The Daunting World of Digital Downloads and What It Means for Classical CD Sales

Ask anyone under the age of 50 about the last CD they purchased, and they’re likely to require a few moments to think about their last experience with physical media. Over the past decade, the iPod and the iTunes music store have shifted buying patterns in a major way, with the majority of music purchases now taking place through digital stores rather than bricks-and-mortar music stores that sell compact discs and other popular media.

i_oliverstratmannWhile the effects of digital distribution have been known for some time, their impact is still quite stark by the numbers. The major labels saw a 44 percent decline in CD purchases year over year in 2012 alone. That compounds losses over each of the past eight years, as iTunes has become the single largest music store in the United States and in many locations around the world. Digital downloads of music, however, are up as much as 15.4 percent. In many cases, the drop in CD sales has been compensated for by a significant increase, year over year, in the purchase of digital albums.

Classical Music a Bit Less Influenced than Pop Labels

Even amid a climate that is distinctly moving toward digital music downloads, classical music albums remain relatively popular in compact disc form. Sales are down, to be sure, but major classical music labels report nowhere near the 44 percent decline faced by the major labels that distribute pop music and other major formats. Their declines are in the upper teens to low twenties, with solid rises in online downloads making up for the lack of interest in physical media.

Overall, that actually means good news for the smaller labels that regularly issue classical music albums. Compact discs represent a significant expense and a pretty large gable. Music labels must buy a massive quantity of CDs upfront, and then make back their money by selling those albums to buyers. With more digital downloads, they can spend less money upfront while enjoy more profit at the time of sale.

And, with sales that are declining much slower than at major pop music labels, the classical music industry gets to enjoy a much more gradual and managed transition away from physical media formats and toward digital alternatives. That allows the industry to better prepare itself for things like per-song fees, digital rights management technologies, and a wide range of other issues that the major labels have had to address much more aggressively.

Overall, Digital Downloads and Album Sales Remain Strong for Classical Music

The classical music industry’s music sales reputation remains largely untouched. Piracy has not ruined smaller classical music labels like it has the major labels nationwide. And a more gradual drop-off in CD sales means that the labels can smoothly transition into 21st century media without angering their buyers or inconveniencing classical music’s biggest supporters.

Video Game Music Making its Way into the Classical Music Scene

The Guardian (blog), on Tue, 15 Jan 2013 05:22:15 -0800
Classical music, much to the showy mortification of its most dedicated followers, has kept its well-dressed foot in mainstream culture via film scores for the past 50 years. But for the young audience of the Palais des Congrès, it’s the video game medium that’s brought them out en masse tonight. A lowbrow victory perhaps, but it’s difficult to imagine many other classical billings that would assemble a European city’s youth gratis, let alone at these prices. Read more…
Final Fantasy given classical twist

Modern Classical Music – Embrace the Composers of Today

When we think of classical music, it is often with the thought of composers such as Beethoven or Mozart from the 1800s; musicians from long ago who shaped the views we have of classical music today. Although there are a number of great composers to be considered, we seem to forget that classical music did not cease to exist after these great men died. It would be wise for all those that love or simply enjoy classical music to not just focus on the composers of long ago, but to embrace the new composers of today as well.

For fans of the older style of classical music it should be noted that the 1800s wasn’t the end of classical music. Between the years of 1945 and 1975 composers began exploring new styles and ways of performing classical music. The modernization of classical music breathed new life into the genre. Composers such as John Cage, Philip Glass, Henry Cowell, and Steve Reich all brought a change to the composition of classical music which changed not only the way it was written, but how it was performed as well.

John Cage was known as one of the most influential American composers of the twentieth century. He brought a non-standard use of musical instruments to the genre by pioneering the use of the prepared piano. The prepared piano is a piano that has had its sound altered by placing objects on or between its strings or hammers. His use of the prepared piano in his composition of Sonatas and Interludes received a great deal of praise from the public, which enjoyed the new style. He believed that music was the sound of someone talking and telling a story to the audience about their feelings and ideas; his approach was to make piano music that resembled the sound of traffic. By this he meant that he wanted the sound of the music itself to be active so that his audience could enjoy the activity of the sounds working together in the piece.

