save music with fan reviews

Why do people think music needs to be saved?

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Streaming or not

With all the furor over Taylor Swift pulling albums from Spotify, my music blogging friends are writing posts partially propelled by that news item:

Meanwhile, on Twitter and other places on the web, there have been dozens of people saying how vinyl or streaming or something else will save music or save the music industry.

Let me be clear about one thing: I don’t care if the music industry is saved. I love music. I want to play music. I want to hear (well-performed) music. My favorite music is not always what’s turned out by the industry. I prefer what’s created from the heart. One of the best ways to do that is to play live. I’m happy that I’m in an area where I can hear music performed every day of the week. (You probably live in an area like that, too. Check out Songkick and Bandsintown to see.)

Recordings can be a wonderful thing, too. Over the years I’ve gained more from listening to recordings of other musicians than from learning music from scores. Plus, listening to recorded music is part of our culture both individually (look at all the people walking or sitting around with players plugged into their ears) and socially. (Imagine what most parties would have been like without music.)

Save music?

So, I don’t really think music needs to be saved. We just need to go back to having discerning ears. Solveig talks about the democratization of music production and how it has watered down what we listen to. (Of course, the quality of MP3’s, etc. have also messed with our ears, but that’s for another time.) When so many people around the globe are recording songs and videos, it’s hard to sort through to the gems. On social media, I get dozens of requests each week to review or plug someone’s song. Some are automated and others seek me out. There are so many of them that I cannot respond to each one.save music by discovery what's new

Music Discovery

That’s why we talk about “discovery“. How can fans discover music in a world filled with so much of it? I’m still open to finding new ways. Christine says she’s found and supported quite a few indie musicians through Spotify. I know from experience where Steve finds some of the music he listens to.

save music by learning what others likeAnd that brings me back to BandCamp. I continue to appreciate the directions this site is taking. In addition to a slick way for DIY (or label) musicians to share and sell digital downloads and merchandise, this platform offers subscriptions, streaming, variable pricing (including free when you join the artist’s email list), coupon codes, and fan connections. What I mean by “fan connections” is not just that fans can connect with the artist, but that

I think you’ll get the idea that I really appreciate BandCamp, especially for indie musicians. I hope you’ll check it out. And then, go listen to some live music.

Playful blessings,
Stan

save music with fan reviews


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10 comments

  1. Great post Stan! I’ve had the same thoughts of why everyone thinks it needs saving. In fact, the post I’ve been working on went (and have thrown out several times) went along these same lines. Good job!

  2. Good post, Stan. Thanks for referencing Christine’s post on this subject – I hadn’t seen that. I agree with you – I don’t think music needs saving – except maybe as a paid profession. I think music has, and will continue to be, something many many people create spontaneously, or learn skills for in childhood. Some learn because they love it an have a natural affinity and love for music. Some will continue to learn piano or violin or clarinet (or flute, like me) because their parents insist on giving them lessons, or because they are inspired by a music teacher. Goodness knows YouTube, American Idol and The Voice have done a lot for the private voice lesson industry – everyone wants to be Justin Bieber or John Legend or Iggy Azalea. Being a music teacher is, perhaps, a better career path for a musician then ever! Being a recording, performing artist – well, I think its just complex, as Christine said.

    1. Thanks, Solveig!
      Yes, I tried (and apparently did not succeed) to differentiate “saving music” from saving the industry or business of music. I’m impressed with the number of musicians I know who make a living at it. (Only a handful of these made it because they already had money.) Others who might be musically adept enough, could not make it due to fear or not enough of the “business” side of it. Still others … well, I just have no idea why they weren’t able to get their music into more of the limelight. Takes us right back to the discovery thing again…

      And yes, many will keep music as a hobby. In the end, this may be what’s said of me. I make music every day, but it’s not my main source of income. I really hear you about the music teaching thing. Many of my musical friends have taken this route successfully.

      Here’s my suspicion: people like you and I will keep making music. And it won’t matter if it gets a grammy or sells a million copies. It will only matter that we “needed” to do it and got something from the journey.

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving a note, my friend!

      Playful blessings,
      Stan

  3. I’m not sure I understand. Saved from what? Music is a universal secret and will animate souls eternally, no matter who tries to grab a hold of it, or what form it takes.

    1. Hi, Dennis!

      Hmmm. That was my point exactly. I’m not sure I understand how I could have gotten it across so poorly. Maybe I tried to cover too much ground in this post. But I did say: “I prefer what’s created from the heart…” and “So, I don’t really think music needs to be saved…” Still, I will stick with my contention that there is badly made music. Yet, sometimes even that can do all you said in your comment.

      Thanks for dropping by,
      Stan

  4. Thanks so much for the mention, Stan <3 I agree with your point(s); music doesn't need to be saved. That said, the mindset of those who make music and those in the industry could use some….renovating. 🙂

    1. You’re quite welcome, Christine! Your post was definitely part of the inspiration for mine. Thanks for that.

      …and sounds like we’re on the same page with the overall viewpoint.

      Keep rockin’.
      Stan

  5. Excellent thoughts. I discovered Bandcamp yrs ago & through it I’ve discovered so much good music. It’s broadened my taste too, for instance I was always “afraid” of jazz, b/c I didn’t know how it “worked.” But I can stream for free & get into it. Sure, there’s a lot of dreck but there are diamonds in the rough. Also, you mentioned Steve Lawson; that’s where I discovered his genius. Thanks for the post. Btw I’m a fan not a musician.

    1. Thanks for dropping by and commenting, Aurelian! Plus, I really appreciate you proving my point.

      Have fun discovering new musicians. 🙂

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