian sheet music albums before purchasing them. Some of the best-selling Christian sheet music titles are "Run the Earth...Watch the Sky," "Songs for Praise & Worship," and "Only Hope." Christian sheet music has opened up a new vista for Christian Music lovers. Christian sheet music is in vogue.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Blues Music - American Granddaddy of Music Styles

What does American music sound like? You know what the music of Germany, Spain, Ireland, Japan, and many of the other countries of the world sounds like. Each country with it's own distinctive culture has an identifiable musical sound that comes from that culture. But what about the United States?

America was settled by people mainly from Europe. The early music of America was basically European music. There was quite a variety of musical forms to be heard and some people might say that is still true in America today. But, there are common elements in today's music that did not exist in the early settler's music.

It was the influence of the African slaves that brought changes to American musical forms. African culture was suppressed through slavery. Their religion, language, and general overall culture was taken away from them. But, since the African culture was one of oral traditions it was impossible to eliminate their entire cultural way of life. Many aspects of their musical heritage were retained.

Before the days of radio, movies, or TV, folks had to entertain themselves. Dances and music in general were the main focus of entertainment in the early settler's lives. Slaves were quick to learn that by becoming musicians themselves, they could somewhat improve their lives because good musicians were valued in those early days. They learned European music and musical instruments of the time. But, to this European music they brought the influence of their own musical culture as well.

There were aspects of the African musical background that were quite different from the Europeans. It would take a book to fully explain those difference, but they can be simplified into two different aspects. One has to do with a more complex rhythm pattern and the other has to do with the variations in notes of the Western musical scale that the Africans added to the music. They brought these variations to both their playing of instruments and their singing. And, in the end white folks grew to like it.

While these influences can be heard in early American music at the beginning of the 19th century especially in church music, it did not develop into a different musical form until after the Civil War. With freedom the African Americans were able to travel and experience a mixture of musical know-how from other white and black musicians. Slowly a new musical style was born. It was called the blues.

There is a lot of misinformation and confusion about how and when the blues began. Even Blues scholars do not agree. But, basically the music of the 19th century, which was mostly played by African Americans on the banjo which was an adaptation of an African instrument, changed at the end of that century when cheap guitars became available. The importance of the guitar was that unlike the banjo it could sustain notes. The blues player's goal was to have his instrument mimic the human voice. The guitar, through bending strings and sliding between the notes, could be made to sound like there vocal techniques where notes were sung between the standard Western music notation. This is what the blues was all about.

There is a very important term that must be understood. It is called the "Folk Process" by music historians. It means simply that music changes. Either one musician or a group will, because their own abilities or creativity, change and interpret songs their own way. That is why there were different musical sounds developed in different parts of the country. Different folks will just play and sing a song if different ways. That is where styles come from. The singing and guitar playing styles popularized by the blues musicians were adapted to other music. This "Folk Process" is how blues singing and guitar methods became part of the American musical culture.

If you pay attention to modern music you will see that these guitar techniques and vocal phrasings are used is most styles of American music. That can be explained by the fact that most American music of the 20th century evolved from black blues and is mostly just a case of white boys playing the blues. That statement really bugs some folks, but the fact is that no mater what style of music you can name, country, jazz, pop, bluegrass, rock, or whatever, those musical elements that were introduced by slaves and refined by blues players are present. It is what gives the various styles of American music a similar coherent feel. It is all different but somehow the same. It is all rooted in the blues, the granddaddy of American music.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Between The Idea And Work - Course Of Musical Data Processing

If musical data processing is essential us so much today, it is that it gradually created tools which are radically modifying the manner of thinking the music. However, its history is short. It merges with the development of numerical technologies: computers, initially, accompanied by creation by the languages symbolic intended for the programming, then with a whole troop of inventions in numerical technology. Enough early in its history, data processing will be shown sufficiently ripe to accommodate concerns of all kinds, energy of accountancy to scientific research, while passing naturally by what interests us, artistic creation.

And it is undoubtedly there that it is necessary to distinguish what arises from data processing itself, and what belongs rather to the broader world of numerical technology. The music amply draws from these two fields its new resources. However, since the field of the sound is converted today into audio numerical, the distinction is essential. Musical data processing is born from the meeting of the musical concerns and the environment resulting from numerical technologies and the specificity of the computer, on the one hand, and of the scientific fields which clarify its research topics. If the musical composition appears there in good place, practically all the other activities of the music are found there. And musical research partly covers the ground cleared by data processing, acoustics, the treatment of the signal, even cognitive psychology: thus musical data processing is at the center of several musical, scientific and technical fields.

But it is the recourse to the specific contributions of the data processing which characterizes its step. New conceptual tools are unceasingly provided by the artificial intelligence, which are concretized by languages such as Lisp or Prolog. They are put at once at the musicologist assistance or abstracting service to the composition. Research in systems real time and on the interfaces interactive makes it possible to conceive new connections between the instrumentalist and the electronic universe.