A classical composer that still has the distinction of being alive today is Philip Glass. Glass is considered to be one of the most influential composers of the late twentieth century. Although his style is considered by many to be minimalist, Glass, as well as many of his fans disagree. He instead chooses to describe himself as a composer of music with repetitive structures and a Classicist. His operas, symphonies, concertos, and sonatas have received wide acclaim, many even being featured in movie scores which make them accessible to a wider audience. Glass has also done a large number of commissioned works, including two opera commissions based on the lives of Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama, subsequently titled The Voyage and White Raven. He was later commissioned to write a number of symphonies, the two most popular being Low and Symphony No. 2 which were both large scale pieces. Glass continues to create great works of musical art to this day.

The last contemporary classical artist i’ll mention is Steve Reich. His music has influenced a large number of composers and musicians both in the past as well as today. He is described by the critic Andrew Clements as “one of a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history.” Another critic describes Reich as America’s greatest living composer. Steve Reich doesn’t just compose classical music; he uses unique techniques such as integrating phasing patterns to expand the musical experience. The best examples of this technique can be found in his compositions Come Out and It’s Gonna Rain. His recent work has also begun to feature historical themes from his Jewish heritage, giving his pieces a darker feel, such as his Grammy winning Different Trains. Reich cites Jazz, West African music, and visual artists as his musical influences. Hopefully he will continue to keep composing his brilliant works for many more years to come.

The musical ablilities and qualities of an acoustic piano

The musical ablilities and qualities of an acoustic piano often considered superior to a digital piano. There are many reasons for this and one is that an coustic pianos create a natural reverberation when played, something which makes a considerably stronger impact on both the listener and the pianist playing it.
It’s a matter of fact that acoustic pianos are superior to digital equivalents, at least when it comes to practicing and performing classical music. But for the purpose of practicing at home there are a few advantages of the digital piano which the acoustic piano falls short on: It’s always in tune and it’s (more) portable. But some acoustic purists feel that when you play a digital piano, it is the device making the music rather than the performer.

Soundproofing your listening or practice room

Here is an article to get you started if you plan to do something about the acoustics in your music listening or practice room. Keep in mind that there are two aspects of soundproofing: blocking the sound (or noise) from coming in or out from your room or absorbing the sound within the room. The first is very difficult and expensive while the latter is easier and can give a great improvement in the acoustic comfort of the room.

Are You Looking for Soundproofing Advice?
By Ashlynn T Morris

Turning your noisy room into a relaxing spot is a greater challenge than what you may have imagined. You would think of getting a permanent solution to keep away the sickening noise from pumping in your ears. Now when you have looked through a number of options, you will surely be impressed by the sound absorption panels that are available to make your life easier.

Just relax and count the number of times you had to step out of your home to make a polite request to your neighbors to turn down the volume on their theater system. This, however, does not include the sound of busy traffic, which also contributes a fair bit in making your home a nosier place. So is there any option other than banging the doors of your dream home?

Well, adding sound absorption panels will not only make you happy but it is also going to please everyone living with you. If you were planning for a home improvement, it is the best time you also get hold of these useful panels. You will not only reduce the amount of noise entering your room but these decorative panels will also enhance the aesthetic appeal of your walls.

Adding panels for sound absorption will also add the much needed marketing element if you like to sell your home in the future. You can find these panels in a variety of attractive colors and patterns. You can also use them as an inexpensive way to renovate your home and make it noise free at the same time. Enjoying peaceful sleep every night had not been this easy. What do you think?

Almost all panels that are used to keep away the sound waves can be mounted directly on walls or ceilings of the room you desire. This is of great help especially if you don’t have a large amount of space. Using these panels ensures that you only get to hear the sound you really want to. You can screw the panels to your existing walls and notice a serious reduction in the amount of noise entering your room.

You need to pay particular attention to the distribution of these panels in a room as it influences the overall efficiency of your product. If you use the product correctly, it can become the easiest, fastest and one of the most efficient ways to make your home more comfortable.

Do you want to know more about sound absorption panels and soundproof panels visit

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Promote your music online!

Online music promotion – you know you need to do it, but the number of options available to get the job done can be down right overwhelming. This how-to guide for promoting music online will walk you through the steps you need to follow to set up an internet music promotion strategy that works for you. There’s no single blueprint that works for everyone, but these steps will make sure you set off down the right path.

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