Are we selling ourselves out?
I've written music since about 1979. I did not know anyone else who did it: I had no support. Paper and pencil & an upright piano that cost $75. Things got more expensive, but always within thrifty reason. Music was cheaper than painting, in those days.
Then, in the 1990s, I purchased Finale, and a digital harpsichord, and a Proteus Orchestral sequencer. All consternating, and a waste of money. I wrote stuff - which now sits in a box. It will never be looked at again. The entire set-up (with PC) came to over $2,000.
After 1999, I have had no more of high technology in music. But I paid attention enough to see that all that I bought was worthless. I went underground for a while.
In 2007, I decided to have fun with video. It started as an exhilerating hobby. I found YouTube, and made lots of dumb vloggy things: few survived my mood swings. I'm hot on the delete button.
I decided that I had a new use for music: I could play in "public" - and I could play my own compositions. If I got 100 views that might be more than a real concert attendance. In a way, that strategy worked. YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo are all free. The cost was in the cameras, and some editing software. My ambition led me to spend $1000, at least. Over 3 years, it has really been more like $3000 for video/recording stuff.
So I have decent mics, and a good prosumer HD camcorder. A good laptop. And then, I discovered composers on the Internet. Digital orchestras still sound horrible, for the most part. But those who spend a little extra, or have the latest, and spend time tweaking the scores: the sound is almost useful for a personal filmscore. I became enchanted.
[I almost don't notice that I pay $50 per month for cable Internet.]
If I choose to "upgrade" and buy notation software and the rest, I will be spending a lot of time and money. And it makes me awfully nervous. Part of me pulls away - and I fantasize about going Offline. Just check my email at the public library, a few times a week.
More important to me than whether I buy anything: who benefits from the expense? And how creative is it really, after all? Using someone else's algorithms...
Why do I need to write for orchestra? Who seduced me into that fantasy?
The costs will never end: and they will remain at the top shelf of what we can afford - we, the average. Upgrades are a must. But worse: I am annoyed that so few composers, videographers, photographers, musicians have even noticed that they are in perpetual debt.
Finale, Sibelius, Garritan, Adobe, Windows, Apple - they don't care a fig for my produce. They care that I remain addicted to their product. And addicted to a dream. Costly - unnecessarily costly.
There are cheaper ways to do this. For now, I write for piano, or organ, with paper/pencil. I play my own works. I use free publishers, like YouTube. If I was so wonderful, I would have been discovered 20 years ago. I lost some money: corporations won it. But they will not get everything.
How expensive is composition supposed to be?