Great stages of musical data processing

With the origin of musical data processing, one finds two types of activities, independent one of the other. If these activities prudent today, it is in another manner that the original vision which caused their birth could enable to foresee. These two types of activities are: the musical composition, and production of the sound. In both cases, the manufacture of the desired result is ensured by the computer. These two types of activities are appreciably contemporary. The first serious tests of musical composition per computer go back to 1956: it is on this date that Lejaren Hiller calculated a partition using rules encodes in the form of algorithms on the computer Illiac I of the university of Illinois. It is about Illiac Suite for String Quartet, whose three movements are carried out this year by the string quartet WQXR. In a famous structure, published in 1959 and which supports the title of "Experimental Music-Composition with year Electronic Computer", Lejaren Hiller explains in detail the procedures that it applied to the Illiac computer in order to produce the partition of his string quartet.

To locate this period, it is as into 1956 as John McCarthy forged the term of artificial intelligence. One year later, max Mathews, researcher at the laboratories of the Bell Telephone, in the New Jersey, a first numerical programmer of synthesis of the sound for the computer IBM 704 writes. Known today under the name of Music I, it is the first of a great family of acoustic compilers; a psychologist, Newman Guttman, generates first a one 15 seconds duration study, In the Silver Scale. It is as into 1957 as the four movements of the Continuation Illiac for String Quartet of Lejaren Hiller are published; the same year is born the primitive version from the famous language of FORTRAN program (FORmula TRANslator). Let us note that during the creation of the work of Hiller by the string quartet WQXR, it is max Mathews which organized a recording, which gave place, thereafter, with the publication of this recording in a disc carried out in 1960 by the Bell Laboratories, and entitled Music from Mathematics: even if the ways traced by these two inventors are independent, it is not known as that they did not cross...

From these two almost contemporary events, the development will continue, gradually, in the traced directions: the composition and production of the sound. We will see low the courses of them. But a third way is not long in appearing: it is born from the same observation that had made Hiller: the computer is above all, at that time, a formidable calculating machine. Moreover, the English term of selected computer indicated, before the appearance of these machines, the employees charged to operate calculations. But at the same time, with a bit of fear, one spoke readily at the time of electronic brains. An artist could not approach the computer not without a certain emotion, which explains without any doubt the attraction sometimes terrifying that data processing will exert on the artists of the following decades. But they are two scientists who are at the origin of these experiments: Hiller practiced chemistry, while Mathews was an already famous researcher. It is undoubtedly what explains remarkable methodologies that they reflect in place, each one on their side, and with completely independent aims.

With the Bell laboratories, max Mathews, on his side, written in 1957 a first numerical programmed of synthesis of the sound for the computer IBM 704, equipped with 4096 words of memory. Known today under the name of Music I, it is the first of a great family. The program Music III (1960) introduced the concept of instrument modular. The model imagined by max Mathews is inspired more than one equipment of laboratory or an electronic studio of music that by an acoustic stringed-instrument trade. The program offers a range of independent modules (Unit Generators), in charge each one of an elementary function: oscillator with form of programmable wave, adder of signals, multiplier, generator of envelopes and random signals, etc... The musician builds a "instrument" by connecting a selection of modules between them. The signals produced by the oscillators or the generators are led towards other modules there to be modified or mixed. Several instruments can be joined together within a "orchestra", each instrument having its own identity. Contrary to what occurs in the material universe, it there not of limit to the number of modules usable simultaneously, except perhaps the memory of the computer. The result of the placement of the instrument is the progressive calculation of the sound in the form of a sequence of numbers which, put end to end, represent a complex sound wave. These numbers are called "samples". Today, the number of samples representing one second of its was established to 44 100 per channel for the applications general public, and to 48 000 for the professional field.

Because of relative slowness of the machines and design weight to be carried out, time put to generate the sound wave is quite higher than the duration of the sounds; the operation of these programs is known as "in differed time". With the origin, the sound waves calculated in numerical form were stored on a numerical tape progressively proceeding end of an arithmetic unit of samples. This mode of production of the sound is called "direct synthesis". Thus creates for itself a "file of sound"; once completed, the musician calls upon a second program, charged reading the file of sound in real time and with sending the samples towards a digital-to-analog converter, which is connected to an amplifier and loudspeakers.

To activate the orchestra, the musician must write a "partition", in which all the parameters claimed by the modules of the instrument are specified. This partition is presented in the form of a list of numbers or telegraphy codes, each "note" or a each event being the subject of a particular list. These lists are ordered in time.

But to specify each parameter is a difficult task, more especially as the musicians are not trained to give values measured to sound dimensions which they handle. To fight against this obstacle, of the languages of assistance to the writing of partitions were conceived; most known is the Score program of Leland Smith (1972). Score is not an automatic program of composition: it makes it possible to specify the parameters using terms resulting from the musical practice (heights, nuances, durations), automatically to calculate changes of tempo or nuances, and even to supplement sections with notes corresponding to a trajectory given by the type-setter. 

