[cc-community] Is it the Music or the Musician?
Kevin Phillips (home)
tacet at qmpublishing.com
Tue Jan 1 07:56:47 EST 2008
----- Original Message -----
From: "Shakti S" <mail at shakti.id.au>
To: <cc-community at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, December 23, 2007 2:21 PM
Subject: [cc-community] Is it the Music or the Musician?
> I wish to explore an aspect of copyright that I wonder if anyone
> has ever thought about. That is, that without a musician to perform a
> composition, a piece of music is just dots on paper. Any musician who
> plays a piece of music makes it alive for that moment in time, with
> an expression exclusive to that moment and everyone present. I am
> talking here about the removal of the performer from the listener.
> The operative word here is "listening", and it refers to the holistic
> significance and benefits of this term relating to the playing and
> the listening in that moment.
I noticed this had gone unanswered, so I thought I'd throw in some
I've had similar discussions to this at various points in my life. For me
it breaks down to a "performance" being the moment the sound was/is
captured, and is not necessarily to do with musicianship or skill. Granted,
a skilled musician can take a composition by Mozart or Holst and make it
magical, repeatedly. In the same way that an actor can perform a play with
great skill, repeatedly. However most music these days isn't repeatedly
re-performed in a live context, it's recorded and reproduced.
Musicians are not invalidated or negated by this process.
> In the light of global warming, reducing our footprint on the earth,
> and the end of fossil fuels, I feel it important to reconsider the
> organic nature of live performance, as opposed to the commercial
> aspect of music consumption.
Ok, I'll consider the number of times famous performers fly to venues in a
year, all the equipment they take with them, the excessive life styles of
these chosen few. The waste of multi-millions of dollars on marketing and
> Also to consider the equity problem of
> the lack of compensation for the value that people add to society by
> their efforts.
Consider also the equity problem within the music industry, and the terribly
unfair distribution of wealth which causes the majority of gifted composers
and musicians to give up and get a day job. Then consider how these folk
are suddenly empowered by technology and allowed to explore their hidden
talents and dormant skills, with everyone, for free, because they choose to.
They ARE society, the crowd is full of talented and gifted people.
> I wish to suggest that recorded music in public places
> displaces someone who may want to play music. Also the fact that
> overexposed recorded music in general creates a disconnect to the
> mutual benefit of the live performance.
I think you're wrong. All public places should feature public music, public
domain and creative commons. These recordings belong to the public afterall.
> I want to know if it is possible to make some sort of collective
> copyright to the sound of music that should belong to anyone who
> plays music at a professional level. Then this can apply to music
> played in public places. I just think that the Music in public places
> does not reflect its true cost. If we look at our activities in terms
> of needs and satisfiers, then the need to have music to listen to (in
> the case of musac) hinders the need to play music.
Music in public places is a very specific thing and is already covered by
licensing. If you're wanting to replace all background music in shopping
malls with a live sting quartet, then good luck with that :) ....you don't
need a license to do it.
> When one hinders
> the need to play music there are social costs in the lack of an
> opportunity to express, to find one's useful place in society.
Nope. Sorry, a "lack of an opportunity" is something which impacts us all
at some point in our lives, I'm afraid it's not an exclusive trait of out of
work musicians. Society is much bigger than that.
> cost is expressed in the use of drugs replacing a persons potential
> to achieve anything.
> I am interested to see if anyone can see this point of view.
Not always. The use of drugs is not a passtime of the down-and-out
exclusively, I think you'll find many rich and famous people express their
wealth using recreational drugs.
Happy new year!
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