Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

This came up in another thread.

And to answer it I think we need to look at just what music is, and is not.

I think that music a multifaceted experience. Most people know it only as a listening experience. But up until the age of recording, music was also a live production experience. The only way to hear music was if someone played it. Music was special. Now it's kind of a throw-away thing.

Music is to be listened to.

Music is to be written.

Music is to be performed ( live ).

As  a recording, music is a reproduction, and as such is certainly a commodity to be bought and sold, and eventually thrown away. 

I grew up playing trumpet. As an instrumentalist, I played in concert band, marching band, orchestra, pit bands, studio band, jazz band, and more. I was inside music as it was being produced. In some ways, I feel there is no better way to experience how instruments fit together, than to be inside the entity producing the music, and contribute to it. 

I know, I know, not everyone plays an instrument, and now there are computers that let us bypass the boring process of having to know anything about music, and go right to the producing part. I get it, I really do. I get the attraction. I produce music with my computer, too. But no matter the quality of any software I might have, it does not take the place of a live performance. 

Learn to play guitar. You hardly need a musical bone in your body to be able to play well enough to play with other equally learned players, in order to feel what it's like to be inside the music. As a guitar player, I can say that.

We all have our favorite recordings of our favorite pieces. But those recordings, no matter how perfect, are static. Every time we listen, the music is the same. We depend on it. We become addicted to it. But a professional orchestra (any group, really) never plays a piece the same way twice. Can't be done, and why would they want to, anyway. The music is alive, apprehensive, leading, pushing, and dynamic. I think our reliance on recording leads some to think that we don't need musicians, any more. Randomness could be programmed into software, but it's not the same. Musicians don't study to play random. Then there are microphones. Mics lie, rooms lie, even our ears lie. Storage devices lie. 

I don't think that music is commodity to be bought and sold. At least not like like a loaf of bread. Although like the baker, the musician should be paid, but paid well. It's not easy to learn to play any instrument.

Do you know who makes the most money every time a recording is sold? The musician makes only a fraction of each dollar. Same in a concert situation. The musician sucks hind teat. Concerts and recording situations are so expensive. Is it because we need thousand dollar mics and several multi channel mixing boards, in special rooms. Well sure, I know all that can make a big difference. On the other hand, I've heard recordings made on a four trac cassette with a $50 mic, that were just awesome. This guy was a fantastic performer who knew how to use his equipment. 

Which brings us to the touchy subject of copyright. Did you know that the creators of costumes for Mardi Gras copyright their creations. Did you know that if you take a picture of a horse, and later you want to make a drawing of that photo, that you need to get the permission of the owner, especially if you might make some money from the drawing?

Yet we all post copyrighted material from YouTube all the time. We think that if it's on the internet, than it belongs to everyone. So far, that is not true. Should it be? 

I could go on. But let's open it up. What's on your mind about this?

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This thread does not serve the forum's purpose of supporting composers and composition and will be removed if it continues as is.

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I'm truly sorry to leave Gav holding the bag on trying to monitor some of these conversations, but I'm taking a sabbatical from this forum.  The toxicity and childishness exhibited lately have literally made me sick, and my doctor advises taking a break.

My passion is music - creating, teaching, performing, listening, appreciating.  I also have a commitment to decency, kindness, maturity and wisdom.  I don't feel that my particular talents are best spent on this forum.  I'm not leaving the forum per se, since I have many pieces posted here that I don't want to lose for now, but I won't be reading posts or performing admin duties for a while.

Best of luck to those of you who care about music and about each other.

I'm very sorry to hear that.

Julie Harris said:

I'm truly sorry to leave Gav holding the bag on trying to monitor some of these conversations, but I'm taking a sabbatical from this forum.  The toxicity and childishness exhibited lately have literally made me sick, and my doctor advises taking a break.

My passion is music - creating, teaching, performing, listening, appreciating.  I also have a commitment to decency, kindness, maturity and wisdom.  I don't feel that my particular talents are best spent on this forum.  I'm not leaving the forum per se, since I have many pieces posted here that I don't want to lose for now, but I won't be reading posts or performing admin duties for a while.

Best of luck to those of you who care about music and about each other.

A piece of work, someone once said. :)

Please rest and feel better Julie--you'll be missed by us all.

And for my money, the best medicine to take for anything is MUSIC--and PLENTY of it!

Thanks Bob https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito

Julie Harris said:

I'm truly sorry to leave Gav holding the bag on trying to monitor some of these conversations, but I'm taking a sabbatical from this forum.  The toxicity and childishness exhibited lately have literally made me sick, and my doctor advises taking a break.

My passion is music - creating, teaching, performing, listening, appreciating.  I also have a commitment to decency, kindness, maturity and wisdom.  I don't feel that my particular talents are best spent on this forum.  I'm not leaving the forum per se, since I have many pieces posted here that I don't want to lose for now, but I won't be reading posts or performing admin duties for a while.

Best of luck to those of you who care about music and about each other.

The idea that a thread, spawned by 1 post on a forum of many posts, on an internet of many forums, somehow is viewed by as affecting the whole world is inane and ludicrous. It is, and always will be, a microcosm within a microcosm.  Keeping the dialog and exchanges up to a certain 'standard' is understandable. Apparently this forum has an 'image' it wishes to maintain. Gav has somewhat defined what is 'out-of- bounds'... yet some still don't get it. Personally, I abhor censorship and prefer to have the internet police itself. I think the idea Gav put forth,(basically, 3 strikes and you are out, at least temporarily), is fair and reasonable. Threads don't seem to be ruined by asides and temporary tangents as much as they are undermined by personal attacks and a lack of tolerance for other's perspectives. You have to ask yourself, is writing good music a competition or a shared interest?  To quote Austin Powers... 'Behave'   lol  

   

I have enjoyed the posts of everyone here when they are on topic. All have contributed valuable opinions.

What I have a problem with is when someone with an over-active sense of moral justice feels the necessity to cram those morals down my throat. Totally out of place. Perhaps we should each tend our own houses. I have held back a lot.   

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