Fiddlers, venues and copyright

Last night we went to a concert by two Canadian fiddlers –  J.J. Guy from Saskatoon and Gordon Stobe of Nova Scotia.

The unique feature of this concert was that it was for 25 to 30 people in the living and dining rooms of a private home. Not only were the performers mingling with the audience during the intermission but there was also terrific interaction between both groups during the show.

johnny_automatic_3_fiddlers_in_silhouetteAfterwards I asked Gordon  about the difference between this venue and a larger auditorium.  His reply was that he made more money playing to a larger crowd but this was much more enjoyable for him because of the interaction.

Another thing is that these two musicians were making a living out of their music without having to go on the cruise ships.  Even so they do a lot of teaching and they are away from home a lot.  They are making it by being very good and going for a niche in the music industry.  They are probably a lot smarter than those who try to make it in the pop sector.

I also asked about copyright and the music industry.  There have been so many recent changes in the music industry that copyright legislation is mostly irrelevant.  It may be that the future of the music industry is in small venue concerts such as last night.  I hope so and I encourage other people to seek out such concerts.

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The two worst things to happen to music

This guy is not a musician and only a small scale listener.  However having married into a family of musicians dynamics have required that I attend a number of musical events, some of which I have enjoyed more than others.

I have decided the two worse things to happen to music were the invention of the amplifier with 13 buttons for louder and copyright legislation.

We used to have as a neighbor a retired music professor who said, “If you can’t play it well, then play it loudly.”  Unfortunately he retired before the current crop of musicians took their training.

If we didn’t have copyright then all the money which currently goes to the superstars and the record companies would be available  to support all those professional quality musicians who currently work in other fields.  Young musicians would focus on learning to play or sing well rather than chase the almost impossible dream of becoming a superstar.   They may not earn great livings but they would probably survive and we as music consumers would enjoy the intimacy of live performances in small venues

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