There have been a number of recent pieces about Classical Music and Clubbing over the past few months and a couple of hefty dissertations about the "new" phenomenon and the "Indie Classical Scene." I've been meaning to write about this for some time (well, years, actually) as I've been playing clubs for a couple of … Continue reading Classical Music discovers Clubbing just as Clubbing Declines
Orchestras in the US formed since 2000
Here's a link to my list of Symphony Orchestras and Chamber Orchestras in the US formed since 2000. It’s by no means an exhaustive list and should be viewed as a “work in progress” (much as my similar list of US Opera organizations formed since 2000). Currently, the list includes full sized Symphony Orchestras as … Continue reading Orchestras in the US formed since 2000
Essential Tools for the 21st Century Musician: Technology
In my previous post about tools for the 21st Century Musician, I discussed improvisation as probably the most useful tool musicians can be using. In a way, technology is even more indispensable. Unless our voice is our primary or only instrument (and even then there are exceptions), then nearly everything we make music on is … Continue reading Essential Tools for the 21st Century Musician: Technology
5 Things Classical Musicians should know about being in a Band
So, why aren't you in a band anyway? One of the things I think all Classical Music students (especially performers) should be required to do is play in a band. No, this doesn't mean they should take up a guitar, bass, drums, or sing. What this does mean is that it should become an integral … Continue reading 5 Things Classical Musicians should know about being in a Band
Creativity, Craftmanship, and Copying
Michael Rushton's recent post says some wonderful things about the problem of focusing on either Creativity or Quantification. Creativity is a wonderful thing, but successful songwriters, playwrights, poets, video game designers and chefs, know technique – they have to. It is great to encourage children to experiment and explore, to instill a love of creativity. … Continue reading Creativity, Craftmanship, and Copying
Negativity Bias and the “Classical Music Crisis”
Marketing consultant, Mark Schaefer, discusses how Negativity Bias can have a profound effect on how we perceive industries and businesses in a world of social media. He uses the recent #McFail incident to illustrate how the bias operates: And even when one of their social media experiments did not go as planned, the company … Continue reading Negativity Bias and the “Classical Music Crisis”
School music programs should be teaching Mohammed Abdel Wahab rather than Ludwig van Beethoven
Fireandair had this to say in one of my recent blog posts about parochial nature of Western Classical Music: fireandairNovember 13, 2013 at 4:57 pm · Edit · Reply →Still thinking about this — in a way, the attitude that says that Western orchestras should just stick to what they do best is not a … Continue reading School music programs should be teaching Mohammed Abdel Wahab rather than Ludwig van Beethoven
The Classical Music Crisis during the Great Depression
In a recent post I described how the Classical Music recording industry practically floundered during the Great Depression. What was the live performing scene like? Looks like it was pretty dismal. Here's a synopsis by Kenneth J. Bindas (1988): By the late 1920s, the golden finish began to tarnish. In 1928 the sound track for … Continue reading The Classical Music Crisis during the Great Depression
What if there’s really no “decline” in Classical Music audiences?
So a few weeks ago I was playing around with numbers, namely I was playing around with the numbers given by various surveys regarding arts participation as well as population. Keep in mind that data are simply the raw numbers you work with while statistics (or statistical methods) is (are) the interpretation of the raw … Continue reading What if there’s really no “decline” in Classical Music audiences?
Flanagan and Changing Tastes for Classical Music
In Chapter Five, "The Search for Symphony Audiences," of Robert Flanagan's book, The Perilous Life of Symphony Orchestras, the author discusses several reasons for audience decline (as well as the statistics demonstrating this decline). He does note, since this is what the NEA data tells us, that decline has happened for virtually all types of … Continue reading Flanagan and Changing Tastes for Classical Music
Every arts organization has a deficit, NOT!
Michael Kaiser, in a blog about the Oregon Symphony, brings up an important point: I am afraid NOT every arts organization has a deficit. That is simply not true. And it is dangerous logic. This is a good counterpoint to the fact that not every popular entertainment institution is profitable or sustainable. Until we can … Continue reading Every arts organization has a deficit, NOT!
As some of you know from the Certified letter I posted here and various other places last week the deadline for the terms of per-service employment as outlined n the letter was yesterday. The Louisville Orchestra Musicians held a protest at what was to be a pre-mediation session in attempts to renew their collective bargaining … Continue reading Louisville Orchestra
Classical music is no longer about dead, White European males…
There's a wonderful piece "After Tahrir, New Voices in a Global Fugue" written by Mohammed Fairouz as part of a series called "The Score" which is described: The Score features the writings of composers on their work and the issues involved in creating music in the 21st century, as the traditional notion of “classical” continues … Continue reading Classical music is no longer about dead, White European males…
Supporting whose arts anyway?
Something I've been mulling over the past few weeks is the idea of arts education funding. As most of you know I support arts education wholeheartedly. I think all kids should get the chance to learn a different way of thinking and organizing the world and information. This isn't going to be a long post … Continue reading Supporting whose arts anyway?
the economics of underserved audiences (part 3): Baumol’s Curse and Liberation from Local Arts Organizations
William J. Baumol and William G. Bowen first described what is sometimes called Baumol's cost disease in the Performing Arts in 1966. The gist of the cost disease (which is just as applicable to sports, hospitals, and other fields where human labor cannot be replaced) is that all things considered, the labor cost in the … Continue reading the economics of underserved audiences (part 3): Baumol’s Curse and Liberation from Local Arts Organizations
Are Orchestra Musicians Replaceable?
Drew McManus pointed out a piece written by Michaela Boland which had some interesting quotes by Greg Sandow with whom I don't necessarily agree on many points though he is one of the critics of the current status quo of Classical Music in the US. Among the orchestras that have shut their doors and dismissed … Continue reading Are Orchestra Musicians Replaceable?
Louisville Orchestra in Survival Mode
One thing to keep in mind with these discussions of Orchestras (at least in the states) is that there is a definite separation between the Orchestra itself as an organization (e.g. Louisville Orchestra) and the musicians and their organizations that make up the heart of the Orchestra (e.g. Louisville Orchestra Musicians Association; Keep Louisville Symphonic). As I've … Continue reading Louisville Orchestra in Survival Mode
Classical vs. Pop [vs. the Rest]
There's a phrase in post-colonial criticism and politics that essentially states that the overriding dichotomy is the "West vs.the Rest." One of the things that strikes me about discussions (in the US and in Europe to some extent) about the decline of Classical Music (and by "Classical Music" I'm obviously meaning the Western or European … Continue reading Classical vs. Pop [vs. the Rest]