The model instrument-partition was firmly established with the arrival of Music IV (1962). This program were born from many alternatives, of which some exist indeed still today. Among these misadventures, let us quote Music 4BF (1966-67), there is nowadays a version for Macintosh (Music 4C, 1989), and especially Music 360 of Barry Vercoe (1968); this descendant of Music IV has as a characteristic to be presented in the form of a true programming language, which undoubtedly explains why it became today with C-Music the acoustic compiler more used. It was initially adapted to minicomputer PDP-11 from DIGITAL in 1973, then, entirely rewritten in language C in 1985, it took the name of C-Sound, and was quickly adapted to all kinds of data-processing platforms, including the micro-computers like Atari, Macintosh and IBM. In 1969 Music V appears, a program which is conceived to facilitate the musical programming of the instruments and the partitions; nowadays, Music V is still largely employed, generally in the form of the adaptation that in made Richard Moore, C-Music (1980).

The computer was also an unquestionable success in a strongly speculative field, the musicologists analysis. With the eyes of the public interested at the beginning of the Sixties, data processing, still rather mysterious and inaccessible, showed the possibility for strange musical work; in composition, in musicology and finally, limited to the laboratories Bell, production of sound. A great musical upheaval of this decade was to come from the world of electronics, with the appearance into 1964 of the synthesizers modular, known as "analogical" since they do not contain numerical electronics. Conceived independently by Paolo Ketoff (Rome), Robert Moog and Donald Buchla (the United States), the synthesizers bring the response to the technological aspirations of many musicians, especially after the popular success of the disc Switched one Bach of Walter Carlos who truly made know these instruments near a large audience. During this time, the program of Mathews knows adaptations on other sites, such as the universities of New York, Princeton or Stanford.

Another application of the computer appears with the piloting of analogical instruments. The machine generates signals with slow variation which modify the adjustments of devices of studio: frequency of oscillators, profit of amplifiers, cut-off frequencies of filters. The first example of this system which one names "hybrid synthesis" was established in 1970 in Elektron Musik Studio of Stockholm, foundation independent since 1969, financed by the Royal Academy of Music, and placed under the direction of Knut Wiggen. A computer PDP 15/40 controlled twenty-four generators of frequency there, a generator of white vibration, two third filters of octave, modulators: out of ring, of amplitude and reverberations. The originality of the system of Stockholm lay in an extremely ergonomic operator console, with which the type-setter could specify the parameters of synthesis by sweeping a panel of figures using a metal brochette. Another studio is to be quoted: that of Peter Zinovieff in London (1969), placed under the control of a minicomputer DIGITAL PDP 8 for which Peter Grogono wrote the language of Musys piloting.

Another remarkable realization is the system Groove (Generated Realtime Operations One Equipment Voltage-controlled, Ca 1969) conceived at the Bell laboratories by max Mathews and Richard Moore. Groove is an instrument intended for the control of parameters of interpretation of a device of synthesis. In this direction, it places the musician more close to the position of a leader that to a type-setter or an instrumentalist, although one can consider that the electronic type-setter of music must often place himself in position of chief, by directly interpreting the music which is made up.

It is the middle of the Seventies which marks the transition towards an inexorable widening from now on from the life of musical data processing, with the appearance of the microprocessor. A data-processing stringed-instrument trade will become gradually possible with the design of complete computers on an integrated circuit: microprocessors. It will also be necessary that the interface with the user improves, and that the punch cards by a more interactive mode of inputs are replaced: it will be the keyboard and the cathode ray tube which will carry it.

The principle of the hybrid synthesis continued to be applied throughout the Seventies, before being supplanted definitively by the numerical synthesizers at the dawn of the Eighties. The American company Intel markets since 1971 the first microprocessor, the circuit 4004, which allow the design of genuine miniature computers, the microcomputers: Intellec 8 (conceived starting from microprocessor 8008 of 1972), Apple I, Altair (1975), gathered soon under the name of micro-computers.

The experiment musical of the Art Group and Data processing of Vincennes (GAIV) illustrate this time of transition well. This team, founded to the university of Paris 8 by Patrick Greussay and a team of artists and architects, known for the publication of a bulletin diffusing the research tasks in most recent art and data processing, entrusted to the type-setter Giuseppe Englert the musical coordination of her activities. It is Intellec 8, microcomputer with words of eight bits, ordered by a paper tape and a keyboard, which was used with the compositionally activities and as research on musical formalization; English synthesizers EMS-VCS3 were controlled by the microcomputer, via digital-to-analog converters charged to provide power of order in exchange of the binary data calculated by interactive programs.

