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May 7, 2009

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Musicking People

June 12, 2008

Maid in Mexico

Lots to say about musicking, informal music playing, aspirations, working conditions, social status, musical sensitivity.

New Models for Music as a Business: Games vs. Online Stores

June 3, 2008

Not that it’s a completely new topic but it’s an interesting effect which now has some documented cases. Rock musicians apparently making more money from selling tracks in games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero than on the iTunes Store.
Rock acts ringing up sales via video games | Entertainment | Reuters
The write-up and the comments from an industry player sound a bit “disconnected” from the typical enthusiasm in tech communities. But that might be a good thing. If CEOs of record labels, large and small, do get what is happening, there might be hope that new models for music as a business will finally bloom.

Bo Diddley Grooved

June 3, 2008

Just a thought…
Charles Keil should do an updated article on participatory discrepancies (PD) as a tribute to Bo Diddley, who passed away yesterday.
One of Keil’s first PD piece is in the Grooving on Participation section of Music Grooves, a fairly unique piece in the ethnomusicological literature.
Keil has since been active in a number of interesting projects, including the 12/8 Path community, the Born to Groove book and community website.

New Phase in Music Business?

May 30, 2008

Already a bit old but food for thought on what the next period might be like in terms of “new models for music as business.”
Apple Wants More Mobile Music From Labels – Bits – Technology – New York Times Blog

Music Globalisation Through Tourism

April 18, 2008

Parody site The Onion posted this fake news item: Vacationing Teen Introduces Wilco To West Indies (MP3).
Mentions of “musical anthropologists,” “cross-pollination,” and “polyrhythmic traditions.” Maybe someone at The Onion cares about globalisation through music?

Musical Curiosity

February 27, 2008

Thrift Sounds
A new blog version of a musical “cabinet of curiosities.” By Léon Lo.

Bronfman Epiphany?

November 16, 2007

Been using Edgar Bronfman Jr. as the Recording Industry strawman and he seemed to be the most reactionary CEO of the RIAA. But these words seem to suggest he might have seen the light:

“We used to fool ourselves,’ he said. “We used to think our content was perfect just exactly as it was. We expected our business would remain blissfully unaffected even as the world of interactivity, constant connection and file sharing was exploding. And of course we were wrong. How were we wrong? By standing still or moving at a glacial pace, we inadvertently went to war with consumers by denying them what they wanted and could otherwise find and as a result of course, consumers won.”
MacUser: News: Music boss: we were wrong to go to war with consumers

Much of this is very obvious to anyone who has been observing (event glancing at) the Recording Industry during this long debacle. But the fact that Bronfman would change his tune so radically is quite interesting.
That is, of course, if his words have been reported accurately. Which seems to be the case, looking at the transcript of Bronfman Jr.’s speech (PDF).

UC Press Annual Sale

September 18, 2007

Yesterday, I received an email informing me that UC Press is having their annual online sale from now to the end of next month. I ordered ten books during the sale last year and I couldn’t resist this year either. Today I ordered, amongst a few others, the classic Writing Culture, Fabian’s Out of Our Minds, Rabinow’s Reflections on Fieldwork in Morocco and Cooper and Stoler’s Tensions of Empire. Good deals on good books, IMHO. You need a “sale code” which you get by registering for their email newsletter, or their RSS feeds. Just FYI.

Reactions to Ringtone

September 13, 2007

Seems like Apple’s recently announced ringtone service is increasing media coverage of the ringtone market.
A Baffling New Phenomenon: Customized Ringtones – New York Times
I’ve already explained my personal position on iTunes ringtones. Interesting that most tech journalists should be of the opposite opinion.
Of course, my position is based on a licensing model for the use of musical recordings. In this case, I have no idea how those licenses are handled. It is, in fact, quite possible that artists are not gaining anything from ringtone sales and/or that musicians cannot prevent their music to be transformed into a ringtone. But the abstract model makes sense, to me. Licensing music for use in a ringtone should probably follow similar guidelines to music licensing for advertising. What Pogue and others seem to be forgetting is that music is often used as an identity symbol. In youth culture, such symbols are quite important. Paying 2-3$ for a distinctive ringtone sounds like a decent deal and the convenience aspect is quite high. There are many free ringtones available and, as is often the case, the free items drive sales of paid content.
It might be relevant to look into what the Future of Music Coalition has to say about ringtones. They’ll be in Washington DC in a few days.