Surviving In The Wild World Of Music

music_notesThe music industry isn’t one that’s easy to get into. With millions of people attempting to gain a wide fan base and express art through music it’s only once in awhile that an artist is found and molded into a success story. It isn’t impossible although it does remain challenging. Surviving the music industry means being able to withstand time, pressure and constant critiquing. Although there are different types of artists, the ones who do make it seem to have their own style and image which helps shape them into a musical sensation.

There are a few concepts that are of great importance in the music industry, loyalty being one of them.  This loyalty applies to the artists’ relationship with their recording companies, writers, producers, friends and fan bases. Musicians are often looked down upon if they don’t stick to their word, especially for the people who have helped shape them into the success story they are. Although artists do have freedom to express themselves and their thoughts through music they are still leaders to the people. In the music industry it’s easy to gain a fan and it’s just as easy to lose one.

Building a loyal fan base comes from being consistent in shows, messages and music production. Listeners enjoy attending live performances. When an artist doesn’t commit to their word it may cause disappointment amongst the people. Being that music is a powerful force that unites our communities we can see why it’s most important to make listeners happy while remaining true to our original image.

Being spotted by an A&R or record company is difficult although it’s much more accessible now that we have the freedom to build an online presence. There are virtual means that allow us to project a powerful image or product. There are music sites and social networks such as YouTube, Hot New Hip Hop, World Star and Dat Piff that help us connect with professionals and listeners.

Becoming a public figure is somewhat of an art that is not taught to students – it is usually a reputation that is accumulated over time for one reason or another. Public figures often stand out in something that they are capable of doing or because of their unique talent. Their product may be music, acting skills or their ability to make people laugh. Whatever it is, it can be easy to lose fans, which is why every step counts.

Persistence, unique style and hard work seem to be the key to making it in entertainment and any other industry for that matter. With a fresh approach to a product and the dedication to see it through there are endless opportunities. The dreams that we have can lead us into a place that we belong. Pursuing music is a dream for many people who may not always remain persistent enough to make their vision become a reality.

Love science and music? Become an audio engineer scientist!

audio engineering2Now you can mix your love of science and music! How? You may ask. The answer; become an audio engineer. When you work in the field of acoustics there are many different avenues you can go down. Acoustics is concerned with the science of sound, whether that’s verbal noises, how sounds echo, environmental noises and how sounds travel. There are many different specialisations which I will discuss, to open up your eyes to the wide variety of careers available;

  1. Architectural acoustics; if a building is to be built as a theatre or a concert hall it is important that acoustical design plays a prominent part in the design. It’s about creating a space which will allow music to be heard in the best possible environment, so that sound can travel clearly reaching all members of the audience.
  2. Engineering acoustics; Using different equipment to produce the best possible transmission or reproduction of sound, whether that be by microphone, medical equipment, seismic surveying and communications.
  3. Musical Acoustics; this is concerned with pitch, timbre, melody, loudness etc basically anything to do with the way sound is transmitted and heard. It can involve musical composition.
  4. Noise control; Often the remit of the environmental agency. Its about discerning if noises are too loud or persistent or finding ways to dampen loud, aggravating noises.
  5. Physical acoustics; the study of sound waves which can go hand in hand with physics.
  6. Speech and hearing, undertaking assessments of peoples hearing and speech and providing technological aids to assist their communication
  7. Underwater acoustics; using sound waves to locate items underwater, to allow geological discoveries or as a military aid.
  8. Bioacoustics and medical acoustics; Using sound waves as part of medical assessment

Audio engineering is technical and creative. It allows you to use technical equipment to solve problems or find solutions. Audio engineers often work in the entertainment industry; their skills mean that sound can be reproduced, transmitted and recorded in the best possible way. As an audio engineer you may need to use your problem solving skills in finding the best way to get desired effects, whether that’s finding a novel sound effect or preventing hiss when music is played back.

You can have a career in a symphony without playing an instrument

You can have a career in a symphony without playing an instrument

There are many fascinating careers available behind the scenes of an orchestra that don’t require you to have musical talent. For example, you can make a six figure salary as an orchestra manager. The orchestra manager is an assistant role to the orchestra director. The job involves negotiating with the musical union in order to get the best deal for the orchestra.

You would also arrange concert tours and be the go to person if any problems arise such as damaged or lost instruments, replacing musicians when they leave the orchestra. You would be in charge of administrative employees. In a nutshell the orchestra manager is responsible for everything running smoothly, you need excellent people skills, a head for business and the ability to think outside of the box.