The second effect of the arrival of the microcomputer was the design of the "mixed synthesis", synthesizers numerical, genuine computers adapted to the calculation of the sound wave in real times, placed under the control of a computer. From second half of the Seventies appear several achievements of this type; we will retain work of James Beauchamp, Jean-François Allouis, William Buxton, inter alia, like those of Peter Samson (synthesizer of Systems Concept, conceived for the research center -- CCRMA -- university of Stanford), Synclavier de New England DIGITAL Corporation, conceived by Syd Alonso and Cameron Jones under the impulse of the type-setter Jon Appleton, design, under the impulse of Luciano Berio, of a bench of oscillators in Naples by Giuseppe di Giugno, who continued his work in Ircam (series 4A, 4B, 4C and 4X) under the direction of Pierre Boulez; more recently, Fly 30 of the Center of recherché musical of Rome. Let us note that with the 4X of Ircam (1980), the term of synthesizer disappears, replaced by that of numerical processor of signal, which undoubtedly moves the accent on the general information of the machine.

The industry of the electronic instrument does not take a long time to adapt to these new developments. The first stage consisted in introducing microprocessors inside analogical synthesizers (Prophet synthesizers of the firm Sequential Circuits), charged to control the modules ordered in tension; it is still of the "hybrid synthesis". The second stage follows soon: it consists in designing genuine entirely numerical musical instruments. It is the noticed arrival of Synclavier II, then of Fairlight.

The industrial field is today initially made up by the market of the synthesizers and the processors of the sound, and by the software which makes it possible to exploit them. Today, all the synthesizers are numerical, and necessarily meet the Midi standard. The field of the synthesizers is double: on the one hand apparatuses, often provided with a keyboard, which propose a choice of preprogrammed sounds which one can vary certain parameters by an elementary process of programming; in addition, the machines which are intended to reproduce sounds beforehand recorded and memorized, or stored on mass memory: samplers, or "samplers".

It should be noted that all these technologies become accessible to the private musician, within the framework of what is called commonly the "personal studio" (home studio).

But these machines, and a fortiori the personal studio do not function without adapted software: the sequencers control the execution of a piece directly starting from a computer, the editors of sound are intended for the treatment, the assembly and the mixing of sound sequences. Programs make it possible to write a partition, which from now on is usually employed by the musical edition. Lastly, the machines can also be placed under the control of supplementary programmes to the composition.

The most original character of the contemporary data-processing stringed-instrument trade is the "workstation". To conceive a workstation consists in gathering programs of various nature, intended for the analysis or the synthesis of the sound, the control of the sound or the composition. These programs are integrated within data-processing a "environment" organized around a computer and of its peripherals, intended for the treatment of the sound on line. It is the case of the plug-in charts which, coupled to a software, make it possible to read "files of sound" stored on a disc, in exchange of an order, coming for example from a Midi source. This system, if new that it did not find yet a name true, is generally indicated like "hard" or "direct-to-disk" disk.

The musical representation

Since the computer, unlike the electronic music of studio, claims a specification of the data, and thus a writing, the question of the musical representation is a constant concern of the field. We will see two answers. The first illustrates a step a priori compositionnelle: that of Xenakis. The second, more general, is the Midi standard.

Iannis Xenakis innovates with the design of the UPIC (Unit Polyagogique Informatique of CEMAMu). Conceived in the middle of the Seventies, this system rises naturally from the approach of the synthesis of the sound by this type-setter: within the team which it had joined together, baptized initially Emamu (Team of Mathematics and Musical Automatic, 1966), and with the financing of the Foundation Gulbenkian, Xenakis had made build a digital-to-analog converter of high quality. The UPIC represents a complete environment of composition with, in result, the sound synthesis of the page of made up music. Become in 1971 CEMAMu (Center of Mathematics and Musical Automatic) because of the creation of a place intended to shelter its research, the team joined together around Xenakis conceives a system making it possible to the type-setter to draw on a broad table of architect of the "arcs time-height", by choosing for each arc a temporal trajectory, a form of wave, a nuance. The music thus is initially represented in graphic form. The programs of the first UPIC are written for a minicomputer Solar 16/65, connected to two bodies of magnetic tapes to store the programs and the samples, a digital-to-analog converter, a cathode ray tube making it possible to post the forms of waves, but also to draw these waves using a graphic pencil. To hear the page which it has just drawn, the type-setter must wait until the computer finished to calculate all the samples; the generation of the sound is ensured by a digital-to-analog converter of high quality. More recently, the UPIC was redrawn for microcomputer, and functions without delay.

To represent the sound in the form of a modifiable image, it is the goal of the Phonograms program, designed at the university Paris 8 per Vincent Lesbros. With the manner of a sonograms, the program posts the spectral analysis like a drawing, which can be modified; the new representation can then be synthesized, either by Midi, or in the shape of a file of sound, or even transformed into Midi file.

The reproach often today is heard that the generation of young musicians who approach technology through the environment created around the Midi standard are not a satisfactory aware of not passed of musical data processing and its problems. But is to forget that, in a direction, the birth of the Midi standard was done without true filiation with the preceding stages of the field which one will name musical data processing. The phenomenon which represents Midi is not at all a misadventure of this field.

