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Monday, May 08, 2006

Classical goes Digital

Recording, mastering, and releasing big name Orchestral performances costs big bucks. With returns typically measured over decades, it's no wonder labels are no longer offering up easy contracts. Sell it like the 3 Tenors, or it won't be done. A harsh proposition, when there are already fifty of more Beethoven 5th symphonies out there, or an equal number of Mozart Piano Concerto 21's. How can the economics of such a situation be rationalised?

First of all, cut out the retailer - there is 50% of your sale price. Next, cut out the physical distribution altogether, that is, go digital, and for the online world that can only mean one thing - iTunes. And lastly, don't use a label at all, we're in entrepreneurial land now, take all the risks, reap all the profits.

NPR has a 2 part radio broadcast totaling 10 minutes examining these issues, and how the likes of the New York Philharmonic and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra are taking the bold leap into Digital Classical.

Fire up the future - here.

Musical Scroll and Key

Anyone who has even a passing interest in Classical Music will be confronted by it's specialist language and denotations. Some associations are quickly connected - allegro sounds fast, andante is a walking pace, a scherzo is something joky. A rather hit and miss way of learning, and as you climb higher on your musical journey, and perhaps adopt an instrument, the deluge of terms can be overwhelming. Madrigals, and oboe d'amores, and saltarellos dance around your head, and while they say words can't kill you, they can certainly cause severe concussion and headaches.

What you need is a good Music Dictionary, and today's pick is the grandly named Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary - but don't get too excited, the only multimedia component is a neutral pronunciation of the terms when chosen. Pleasingly complete, you'll find out the difference between a Church Cadence and a Phrygian Cadence, and how the Hexachord relates to the Modern Scale. Music Theory up to your gills, but this really is a dictionary for Everyman, everything eventually reduces down to simple everyday language.

A musical scroll with key, here.