The hours can be unsociable and it can be a high pressured position. A degree in music, business and administration would be useful and any previous experience in this type of role or an internship will help you to get a foot in the door.

There are many different career choices in orchestra administration, from executive director, chief executive officer, assistant director, general manager, coordinator’s and box office representatives. Other important positions include stage managers and crews and personnel managers.

You may find that your role puts you in charge of public relations or you may find that you are involved in the financial side of things, dealing with subscriptions, fundraising and ticket prices. You may consider a role that is involved in finding direction of the orchestra and increasing publicity, sorting out venues and events for the orchestra to play at. Salaries for smaller orchestra units will provide a smaller salary than some of the bigger orchestras, but the experience you gain will be beneficial in the long run and open up career opportunities. Internship programmes are available through the American Symphony Orchestra League although the Local Arts council may also be able to link you with orchestras. It can be hard to get an opening position as these types of jobs come up rarely, so brush up your CV to gain any extra experience that you can.

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Symphonies and the Power of Music Therapy

Symphonies and the Power of Music Therapy

Times are changing. This has been true for all of time, but now time is changing more rapidly and people are finding new ways to approach daily problems like stress, anxiety, etc. There are more and more techniques out there that are meant to help get rid of or lessen the effects of stress on the body. People are using music therapy as a coping mechanism now and it seems to be working very well. Studies have indicated improvement in music therapy patients, which is a better alternative than that of prescription medications for stress and anxiety.

Music can help reduce anxiety. You know that when you get in your car or grab your headphones that you are going to listen to music. You change the station or the cd to whatever tracks that you like. Have you ever asked yourself why you like these tracks? The answer is that songs make you feel good. It could be anything from a slow song or an upbeat song, but music is great for any kind of mood. People listen to music because it is uplifting and makes them happy.

That is the whole purpose of music therapy. You don’t think about those little things when you are riding around in the car listening to music, it is a form of music therapy treatment that is absolutely free. Think about that the next time you listen to a song you like. Music temporarily eases your mind of all the daily stress issues that you have to deal with.

People are slowly catching on to the effects of music therapy and are slowly coming together to create different programs that would be beneficial to people who could use music therapy in life. Some symphonies have created programs specifically for music therapists. Musicians have been teaming up with healthcare professionals to offer live musical performances that enhance the healing process in patients all over.

Although music therapy is a very positive influence on coping with stress and anxiety, you still have to follow the guide lines set forth by a doctor. You won’t really find out how helpful music therapy is until it actually helps you or a loved one, but it is important to remember that dealing with stress and anxiety is a process. You cannot do it alone. Music therapy gives you a lot of help, but you need your family and friends to be completely on board and be there to support you. Music therapy is a rapidly growing field and very beneficial to the world.

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How to Produce Beautiful Orchestral Music on Your Computer

How to Produce Beautiful Orchestral Music on Your Computer

Making music is no easy task by any means, but making orchestral music is a whole lot harder than just putting together beats and etc. Before you even think you are ready to put together music like this, you have to have a great working knowledge of music theory and harmony. When writing a complex piece like this on the computer, you are going to need a lot of different software. Make sure you have all of the necessary tools. Some good software examples are Finale 2010, Sibelius 6, and MuseScore.

Once you have gotten the software you need to create your music, you will need to select the instrumentation you want to use. The biggest part of the symphony are; the orchestra, light percussion, and winds. You have to create many different themes and interlink them. However, you need to watch for errors, skips, and cadences that don’t make sense. This is why it is absolutely imperative that you have a really good ear for music and a wealth of knowledge to back it up. It is very easy for a beginner or somebody who doesn’t know a lot about music to miss errors on a track. You really need to learn as much as you can before attempting to put together music like this.

The creativity process is by far the hardest and the longest process to get through. You will end up with a lot of different themes and variations, but eventually they will become one long movement. Here are some great techniques to try; start adding dynamics, rhythm alterations and solos reflecting different themes and melodies. During this process, you should be listening to other symphonic works because that tends to aid in coming up with ideas.

The last step you need to do is; go through each movement and make sure you have no bad passages or progressions that are off. After you feel that your work is complete should take it to a high school or any group that has an orchestra and get them to play it for you. Usually you will have to go back and fix some things a couple times. That’s an absolutely normal practice; nobody gets it absolutely perfect on their first try. Something always has to be tweaked. After all your tweaking and editing are all done you are ready to take it to a music publisher. After the publishing process is over, you are finished. You have created your own symphony from scratch.

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