The Midi standard was developed in 1983 to allow the piloting of several synthesizers starting from one only keyboard; the messages are transmitted in numerical format, according to a well defined protocol. With the origin, Midi is thus well based on instrumental gesturer control: it is a method to represent not the sound, but the gesture of the musician who plays of a Midi instrument. In 1983 leaves the first synthesizer to have an interface Midi, Prophet 600 of Sequential Circuits. What had not been defined, on the other hand, it is the success which this standard was going quickly to gain, which today is used to inter-connect all the machines of a studio of electronic music, and even the sets of lights of a scene.

Musical research

The work undertaken since 1956 by Lejaren Hiller for the composition of Illiac Suite for String Quartet marks at the same time the true birth of musical data processing and the anchoring of this field in the research, applied in this case to the automatic composition. The computer appeared then as a machine making it possible to treat the complex continuations of operations which characterize the composition of ambitious musical works. This way was going to be reinforced since 1958 by the French type-setter Pierre Barbaud, who melts in Paris the Algorithmic Group in connection with the company Bull-General Electric and begins his research of automatic composition; as of the following year, the first algorithmic work of Barbaud was made up:

Unforeseeable innovations (Algorithm 1), with the collaboration of Pierre Blanchard. The program Musicomp de Lejaren Hiller and Robert Baker, of the same time, conceived for the Illiac computer after the composition of the Illiac Continuation, making university of Illinois one of the centers of musical data processing at that time. And when in 1962, Iannis Xenakis creates ST/10, 080262, work written thanks to the stochastic program ST developed since 1958 on a computer IBM 7090, the composition using the computer enters its golden age. In the Netherlands, Gottfried Michael Koenig writes in 1964 the program of composition Project I (1964), followed soon of Project II (1970). The composition computer-assisted rests on mathematics and the stochastic one, drawing largely from the resources of the processes of Markov (Hiller, Barbaud, Xenakis, Chadabe, Manoury).

With the arrival of the micro-computers a new tendency develops: assistance with the composition, then computer-aided design of composition (CAD). The program demiurge, able to generate a whole composition the model of an environment of data-processing tools charged succeeds to deal with precise musical problems. Let us quote among the principal ones: HMSL (Hierarchical Music Language Specification, 1985) with Mills College in California, Forms, created by Xavier Rodet, Draft and Patchwork, developed in Ircam under the impulse of Jean-baptiste Barrier, Experiment in Musical Intelligence of David Cope, at the university of Santa Cruz in California. These programs are open: they dialogue with the type-setter in an interactive way, and are connected to the universe of the Midi devices. Except for M and Jam Factory of Joel Chadabe and David Zicarelli, they are structured by the use of languages nonnumerical, resulting from the field of the artificial intelligence, such as Forth, and especially Lisp, which explains why they rest not on mathematics, as it was the case for the first generation of composition computer-assisted, but on the formal languages and the generative grammars.

Real time: computer and instrumental universe

The Eighties see developing the use of the computer in situation in concert; thanks to the arrival of the numerical synthesizers in real time, or, more generally, numerical processors of sound, and languages of control real time, the conditions are ripe to revisit this old surface of the music of the XXe century: electronic music on line (live electronic music). In the majority of the cases, it is initially a question of imagining a means of connecting the computer and its computing power to devices of synthesis or treatment of sound, with, if, possible, the interaction of musicians. Répons (1981), of Pierre Swell, by the integration of the procedures of treatment the writing itself, showed in what the computer became an instrument, integrated perfectly into the orchestra. Following this work work appears on the follow-up, by the computer, of the play of the instrumentalist, operation known under the name of "follow-up of partition". Let us quote the contributions of Roger Dannenberg in the automatic accompaniment and the languages offering the conditions of the communication computer-instrument, those of max Mathews, initially with the Groove system, then more recently with its work on "Radio operator Drum" and the simulation of the rod of the chief orchestrates itself, Miller Puckette with the Max. program.

This is why one was in addition interested to give to instruments of orchestra this capacity, by providing them with sensors, allowing the computer to follow the execution (flute, vibraphone, etc...). All musical industry is concerned with this tendency, although the process to be used is not decided yet: it will be electromechanical (material sensors placed at strategic places of the instrument, conducting membranes, etc...), or will it be necessary to have recourse to the analysis for stolen of the sounds themselves to know of it the height, the spectral structure and the mode of play?

The community organizes itself

The ripening of musical data processing was accompanied by an assumption of responsibility by the community by the musicians and researchers by themselves. Gradually, the conscience of membership of a field is done day. The international congresses appear, followed later local conferences. The communications which are marked there are published in collections available for all the community. These meetings also give place to the presentation in concerts, which tends more strongly to weld between them the conscience of a new field, with the scientific and artistic components. It is the beginning of the "International Computer Music Conferences" (ICMC). In 1978 is born an organization intended to facilitate the communication and to help the behavior of the congresses, the "Computer Music Association", which becomes in 1991 "International Computer Music Association" (ICMA). The organizers seek to hold the congress one year in North America, and the following year on another continent. These congresses see the ICMA taking a role growing in the assistance brought to the local organizers, like in the diffusion of the publications resulting from these meetings, going until placing from the orders of works which will be carried out during ICMC (ICMA Commission Awards, 1991).

