Are cheap CD's hurting concert attendances?

I've been away from the keyboard for three weeks, so I've watched at a distance (via an internet cafe in Avignon to be precise) the fascinating debate on my post Is recorded classical music too cheap? . This post generated a record number of comments including a very thoughtful one from Galen H.Brown over on Sequenza21's Composers Forum.

The debate is still continuing with Tim Worstall picking it up on his excellent non-music blog. The thrust of Tim's argument (and he has some background as a jazz musician) is that recorded and live music are not completely interchangeable, so recordings will never be a complete substitute for live performance.

All these viewpoints are valid, it is the debate that is most important. But I was interested to see this comment posted almost immediately (from Cambridge University no less) on Tim's blog...

"For Jazz and Opera, I agree. For classical recitals and concerts, I'm much less sure - we just buy CDs of those now."
Posted by:
dearieme June 27, 2005 11:34 AM

One swallow doesn't make a spring, but it is a worrying trend.

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Anonymous said…
One can't help but wonder what would happen if it were standard practice to compensate the descendants of Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, etc.? At what point does "classical" music become common domain, and why? Surely Tchaikovsky's descendants would be quite wealthy if they received even one penny from every playing of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy ... !

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