Music Publishing and Licensing Blog

Can’t argue with real music success

In the last month we’ve had some lively discussions on our Music PAL (Publishing And Licensing) group on a thread for Positive Solutions to Marketing, Selling Music & Copyright in the Digital Age.  To date we’ve had over 70 comments centering around our industry observations, challenges and suggestions for moving ahead with positive ideas and concepts for music promotion and sales in today’s online phenomena of the Digital Age.

One member, Ron Healy, confidently summarized that:

“The industry has a future. It just has to realize where it is: real music and real creators/performers who can inspire us [to care] about where they came from and where, more importantly, they’re likely to be going and, if possible, how they’re going to change the world – or at least their little corner of it – along the way.”

I felt this was a refreshing point after the group’s struggles of dealing with the issues of rampant file sharing (piracy) and what artists and labels should do to rise above the “noise levels” of the internet’s relentless competitiveness. Regarding the problems with unauthorized copying and file sharing (aka digital piracy), attention was brought to the solution of audio watermarking which were also covered in detail here in previous blog articles.

File sharing piracy vs obscurity

A number of ideas were also offered about marketing, packaging and originality to help artists, bands or composers rise above the competition of the internet’s inherent levels of noise. It’s this area which generated the greatest concern and interest as our discussion members realized that the greatest obstacle to public recognition is obscurity, not piracy. This was easy for everyone to get and agree, simply because bad, poor or trite music would generally not gain enough serious attention and visibility for the public (at large) and fans to want to download and file share such recordings.

Real music from real creators who inspire

So agreeing with Ron’s insights, I stated that the future of the music industry won’t be created or inspired by a committee meeting or some corporate conglomorate. As he suggested, I agreed it has to be real music from real creators/performers who can inspire us. This is a tall order because anyone whistling a tune, singing along with a karaoke or “banging” on a guitar or piano might feel like they’ll be next big AI pop or rock star!

From my observations, real music from the best creators/performers are always individuals that, sooner or later, get discovered and appreciated for their raw, authentic talent. Then others join to help showcase and promote them, which then becomes part of the existing or evolving music industry.

Emily Bear – great example of a real composing and performing talent

A great example of a very talented new composer/performer is Emily Bear.
Here’s a video of her live performance of “Nothern Lights”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHU-csJDfIc
This is an amazing song for which Emily received a 2008 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Competition award when she was only 7 years old, and sounds as moving as any professional work or original film score music!

You can read Emily’s bio here:
http://www.emilybear.com/index2.html
which shows how active she is with composing and live performances.

Publishing and distribution of piano solo songbooks

Also, in March 26, 2010 – an “Emily Bear – Hal Leonard Worldwide Songbook” distribution deal was signed. Quote:
“Hal Leonard Corporation, the world’s largest music print publisher, is proud to exclusively distribute Emily’s publications around the world. Two piano solo songbooks, The Love In Us and Once Upon a Wish, featuring great photos and full color throughout, are currently in stock, and more matching folios will soon follow. Emily is the youngest composer/artist Hal Leonard has published or distributed.”

This means that millions of piano students (kids) around the world will be learning to play Emily’s original compositions, because they’re already modern classics!

Emily started young and continues building her repertoire

She’s about 10 now and continues building her repertoire of orginal compositions for solo piano and themes with bands and full orchestra. It’s amazing enough to hear young performers play such great piano or other instruments, but the point is, these are also her original compositions, so this puts here on a different level of what audiences will appreciate about real inspiring talent.

And best of all, it all comes from one young person, not an organization, industry or corporation. Also, because music inspires so much, there’s so many musicians getting involved with copying or mimicking what they’ve already heard, which is nothing really new or creative.

It’s hard to argue with real music success!

When Emily Bear wrote Northern Lights, it came from her heart, spirit and soul, and she didn’t try to copy Mozart, Rachmoninov or Yanni, etc. as her material sounds so authentic and new.  She’s also not trying to “sounds like” anyone else, just being her own true self. It’s hard to argue with such true success!

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