Another vehicle which welds the conscience of membership of a common field is the Computer Music Journal. Appeared in California in 1977, it is taken again by MIT Press starting from volume 4 (1980). The newspaper is essential like the reference as regards scientific publications of the field. Association ICMA publishes a bulletin, Array, which became a body very appreciated of information and discussion on the current topics of musical data processing. The review Interface Dutchwoman, which becomes since 1994 Newspaper of New Music Research, regularly publishes articles on musical data processing. Canada, Musicworks, guided by Gayle Young, ensures information on a broad range of concerns of the new musics. In France, publications of Ircam, InHarmonique, then the books of Ircam open their columns with the aesthetic, theoretical and critical considerations which accompany sudden appearance by new technologies in arts. 

In 1991 the Leonardo newspaper, published by the international association for arts, science and technology, founded in 1968 by Frank Malina, lance, under the direction of Roger Malina, Leonardo Music Journal, who bring a full vision of the musical practice related to new technologies, thanks also to the publication, with each number, of a compact disk. More theoretical, the review [http://www.linereview.com] Languages of Design, under the direction of Raymond Lauzzana, is interested in formalization in the artistic procedures, and grants a broad place to musical data processing. With these traditional supports of information the direct communication between musicians and researchers by the means of the data-processing networks is added, allowing the instantaneous email. Lastly, the need to increase the speed of communication gave birth to the electronic newspapers, diffused by the networks such as Internet; released from the structure of manufacture, impression and routing, they allow the same type of access to information as the data banks which, they also, multiply in musical data processing.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Avoid Getting Sued For Playing Music For Your Business

If you are a business owner or manager and are currently playing music in your venues or considering implementing music on hold, you need to be aware that the music you use must be licensed, or it will be considered illegal use of copyrighted music. If caught, you could be facing steep fines or possible legal action. The music industry is coming down hard on businesses that are unaware of or disregard proper licensing of copyrighted music, as is evident by a recent series of crackdowns on over two dozen venues in Seattle who failed to pay royalties on music they were playing.

(ASCAP) The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, says that these venues have been performing copyrighted music without permission. ASCAP is now actively going after local businesses that have not been paying to use copyrighted music. According to their web site any music that is played outside a direct circle of family and friends is considered a public performance; this includes restaurants playing background music or commonly known as in-store music, DJs and music on hold over phone lines.

Fortunately, if you are unwilling or unable to pay expensive music licensing fees but still would like to play music in your venues or implement music on hold, there is a less expensive alternative, Royalty Free Music. Unlike most music licenses, royalty free music only requires a typically low one time fee, and the purchaser is then free to use the music as often and in as many different ways as they like. The majority of music licenses stipulate how the music is to be used, and charge additional fees accordingly. If you're looking for music you can use without being restricted by fussy contracts, you should consider royalty free music.

If you're interested in royalty free music for your music on hold or venues, but are hesitant about the quality and believe popular music is the only way to engage customers you can relax. In addition to being legal and affordable, royalty free music from reputable libraries can be as appealing as any music heard on the radio today. With cutting-edge technology and compositions by talented professional musicians, the quality of royalty free music is on par with popular commercial music.

Because of the rising number of lawsuits being filed by the music industry against those who continue to implement music illegally, and the high cost of synchronization or needledrop licenses, royalty free music is becoming increasingly popular. It's well worth the low fee, particularly if it keeps pricy lawsuits at bay plus it is easy to obtain. Music copyright laws are becoming increasingly more strict and complicated, and it is up to you to keep abreast of and act within these parameters. Pleading ignorance seems to be an unacceptable excuse with performance rights organizations like ASCAP and BMI. If you want to play music and not run afoul of the law seriously consider royalty free music.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ambient Music - Nature's Sounds Put to Music

It's often playing in the places you go. Whether it's in an art gallery, a unique specialty shop, or a restaurant, ambient music creates a mood. This music genre has seen a growth in popularity in the last 30 years.

Ambient music relies on sound and sound patterns. It does not rely on formal, traditional musical elements in its composition. While it may include these, it is open to bending or completely doing away with any rules.

Ambient music is atmospheric in nature, in the sense that it creates an atmosphere of sound to arouse the senses. It often uses the natural environment as inspiration. A composer of this type of music may use a beautiful moonlit night as his or her basis for a sound sculpture that evokes this scene.

Ambient music has its roots in classical music. It uses elements borrowed from impressionism, musique concrete, avant-garde and minimalism. However, it is not any one of these styles more per se. It is its own animal. An understanding of these musical styles will give you a better understanding of the elements of ambient music.

Impressionism: This music draws from atmospheric effects and descriptive ideas. The sound of the wind is an atmospheric effect that can be part of a piece of music. A descriptive idea to base music on could be: "I love the way sand forms ripple patterns in a windblown desert." This word picture can inspire a composer to write an ambient piece using sound to bring images to listeners' minds.

