How Artists Can Increase Their Chances of Getting Signed

Most artists dream of getting signed with a major music label but aren’t aware of what talent scouts are looking for, where and when they go looking for what they want.

Understanding this can be crucial for the simple reason that it will increase your chances of getting signed.

So, who are these reps?

Most A&R reps (an Artist & Repertoire representative) have a responsibility of finding an artist that will make their company money and which will justify their reason for being in such a position in the process. They usually follow trends or pursue artists that are sure to make them money and progress in their own careers.

Almost every A&R rep knows what they’re looking for – a band that shows promise in having a few potential hit songs under their belt, a more-than-marketable image, a distinct sound of their own and an impressive live show.

Most importantly, these reps also look for whether the band has a strong work ethic or will they leave the record label to do everything for them. In most cases, they also look at the personal responsibilities of the band that will affect the pursuit of their goals.

A&R reps usually look anywhere and everywhere for new talent: indie record labels, mp3s found over the internet, college radio stations, local club performances and more. They are depend on recommendations made from talent scouts, established bands, publishing companies and reputed producers and so on and so forth.

As for when they usually sign bands or artists, one can say that it’s mostly throughout the year but for the fourth quarter when the record label’s budget for projects have been used up.

3 Important Responsibilities of Music Publisher

The music publisher plays an important role in the music industry. Understanding this is important for those who would like to craft a career in music and receive royalties for their work and much more.

Speaking of much more, here are 3 responsibilities of music publishers that is good to keep track of:

#1: Secure and promote commercially recorded songs

One of the main tasks of music publishers is to secure recordings of songs that have been released commercially. For this, a proper working relationship with record companies in general is required but also managing a staff of professional managers who are responsible in promoting the music. But this isn’t limited to just songs that they can secure once it’s on the charts but long after that. In fact, a good music publisher will be able to obtain hundreds of recordings of a particular song.

#2: Administration of Musical Compositions

A very necessary (if not crucial) service that music publishers provide is that of the administration of musical compositions. Some of the tasks that fall under administration include collecting royalties due to musicians, the registration of copyrights, negotiating licenses, bookkeeping, the auditing of recording companies and checking the correctness of incoming royalty statements.

#3: Protection from Infringement

This function is basically to ensure that the songs acquired by the publisher aren’t used illegally. So, protecting its copyrights and the rights given by the songwriter is one of its most important tasks. It goes without saying this task apart from the others has wide-reaching effects and often difficult to manage.

An Introduction to Choral Music

While contemporary music in the form of pop and rock is popular, not very many people have heard of or even heard choral music for that matter.

It shouldn’t be hard to ascertain why this is so considering how MTV has pushed classical music into the foreground. With that said, here is a little information about choral music.

 

For starters, and in contrast to contemporary music, choral music is sung in parts and by a choir. This is usually in two or more parts and usually determines the size of the choir as well.

 

Of course, this also depends on the music written where the number of singers can be a few dozens or even be substantially bigger so as to accommodate the Gustav Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand”.

 

It was not until the 14th century when singers improved their music theory knowledge, and with the increase in support for choral music, many works were created with Johannes Ockeghem being one of the most influential composers of this era.

 

Most composers wrote music that had singers sing in four parts: soprano, alto, tenor and bass. Each of these voices while sounding different were considered equally important and added a richer depth and quality to the music that you will ever find in contemporary music.

 

It must be said that the time when choral music developed the most was in the 15th century where several Latin Masses were written. Other forms of choral music also written included the anthem, cantata, a capella, oratorio and motet.

A Note on the Elements of Music

Music is different from sound. It’s obvious even to the most untrained ear. Compared to the simple sounds that we hear every now and then, there are certain qualities to music as opposed to the sounds that we hear every now and then.

These qualities are also referred to as the elements of music, and so, here are descriptions of a few:

 

#1: Beat & Meter

 

There’s a beat in every song and this is what gives music its rhythmic pattern. Each of these notes are grouped in a measure and can consist of 2,3 or 4 beats. Most of these beats correspond to the notes and rests that are a part of the music.

 

#2: Melody & Harmony

 

The melody is, put simply, the tune of a song while the harmony is usually played to accompany and support the music, either as chords played along with the melody or as broken chords.

