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Dying Industries and Choral Music

I saw this on the Wall Street Journal business page last Saturday - the Top Ten dying industries.
 
It looks to me like this might have some impact on choral music - but what do I know?  I have three degrees in music, not business.  Still, it seems to me that we will be impacted in a variety of ways by the changing climate of business and the impact of technology on what we do.
 
If you have followed this blog, you know that I frequently draw parallels between music publishing and a variety of industries impacted by developments in technology.  
 
When I see that "Newspaper Publishing" is declining, I know that more people are getting their news from online sources - and I speculate that choral conductors will soon leave printed music from catalogs for easier discovery/delivery models.
 
When I see that record stores have vanished, I know that people are now purchasing and downloading their music online - and I surmise that one day choral conductors will purchase and download all their music scores from the internet.
 
I was surprised to see the decline in the Apparel Manufacturing and Formal Wear and Costume industry - what am I supposed to do when the concert is at 7 p.m. and I need twenty bowties?
 
on May 23, 2011 2:57am
As a nudist, I was interested to see that apparel manufacturing is in decline. But I guess these figures relate to the US economy? They probably just denote that most clothing is now manufactured in the Far East.
 
--
Steve
on May 23, 2011 10:16am
Philip:  I seriously doubt that newspapers have any correlation with printed music.  With the rise of all-news channels and the 24-hour news cycle, TV is the main place people are getting news.
 
Music online?  Still needs catalogs, just on line catalogs!  But having public domain music readily available IS new and different and points out the falacy of allowing publishinng companies to monopolize music they have no legal claim to.
 
Formalwear?  Thank GOODNESS we're gradually getting away from the social requirements of dressing for dinner that were in effect a century ago and are observed in fewer and fewer situations.  (Example:  I watched a PBS special last night on The Orient Express that implied that formalwear was still considered a requirement when dressing for dinner, but those people are rolel-playing!!)  But as a performing musician, I still have to have a tux and a tux shirt in my closet, although I haven't fumbled with studs in years!  On the other hand, I'm a college profesor, but I've never considered it necessary to dress any differently from my students.  Not all of my colleagues have caught on yet.
 
But imagining a cause-and-effect relationship hiding within a correlation is a classic misreading of statistical data.  Looking at the music business itself, you have to agree that it is alive and well and generating incredible amounts of income every day.  Is it changing?  Of course!  That's a given.  But there's the quote from someone that should always be kept in mind:  "If the music business was a real business it could never stay in business!"
 
All the best,
John
on May 23, 2011 3:03pm
Cause and effect?  I didn't say anything about cause and effect . . . I'm just pointing out the obvious:  people are using technology and going online to fulfill their needs.  Because of that, numerous business models are changing.  
 
on May 23, 2011 11:34am
Hello,
Thank you for this one.  It is wonderful to know there is at least one colleague with a positively irreverent perspective on things considered 'factual'.  Fear not!  Fret not!  Chill!
Louise
 
on May 25, 2011 4:31am
As soon as I can get a tablet computer in the size I need– such that I can read it comfortably from the piano or music stand- to put all my paper music on I will do it. I will also buy downloadable sheet music, no paper, as soon as I can. I already download books, newspapers, magazines, read them and have no horrible bundle of paper to deal with in the end. I predict that most of my colleagues will not follow me but some of my students are well along this path.
Why can’t a choir member download their own score, save it, make notes on it… oh, they already can. L.