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The Sound And Music Industry

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The Sound and Music Industry Reference No:

Dennis Tuckerman

Tutor: Adam Morris Assessor:

Date Set:

10/09/07 Completion Date:

18/11/07 Learning Hours: 60

Unit no

Unit Title(s):

This project assesses the following module Outcome(s)/Assessment Criteria:

39 The Sound and Music Industry 1

Assignment BRIEF:

This assignment will introduce different areas of the music industry and should on completion, provide an overview of the 'bigger picture' of the industry as a whole.

This essay is split into (a) areas (b) careers and (c) royalties but there is obviously a lot of overlap between these areas throughout.

Hunter S Thompson said of the record industry 'It is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs'.

Basically is a record company just out to make money, or does it have its artists (the product) and its customers (the paying public who will buy what they think are the artist's wares) close to its corporate heart - i.e. is the name of the game just sheer profit?

For an artist or group to get their finished song as a finished product it has to pass through a number of areas within the Music Industry. Typically these are:-

* actually getting signed and a recording deal with a company/label who then have to (i) physically record and produce the track(s) or album (ii) provide the financial means to pay for all the processes involved in getting the song to market (either paid for by the record company or recouped back from the artist when the record eventually sells and starts to make the artist some money) (iii) physically either manufacture the means of getting the song to the public, or sub contract that work - i.e. the production of the actual CD, DVD . (iv) arrange for and time the distribution of the finished recording (or sub contract it out) (v) provide or sub contract the art work / graphic design involved in any type of packaging for the finished product (vi) promote the artist and the artist's song(s) (vii) arrange schedules of tours for the artist to perform in public

* the artist actually does all of the above himself via an independent record label or via the Internet

* the artist gets himself a manager to guide him through the minefield that is The Sound and Music Industry

* The artist either gets a publishing deal with a Music Publishing company to look after the copyrights involved in his work/songs so that they are legally protected and also the income streams generated from his finished song are collected via the various agencies when his song is played in public, sampled or re-recorded.

* The artist looks after all of the music publishing side himself

* The artist gets some sort of legal aid (lawyer) to ensure any contracts that he signs with record companies/labels, publishers, distributors and graphics departments are in his best interests

Firstly we need to examine the different areas of the Sound and Music Industry

It could be stated simply that the Music Industry is made up of 3 components (a) The artist or performer (b) the general public that listens and watches the artist's product (his song and the video/commercial/film/theatre/club/concert of him performing his song and finally (c) the different distribution areas that are responsible for both that artist and the ways and means of getting the artist's raw product (his initial concept for a song) out to the buying consumer as a finished product(7", 12" single, CD, DVD, MP3 or film score of the artist's performance), and at the same time maximising their commercial profit. In fact it is vast and the diagram below shows the surrounding shell or cocoon, processes and interactions the artist may have to have to achieve his aim of getting the listening public to hear and buy his music. Typically the artist has a Manager who should be dedicated to looking after his interests in the best possible way and interacting with all the areas shown, allowing the artist to best maximise his creativity and earning potential. The diagram shows the more traditional route for the artist to get his music heard within the Music Industry, the individual careers within the Industry will be looked at later in this essay. Also in this modern digital age there are no other routes available via the Internet whereby the whole Record Company bit can be bypassed; smaller acts are building up a following by doing live gigs and home studio recordings and then building up their fan base on websites such as FaceBook, MySpace, 2ndLife, BroadJam and releasing their music as pay for downloads freeing them up from the costly recording and distribution process. These acts are also looking after their own Music Publishing as well, keeping a bigger share of any eventual royalties (these are discussed in depth later in this essay). Huge bands such as RadioHead are also jumping on to the Internet bandwagon, releasing their latest album as 'pay what you think it is worth'; this is discussed in more detail under the Marketing area of the Industry.

1. Music Publishing:

Once an artist/group has written a song they have created 2 distinct components (a) the lyrics and (b) the music or musical score/notation - i.e. the melody that accompanies that song, unless obviously it is an instrumental (e.g. The Shadows). The song could be co-written by different members of the band, or the lyrics written by a pure songwriter (who doesn't perform as a musical act) for a band who then perform the songwriter's work; or someone else writes the melody and the artist writes the song or a mixture of either where an artist just performs someone else's song - or in the extreme case the artist(s) are just a showbiz front who mime to session musicians performing a songwriter's work and are marketed purely for commercial value by the Music Industry.

The Monkees and Bay City Rollers were early examples of this but later apparently did actually learn to play their instruments, and it has even been rumoured that session musicians played most of the



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