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ARSCLIST  July 2007

ARSCLIST July 2007

Subject:

Live gigs--was: Urgent Message From SaveNetRadio

From:

"Steven C. Barr(x)" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 17 Jul 2007 21:33:00 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (85 lines)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Don Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
> On 16/07/07, Graeme Jaye wrote:
> > Hi Don
> > On 15/07/2007 Don Cox wrote;
> >> I think there are far more live concerts of all kinds today than
> >> were 100 years ago.
> > Then you are obviously *totally* out of touch with the current live
> > music scene. Anyone who plays in a group, band, orchestra or whatever
> > will tell you that the number of venues, available for live
> > performance, has diminished rapidly over recent years.
> > 
> > Thirty years ago, I could (and did) work seven nights a week,  Today,
> > I count myself fortunate to pick up one.
> The thesis was that recording has reduced the amount of live music.
> Thirty years ago is not before recording became significant.
> 
No...that was the thesis originally posited by the musicians of the
early 20th century...such as Sousa, who dismissed recordings as "canned"
music! To a certain extent, the arrival of recorded music DID replace
live music...things like the small-town volunteer bands/vocal groups
who had played at local events, or the live bands who provided the
music for square dances in my youth (which died out completely, in
fact, around the same time that recorded square dance tunes, complete
with calls, became available...!).

The idea under discussion here is the fact than in today's digital-
music era, a potential audience member for a live show can access the
Internet and download (for a small cost, but also illicitly...!) the
set of ones and zeroes that also make up the content of a CD...and
then "burn" those to a CD-R disc, winding up with, literally, the
same artifact as he/she/it could have purchased!

Consider that this is the first time that this ability...NOT to make a
second-generation copy using a recording format...but to recreate the
commercial recording exactly...has been possible! Users have been able
to create playable recorded copies, with some degree of degradation,
since the days of wax cylinders...78's were copied to instantaneous-
recording media (or, in a few cases, electroplated to create stampers
used to "pirate" records...)...records could be copied using magnetic
tape machines...and the like, but the results were always somewhat less
than the original records themselves had been!

However, I tend to doubt that this fact is what is causing the decline
in live performances. As I see it, it is just a change in the social
habits of the younger (and thus, usually, the pop-music-fan) generation.
For example:

For my grandparents' generation (late 19th century)...if they wanted to
hear music, they had two choices. They could either attend a live
performance...or they could play it themselves.

For my parents' generation, there existed a new choice. They now had the
option of buying a phonograph record containing the desired music...although
they generally preferred to experience the fun of live performances...!

In my youth, my options extended even further...I could buy, and play,
a high-fidelity stereophonic "LP" of the music. Where I lived back then,
live bands playing my favourites were all but unknown, though there were
occasional "live" performances within driving distance. However, had I
but known, it was a 2-1/2-hour drive to Chicago...!

The next generation (i.e. my children, had I any...) the "music scene"
probably reached its peak! I attended two "rock festivals" in 1969 and
1970 (one in Germany, and one in Heyworth, Illinois [!]) and saw any
number of better-known groups for affordable ticket prices...then, in
1977, I moved to Toronto, where I had a near-infinite number of shows
to see...often for free! Finally, in the eighties, I became a performing
musician myself...

However, in the last decade and a bit, things have changed COMPLETELY!
Young people these days can see (or download!) live performace videos
by their favourite music stars...watch them on 48-inch stereo-sound (or
7.1...?!) television receivers...let alone acquire their sound recordings
(licitly or otherwise...)! Needless to say, going out to see a presumably
less-competent aggregation of local players has lost a lot of its appeal.
Instead, we get various "tribute bands" as well as "cover bands," playing
to ever-decreasing gatherings of nostalgic baby-boomers...while that element
of "the younger folks," since there still exists the same strong drive to
meet members of whichever sex one prefers, are now "hanging out" at "Urban
Dance Clubs" (a modern euphemism for "discos"...?!)...

Steven C. Barr

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