Digi society & music

My experiences of digitalisation relate to music. Music itself has not changed much, but things around definitely have. In music industry there has been a massive turning point in over ten to fifteen years. I think we all have noticed it somehow – there are few perspectives to this transition.

First of all, consumers. We all.
We have reached many e-media services like iTunes, Spotify, YouTube etc. They are easy to use and many of them are free of charge. TV series like The Voice of X-land, Talent and so on are making new stars for our music industry all the time or at least wrapping up old classics to sell more.

Did I say they are free of charge? Yes, I did, but there is no such thing as a free lunch.

The music you can find from e.g. Spotify is mostly mainstream music. Famous Finnish musician Anssi Kela calculated how much he earned money from his hit single Levoton tyttö from Spotify.  A bit over million online streaming made 2 336,9 € – subtracting taxes of course. It is about 0,002 € per one streaming. Where´s the rest of the money?  (You can read the article here: https://www.anssikela.com/2013/11/06/levoton-tytto-ja-spotify/) Therefore, this is the math music industry is using. Why? People do not buy CDs anymore. In common sense, music is nowadays something you can download free from the internet.

Another point of view. Musicians.

You started music as a hobby, played your instrument for 10 years. Individual music lessons, rehearsing, some theoretical studies, rehearsing, playing together in a band and rehearsing. Then you notice that music is something you need to carry along in your life. It´s not a hobby, it´s not something you can choose. You need to make music, sing and play. It is a passion and your life; it is a long way.

There is a point to start vocational studies – after ten years of playing. Music in a work of mission. Vocational institutions are the second step to be a professional musician.

Vocational music studies are a privilege and students usually do not rush to graduate. Every school (vocational institution, polytechnic or university of arts) has entrance tests to pass.

Here is my field of work: providing more musical skills and knowledge to students. Moreover, now there is always more than just playing. There are history of music genres, solfeggio, theoretical studies, band or orchestra, notation, music technology etc.

And there is some issue to consider: future.

I think it is necessary for us to know how musicians get along, how to get a scholarship, how to motivate to independent studying, what are the targets of assessment and so on. For example, music in care work is something new in music area – it is all in a human touch, not machines.

As a musician, you need some income to pay your invoices so you can concentrate on playing, composing, arranging and creating music. You also need skills to play your instrument. It is not about your talent anymore, it is your expertise to work in music. Still there is rehearsing.

Being a musician is being an artisan. Center skills are understanding, making, hearing and reacting to music. There is no app for that. Digitalized society cannot help in training but of course, there is something to help training process: taping.  It is easier than ever.


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