 

#3: Key

 

Also referred to as tonality, the key is the main pitch around which the composition is based either using the scale (C scale), the chord (C major triad) or main note (key of C).

 

#4: Music Notation

 

These are symbols that are used to represent music especially when it is being noted down. The meter, pitch and rhythm of a piece of music are usually expressed through these symbols.

 

#5: Musical Instruments & Voice

 

There are a number of musical instruments that are used to play music, and they are usually classified using the Sachs-Hornbostel system. Your voice is also included as an instrument amongst the lot, and it must be pointed out that no two voices are the same.

4 Popular Classical Pieces That You Couldn’t Name

With the expansion of mass media, it’s apparent that the inclusion of classical music programming gets people familiar with the not-so-popular works of the past. Of course, they still do not know the name of the piece or the composer either.

So, here are 3 classical symphonies that you don’t know about:

#1: O Fortuna from Carmina Burana, by Carl Orff

O Fortuna is still probably one of the most popular pieces that is played repeatedly in many television programs and movie for its haunting yet catchy melody. Some of the movies in which this piece has featured in are Cheaper by the Dozen, The Bachelor and Natural Born Killers.

#2: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C sharp minor, by Franz Liszt

Interestingly, there was a Bugs Bunny cartoon, titled Rhapsody Rabbit in 1946, where this piece was played amidst several distractions. Apart from this instance, it has featured in movies such as Shine, Delirious and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

#3: Sous le dôme épais (Flower Duet) from Lakme, by Delibes

Thanks to the British Airways interpretation of this work this piece has become increasingly popular in recent times. One of the notable features of this piece includes a duet between a coloratura soprano and and a mezzo-soprano. Some of the movies in which this duet has featured are The American President, Meet the Parents and Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.

#4: Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin

Without a doubt, Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin is but a combination of both jazz and classical music, and which is why it has been featured in several television programs and movies as a part of the soundtrack.

Top 3 Symphonies that a Classical Music Aficionado Must Own

If you aren’t sure where to begin with a collection of classical music or want to expand your collection so far, it’s a good idea to peruse through the most popular symphonies that are interpreted time and time again, in concert, or are available at your nearest record store.

To make this easy, here are the 3 top symphonies that every classical music aficionado must own:

#1: Mahler Symphony No. 9 in D Major

Mahler created this symphony knowing that his Life was at an end. Notably, the fourth movement of this symphony denotes the five psychological of death. From heart-wrenching tension to its resolution, Mahler has been classified as a romantic. So, throw on a blanket and sit by the fire to listen to this symphony if you want to make the most of it.

#2: Haydn Symphony No. 34 in D Minor

One of Haydn’s lesser known works, each of the movements have something different to its listeners: low tones in the first, upbeat rhythms in the second, an uptightness in the third while the fourth closes the symphony well. This symphony is guaranteed to make you feel happy.

#3: Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C Minor

No matter whether this symphony is overplayed, it still is worth buying for your collection – it’s that good. While the first movements sounds heavy, the second does redeems itself. The third movement is similar to the first symphony while the fourth is hailed for its triumphant orchestration.

3 Ways to Scuttle Your Music Career

Making it in the music business is hard enough but staying there while making a living as a musician is twice as difficult.

With dedication, hard work, patience and a bit of luck, one might just be able to do that. However, one must also stay aware of pitfalls that might have looking for a day job in no time.

So, here are 3 ways by which a musician can scuttle their music career in no time at all:

#1: Treat People Badly

Being a jerk comes with knowing that you’ve made it in the music industry even if it isn’t nice. But people will put up with it if they know you’ve got what it takes. If you don’t just yet, then you have to avoid treating people badly at all costs. This has nothing to do with being confident about the music you wish to make but has everything to being condescending, demanding and rude in the manner exhibited by jerks you see everyday.

#2: Get Lazy

Let’s face it: you aren’t playing music as a hobby anymore but for a living. And that means music related responsibilities that you must keep or else you’d end up looking for a day job sooner or later. Make no mistake: the proverbial rock and roll fantasy is dead. You can’t afford to slack off either as there will always be someone else to take your place.

#3: Give In To Excesses

Partying round the clock is probably every musician’s dream yet there’s more than meets the eye. Don’t be surprised that when you give in to your excesses, you get kicked out of the band, lose bookings or even fans who might think that you’re not going to give them their money’s worth. While a lot of people will tell you that alcohol and drugs can enhance your creativity, nothing can be further from the truth.

