Music industry now and then



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Stuck in the past

A few weeks ago I bumped into an article discussing a current phenomenon in the music industry. As it appears from different statistics people tend to prefer older music more than new (whereas new is the music released in the last 18 months). The article more or less suggested that this is a failure of the higher levels of the music industry to connect with the lower levels where actually the creation happens and really listen to what the people want.

Scouting for artists

This brought to mind, a very recent interesting piece of information I learned in the workshop I mentioned in one of my previous posts. In the golden era of Tango, the scouters of the music labels would attend the milongas where orchestras were playing music and would take notes on how popular different songs were. They were judging simply by looking at the number of people dancing to them. Then, based on this, they would offer contracts and decide which numbers (songs) to record on discs. That is exactly the opposite way of releasing music from what we saw until recently (and continue seeing widely). The music label scouters listen to unpublished songs privately and judge by who-knows-what criteria in order to offer contracts and decide which songs to record for a specific release.

The internet and especially platforms like YouTube allowed creators to come to music labels’ attention because they were gathering enough attention from the public. Social media facilitate somehow this direct connection between creators and audiences. So we are kind of returning somehow to a more direct model although we are still far away from actually having such a good connection between labels and creators.

Understanding obsession

In my post about Pugliese, I said I understood why people went crazy with his music and adored him as a musician, and a few days ago I was writing about the amazing feeling of dancing to live music. So I certainly understand the feelings of the public towards different orchestras.

Tonight’s Goodnight Tango

Therefore, I find kind of sad the fact, that an orchestra that we love hearing today, was not actually appreciated much by the public back in those days. Orchestra Tipica Victor was a house orchestra for the Victor label and only performed for recording numbers on discs or radio shows but never performed publicly in milongas. Therefore, people in Argentina did not like them so much because they could not hear them live!!! That is why tonight’s Goodnight Tango comes from them. This song, in my opinion, has one of the most memorable violin solos ever.

How about you? What do you think about the way that today’s music industry works? Do you think that the internet is helping in bringing closer artists with their audiences? Are you listening to new orchestras? How do you discover them? Are you “obsessed” with any such orchestra? Let me know with a comment below, an email, or a PM on Facebook… oh… and if you liked it… don’t forget to share it with your friends.


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