Classical Music Month was established by former President Bill Clinton in 1994, recognizing classical music as a celebration of grand artistic excellence during September. Musical legends such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann Sebastian Bach, Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, and Florence Beatrice Price have all created musical pathways gracing the public. These classical musicians are still viewed as pillars of greatness in their classical music field. Take the time to remember, reflect and enjoy the benefits of music and music history. Pay homage to those who overcame barriers and obstacles and still graced us with their talents even when they had nothing more to give.
Music can stimulate memory, manage and ease pain, elevate one’s mood, and offset depression in some cases.
Many of us reap the benefits of music daily. This is not to suggest that all one needs is music, but to share that music offers us gifts that we may take for granted or that we may not realize.
Access to music has changed over the years. To hear music in 1800, you had to listen to it live or play it at home. Around 1877 Thomas Edison helped to revolutionize how consumers could enjoy music by inventing the phonograph that included tinfoil wrapped around a cylinder. During this time, Alexander Graham Bell helped to create another version, a Graphophone, using a wax-coated cardboard cylinder, making it cheaper to manufacture and creating a more precise sound.
The evolution of music access continued over the years, eventually getting us to vinyl records.
By the 1950s, vinyl was the dominant way we enjoyed music. While we were enjoying vinyl, more technology was on the rise with the invention of CDs and MP3 downloads and streaming services, thus creating a significant shift in music access. While this new digital downloading creation has made it even easier for consumers to hear music from around the world, it has dramatically impacted the musicians who created the music and the music stores that carried the products. Artists spent a great deal of time visiting various record stores, meeting with fans, and signing records, but now, musicians need more money from streaming platforms, and music stores are disappearing. How much do musicians make from streaming? A musician might make from $0.01 to $0.03 per stream on various platforms such as iTunes or Spotify, and that is if they are independent artists. When musicians are under contract with music labels, their percentages are even lower. While streaming offers artists a lower barrier to entry with fewer expenses, they will still pay a price and, in some cases, never see the fruits of their labor for years to come. Other factors are considered, such as who wrote the lyrics (publishing) and each song’s composer(s) regarding reaping any monetary benefits.
One way we can celebrate and appreciate music is to attend a live show.
Many of our local musicians will have their merchandise available such as CDs, T-Shirts, and art. Your support makes it possible for them to continue to create the artistic expression that we enjoy. When venues have set prices for what they pay musicians, which may often be below their threshold, you might notice a tip jar and a merchandise table. Every contribution helps.