At this point it is time for me to thank everyone who added valuable and
interesting data on record business in the 1950s, and add a comment on the
current situation. There is clearly a need for a book on the record
industry in the 1950s, AFTER Gennett and Paramount and BEFORE rock, but I
leave for someone else to do it.
Some people say that the record business is dying, but I think it is better
to say that it is changing. Suprisingly, the multinationals (except EMI)
seem to be doing quite well and expanding into new profitable niches of the
business, such as artist management and publishing. For the independents,
the only way seems to be globalization. I just ran across a small Finnish
label which says it is selling records to Germany, Britain and Kazakhstan
2012/1/21 Don Cox <[log in to unmask]>
> On 20/01/2012, David Lewis wrote:
> > Most of this music is recorded by the artists themselves, though
> > Bridge, New World and even to a small extent Naxos and Bis are players
> > in this tiny subset of the music industry; Telarc was doing it, before
> > Telarc died.
> Also NMC in Britain.
> > Although Sony records The Knights, and I think the new
> > Nico Muhly disc is on one of UMG's labels, on the whole the majors
> > aren't participating, and that's probably not a bad thing.
> I don't think the old "majors" are majors any more. Naxos, Hyperion, CPO
> and others all release more new recordings than Sony, Universal or EMI.
> Naxos now has a huge back catalogue.
> In African and Asian music, the majors are nowhere.
> > Some things
> > they did in the 90s -- like Todd Levin's "Deluxe" and their support of
> > composers like Michael Daugherty and Graham Fitkin was simply the
> > wrong stuff to exploit, though there is no sign that either Daugherty
> > or Fitkin will be going away anytime soon. In Levin's case, his DG
> > release killed his career, and there may have been promise there,
> > despite the album.
> > Hindsight is what we here specialize in, but very recent history is
> > hard to adjudge; I think we may be in a state of integrity regarding
> > Western Art music up through the mid-1970s but after that is too close
> > to call. And nowhere else in music are the pundits and critics more
> > anxious to put their finger on the next big thing. Where were we,
> > incidentally, in 1912? In a similar impasse, I'd say. Overall, the
> > forward development of music has slowed to a crawl in 1970-2012 as
> > compared to 1927-1969 and I realized that myself at least a decade
> > ago.
> > Nevertheless, I would say that Western Art Music is in far better
> > shape than it was when I entered the conservatory in the late 1970s
> > and it was clear there was only one path we were expected to take.
> > However, I will say that conservatory-based electronic music has
> > fallen way behind industrialists, laptoppers and hiphoppers in terms
> > of variety and relevance. It is not only a problem of not keeping up
> > with technology -- and abandoning new music programs, which most
> > colleges and universities have done since the 90s -- but one of
> > attitude. Academic electronic music departments cultivate a kind of
> > granty cuteness in the face of the rest of the world and its manifold
> > developments. THAT will be hard to cure.
> > That's more than enough, for now.
> > David "Uncle Dave" Lewis
> > Lebanon, OH
> Thanks for that. An excellent summary - and some more names for my
> shopping list.
> Are you able to receive the BBC iPlayer on your computer? The weekly
> "Hear and Now" program on Radio 3 often includes interesting stuff.
> And "Late Junction", three nights a week, plays a very wide selection of
> contemporary music.
> Don Cox
> [log in to unmask]