Musique Concrete: This music relies on natural sounds from our environment. It also uses any other type of noise that one would not consider musical. Putting these sounds and noises into a composition creates a different, non-traditional music experience. For example, the sound of a jackhammer is a legitimate sound element to place into a sound recording.

Minimalism: This music is unadorned and pared down to its basics. It may use one sound pattern or an individual sound that the composer repeats continually. There may not be any complex arranging or orchestrations done to enhance this music. Often a listener hears the repetition of one entire sequence throughout a composition.

Avant-Garde: This music seeks to break through the boundaries of normal musical parameters. It operates at the extremes of conventional musical thought as it seeks to explore new territory. Avant-garde music knows the inherent rules of traditional music and then seeks to break, modify or expand on them. This is why much avant-garde music is experimental in nature. Composers of this form experiment with tempo, time, timbre, tone, and chord and scale patterns.

Therefore ambient music takes aspects of all of the above to create a hybrid music all its own. This music developed from the works of Erik Satie, Terry Riley, Phillip Glass, John Cage, Brian Eno and others. Satie's early form of this music had the unusual term, "furniture music," to describe its suitability as background music during mealtime.

However, some ambient music devotees reject the notion that ambient music is only unobtrusive, subtle, background filler. Adherents to this view see ambient music as viable music that one can appreciate and listen to as one would an intricate classical, jazz or popular piece.

Eno explained it best during his musical experimentations when he said ambient music could be "actively listened to with attention or as easily ignored, depending on the choice of the listener..." He said it exists on the cusp between melody and texture. He is credited with creating the term "ambient music."

Ambient music can be part of any environment. It's suitable as party music if you want guests to enjoy quality sounds and be able to converse with one another. It's suitable for sitting back with a drink while you're reading or just de-stressing and staring out a window. It's also music to listen to critically. One can study sound, both artificial and natural, and how they can co-exist in a composition.

If you desire to create ambient music, all you need is simple recording equipment and something to create or capture sound. You can record natural atmospheric conditions to put in your song. This could be the sound of rushing water or the cries of birds. You can record the sounds of the city: buses, children laughing, cars beeping, to inject into your music. You can play and record a musical instrument. You can modify the sound of an instrument and record its sounds. Put it all together to create the sound you desire.

Take the time to chill out and tune in to ambient music of different kinds. Explore the works of the pioneers of this musical form. Check out who's new and upcoming in the ambient music community. It's music that's adaptable, varied and able to create a mood for any occasion.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Prayer & Plea For Indian Arts, Culture & Music

Acts alone do not help in the promotion or prevention of a culture from going to rack and ruin. The hapless condition of our Music & Culture is a glaring example of governmental apathy and neglect. According to a report prepared by UNESCO, the Punjabi language will disappear from the world in 50 years. Our language, dialects, and specially one of the oldest, enduring rich heritages of music, is decaying.

We ourselves are discouraging our children from opting for arts, culture & music as a career. Envious of the progeny of our nearest & dearest ones studying medicine, engineering or IT, we force our children to pick the same career, which they may be least interested in. We don't want our children to be what they wish to be, and where they can excel; rather we wish them to be, what they don't want to be and remain average. We want to create doctors, engineers and managers at the cost of our fine tradition of arts and culture. This is a catastrophic development.

We are ignoring music, arts & culture education at the primary level, secondary level, and undergraduate level. In India music is provided very little support as an academic subject, and music teachers feel that they must actively seek greater public endorsement for music education as a legitimate subject of study. Hence, music advocacy is to be promoted significantly. It is our collective responsibility to preserve our inheritance and to develop it into a rich legacy for future generations.

Modernity does not make tradition redundant. We are the offspring of a complex and rich culture, and music has played a crucial role in synthesizing it. It merits more than a disinterested glance by the authorities in colleges and universities. One is amazed at their callousness and quite dumbfounded at their ignorance when they talk of abolishing the subject from their syllabus. They argue that 'unnecessary' subjects require monetary props and they want to save their beloved country some much needed cash. We are not the victims of any financial crisis but of pure, unalloyed prejudice. Who will take up cudgels on behalf of us musicians who languish on the dusty shelves of modern education in India?

Of course, a new education policy has been announced by our Govt. Sadly, only technology, polytechnics, industry linked training centers, medicine, management etc. have been the point of discussion. What about our culture, arts and music? Philosophers and pedagogues variously define education. This is said to be the sum total of a man's character. Education in the Indian tradition is not merely a means of earning a living; nor is it only a nursery of thought or a school for citizenship. It is initiation into the life of spirit, a training of the human soul in the pursuit of truth, and the practice of virtue. However in the present context it is a means to earn one's living. Education should not merely be treated as a means of empowering people to get jobs for livelihood. The Indian Education Commission (1964-66) asserted that education ought to be related to the life, needs and aspirations of the people and thereby made a powerful instrument of social economic and cultural transformation.