3 Benefits That Older Musicians Enjoy

Almost every older musician has this feeling that it’s too late to start a career, considering how old they are. But nothing can be further from the truth.

In fact, there are several benefits attached to starting a music career later on in life. So, here are 3 benefits that older musicians enjoy if they so choose to pursue a music career.

#1: Financial Stability

Costs are involved in a music career, and that’s something older musicians might have more of compared to musicians in their teens or 20s. Sometimes, getting into the music business costs one a lot of money and can act as a deterrent for most younger people. So, it goes without saying that with this financial cushion, it’s easier for older musicians to get their career off the ground in a number of ways.

#2: You Play Better

Another advantage that older musicians have is that they just play much better than they were in their teens considering the number of hours that they’ve put into playing their instrument. But that’s not all – you’d probably have spent more time writing lyrics or even playing live and gotten a whole lot better at it too. In being technically proficient compared to your younger peers, it does turn out to be an advantage.

#3: You Handle the Temptations Better

Yet another advantage of being a bit older is the fact that you have maturity on your side as a musician and are capable of handling the temptations that the music industry throws at you both in the studio as well as on the road. In fact, this is how most musicians tend to destroy their career completely, and one that you’ll be able to bypass with ease.

4 Tips That Will Help You Perform Well At Your First Music Recital

Almost every music student will agree that playing their first music recital was never easy, if not nerve wracking.

Truth be told, it’s the first of many recitals that you might have to perform at in the future, and so it’s important to pull it off successfully, if only to build your confidence as a performing musician.

So, here are 4 tips that can ensure that you perform with ease at your first recital:

#1: Pick pieces that you are particularly interested in

While some teachers might pick a particular piece for you to perform, other cases require you to pick one for yourself. If you fall into the latter category, it’s a good idea to pick a piece that you are interested in playing rather than an easy one that doesn’t interest you that much. This is because your desire in mastering the piece will be greater especially if you like it very much.

#2: Practice Everyday

It goes without saying that you have practice literally everyday. For this, it is important to set aside practice time and diligently follow this planned schedule. Depending on how difficult the piece is, ensure you vary your time accordingly. Also, if you are playing more than one piece, begin with the difficult ones before moving on to the easier pieces.

#3: Play in front of your family and friends

Stage fright is common to all musicians whether just beginners or experienced. It takes some time to get used to performing in front of an audience. So, once you think you are ready with a couple of pieces, perform it (as if you were in front of an audience already) with your family and friends.

#5: Don’t bother about making mistakes

Every musician makes mistakes – remember when playing your first recital. If you make a mistake, don’t stop. Keep playing. After all, this is only your first recital and mistakes are bound to happen.

5 Simple Tips to Keep in Mind When Attending a Classical Concert

Even if you are attending a classical concert for the first time, it should be obvious that the ambience at these recitals are often very different from that of a rock concert. In other words, attending one of these concerts requires one to be at their best behavior.

So, here are 5 simple tips that you should keep in mind when attending a classical concert:

#1: Formal Dress Code
Unlike a rock concert, where you can dress casually, a classical concert requires you to dress formally. It’s imperative that you keep this in mind or else you will feel out of place. For starters, wear clothes that you would wear to an interview or to the workplace.

#2: Stay Quiet
This is probably the most important rule to keep in mind when attending a concert. Talking, whispering, chewing gum, whistling or humming along with the music is frowned upon. It’s also best to leave items such as cell phones and watches with alarms at home. If this is not possible, turn it off completely. Also, stay as still as possible.

#3: Arrive in time
This is an important rule that must be adhered to when attending a classical concert. Arrive in time so that you can find your seat before the concert begins. Look at it this way: would you like anyone disturbing you when looking for their seat since they’ve arrived late.

#4: Hold your applause
Unlike a rock concert, it’s considered rude to applaud abruptly and while the artist is still performing his or her piece of music. If you’re not sure when to applaud, wait for the audience to applaud and then you can join in.

#5: Leave your seat at the intermission
Intermissions is the right time to leave your seat, make that all-important phone call, get to the restroom or even get a snack or drink yourself. Leaving at any other time means disturbing other attendees who are watching the concert.