Bob Olhsson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
***There used to be pages of shows by minor-league pro acts like that in most Sunday paper entertainment listings. The big loss is ordinary people having the experience of great live music several times a month. And that's not to mention the fact that the very best of those acts are who used to get the recording contracts.
There still are in some towns. I believe that here in Austin Texas we have more live music performance venues per captia than any other US city...or something like that. We also are home to South by Southwest. Ok, we are not normal here in Austin...hence the slogan, "Keep Austin Weird" (by the way, we now have a book with that title).--a cheap plug for a friend who both came up with the slogan and wrote the book.
So how many people, per capita are musicians? or trying to make a living from making music? That said, I wonder if there are any statistics on the per capita AFM membership numbers before the invention of recorded sound versus today. Of course, before recorded sound, if you wanted music in your home, you played it...or if you were rich, you hired some musicians. So, probably, the AFM numbers wouldn't tell you all that much about how many people "made" music and if we had a need for as many professional musicians. And of course, since the AFM was founded in 1896 my question is technically meaningless...but hopefully you get the idea.
And then, when it came to recordings, lets see...$7 for the Sextet from Lucia (c. 1908) in today's money would be $146...ok, it was a premium record, but today, who in their right mind would think to pay that kind of money for less than 5 minutes of recorded sound...maybe if it was a unique disc...but it seems to be a question of the economies of scale.
After having read a bunch, I still don't understand the economics of it all.
How can artist "tip" in the current licensing structure? Expressing my ignorance, are there non-profit, tax exempt internet outlets for the "up and coming," or that which has "nostalgia value?" Have you noticed how those nostalgia music shows on PBS sound and look like infomercials for K-tel? Sorry if this reads like a stream conciousness, but I see it all being part of the same grabbing for a piece of the action.
I also don't understand the history of this. In the "old" (not the oldest) days, a union musician was paid a recording rate which was higher than the rate played for a service. That was at a time when record companies determined who would record what. Now, increasingly, musicians have the control over what they record...so, in a sense, the old "recording rate" fee structure is, in popular music, (except for session players perhaps), meaningless? So, is the rationale for the broadcasting fees a replacement for the recording rates musicians abdicated so they could have artistic control over their product? I am also reminded of the days of payola when record companies would pay for air play.
Admittedly, I did not read all of the articles I encountered, but would it be possible, within the guidelines of the law, for there to be a non-profit organization which would list all of the musicians/groups/labels that want to opt out of the payment scheme and could be aired over the net for free?
Karl (still confused)