Music is amazing. It's power to soothe, pleasure, define, inspire, communicate and motivate us can rival that of food, sex and creation stories. It may be the most beautiful thing we created as a species.
Coming at a time when some of our other habits and choices are killing off entire species of plants and animals, the Industry's assertion that Downloading is Killing Music is a chilling thought. Who among us would want to be responsible in any way for the death of this priceless gift of the ancestors?
Fortunately, it's not true.
Music is not dying. Music is thriving.
- There are more people playing more kinds of music now than there have ever been in the history of the planet.
- More new musical instruments have been created in the last 50 years than in the last 5 centuries.
- More money is being spent on music - on concert tickets, ring tones, music lessons, instruments, performing rights, MP3 players, soundtracks, recordings, band merchandise, etc - than ever before.
- More people are listening to more music more often than ever before- in their cars, on their MP3 players, on their computers, in the supermarket, restaurants, gyms, on elevators and in hotel lobbies as well as live
performances, CDs and yes, even vinyl.
- There are more ways to make money from music now than ever before, and more possibilities for unprecedented access to existing and potential audiences.
Reports of the Death of Music have been highly exaggerated.
Music is not dying. Music is fine. Music is actually doing quite well, thanks very much.
When the Industry formerly known as Music claims that downloading is killing music, what they are really saying is that CD sales are declining and they want you to think it is because of evil downloaders and their fellow travelers, who hate musicians but love their music so they steal it.
They are acknowledging, if only indirectly, that their sons and their daughters are beyond their command. They are not only criticizing something that they can't understand, they are lobbying governments around the world to make their lack of understanding law. Perhaps they believe that if they do, then the times will stop a'changing.
I have a different hypothesis.
I suggest that attempting to impose an industrial way of doing things on a virtual environment is doomed as doomed can be. If anything is dying here, it's a business model so far past its' stale date that it's now a bio-hazard.