Music has also remained the victim of State Govt.'s horrendous apathy and neglect. As the result of the deliberate, inexplicable intentions of the Punjab Govt. posts of lecturers in music from various Government Colleges like Govt. Barjindra Collge, Faridkot, were abolished. They declared that such subjects were an unnecessary surplus and a drain on the treasury. Later on, following an agitation by the Student and Teacher Unions of Punjab, and keeping in view the upcoming elections, the Govt. of Punjab changed its mind and a few posts were reinstated.

Our academia in India has failed to attract students who are genuinely interested in music. Life has changed in the last decade. We cannot apply the same decadent vision to our education system. Our educational institutes are offering the same old fashioned, hackneyed, outmoded two/three year courses & examination programs in arts, culture and music. A revision is mandatory and it should be accepted without any raising of eyebrows. We will have to design new state-of-the-art curricula to urge students towards the study of art & culture, especially music.

The United States of America and some of the European Countries have outlined National Standards for arts Education to be followed by every student and teacher at the primary level, as well as the secondary level art education.

•••••There is a set of national standards in music education also, which most teachers adhere to:

•••••••The Indian Government and private institutions should also include these musical standards in their Education system. Teachers should establish these standards in classrooms beginning in a kindergarten general music class, and ending in undergraduate level general, band, choral, or orchestral classes.

In today's 'global village' scenario, the higher education system of developing nations like us must seek integration with universal learning. The concept of internationalization of higher education in syllabi, teaching and research should be implemented. Our institutes must introduce some new ultra modern courses in music.

Small duration Courses:

Music playing and performance courses should be offered at college level, e.g. Guitar/Sitar/Tabla Intermediate (duration 3 months), Music performance, Flute Ensemble etc. 3 months duration Courses in different instruments like Sitar, Tabla, Harmonium, Sarangi, Flute, Violin, Guitar, Synthesizer, Drums etc. Different courses in different genres should be offered e.g. Classical, Folk, World Music, Fusion, Bollywood, Light Music, Western including Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic, Opera, Operetta, Zarzuela, Rock, Grind core, Heavy Metal, Punk, Pop, Rhythm & Blues, Rap, Jazz, Electronica, Break beat, Drum & Bass, Ambient, Electro, Down tempo, Electro, House, Trance, Techno, UK Garage, Reggae, Calypso etc.

We must host in our college, graduate and undergraduate programs in musicology, evolutionary musicology, ethnomusicology, bio-musicology, music technology, zoo-musicology, music therapy, musilanguage, and music education.

Courses in Musicology (Socio-musicology, Zoo-musicology and Evolutionary Musicology): including:

Music Archeology, Music Appreciation, Introduction to Musicology, Methodology (research methods) of Music, Philology of Music, Orchestration, Counterpoint and Fugue, Acoustics of Music, Aesthetic Philosophy, Composer or Genre, Topics in Music Literature, Introduction to Music Bibliography.

Courses in Zoo musicology: including:

Fundamentals of Sound and Music of the World, World Music Theory and Musicianship, Musical Cultures of the World, World Music Performance Organizations, Psychology of Music, Experimental Research in Music, Anthropology of Music, Music of different countries, Music and Mind, Historical Readings in Ethnomusicology, Material Culture of Music, Interpretive Theories and Music.

Courses in Music Technology: including:

Degree Course in Creative Sound Engineering & Music Technology, Degree in Audio & Music Production, Live Sound Courses, Music Writing, Music Business, Music Publishing.

Music Therapy Courses:

A university in Australia is offering a course in Music Therapy which includes: - Applications of Music in Therapy (child clients, adult clients, contemporary contexts), Research in Music Therapy, Music Psychology Research, Music Therapy Skills (guitar, voice, groups and verbal counseling skills, improvisation skills, working toward performance and songwriting, vocal improvisation, receptive methods), Clinical Training in Music Therapy, Guided imagery and music (therapy that combines music and deep relaxation states to explore and guide thoughts and feelings).

Music Education courses:

This program should be designed to enhance the knowledge, skills and understanding of both current and prospective music educators. One can learn through academic study and practice within an international context.

Institutions must start offering courses which are universally recognized and acclaimed. Each course must provide an opportunity for all different kinds of musicians to pursue their own work. A student should also learn about the wider context of music. One of the primary aims of the course should be to facilitate students' understanding of their contemporary musical world, in short its wide historical and contemporary context. At the same time, Music Degree pathways should offer considerable crossovers and opportunity for collaboration, so that a student is enabled to explore and use the most advanced techniques of contemporary music. Throughout the course, a student should be encouraged to choose his/her own area of focus and identify his/her own distinctive musical personality. This personal evolution of potential will easily lead to a body of composition, performance or written work that will, in turn, open doors both to existing career paths and the creation of new market niches. A creative vocational approach arms graduates with diversity of experience, backed with a strong skill base and theoretical underpinning.


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