The Sounds and Costs of Music Essay

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What is on the Record Label’s Minds An aspiring rock band sends a demo with four of their best songs to several record companies hoping that at least one of them would like their work enough to offer them a record deal. Luckily, a company expresses interest in them and schedules the band for a recording session at a professional studio. By the time the album is released, the band has already gained excellent recognition thanks in part to the record label’s marketing expertise. The album sales prove to be phenomenal. As the band tentatively opens their first paycheck, they are saddened to see the amount they receive. However, the band has high spirits, and anticipates that they will receive the bulk of their prospected fortune through touring and live shows, so they happily agree to utilize the record companies’ touring services, and agree to a tour in support of a larger, more famous artist. Accordingly, the band must take loans from the company for equipment and personnel, as well as traveling and lodging expenses. Every performance is sold out and rave concert reviews follow each one but after several months of touring the band calculates their income and are still appalled at the amount they receive. This was certainly not the rock star life they had dreamt of. They had worked extremely hard to make the popular music that they sold and performed, with next to nothing to show for it except a few fan clubs here and there. It is countless instances like these that bring up a prevalent issue the music industry. Infamously greedy and notoriously manipulative, what has been come to be known as “the Big Four”, Sony BMG, Warner, Universal, and EMI are not only recognized as the benefactors of the hottest chart topping songs, but also for their questionable business practices with their signees. One could argue that the record companies aren’t doing anything wrong by

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