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A roundup of news and opinion in the industry. If you’d like to add your voice to the listings we choose each week, please don’t hesitate to send us a note.

 
       
       
 
Feature

THE 2017 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS

Around 13,000 people in the music industry voted and made their selections out of more than 21,000 recordings submitted.

 
  RESEARCH AND OPINION  
 


Arts Education Reduces Stress Level of Low-Income Students
Pacific Standard: Tom Jacobs
Music and dance training can have an immediate, physiological benefit. Poverty leads to stress, which in turn leads to poorer health. Breaking this cycle is certainly a challenge, especially with children. But promising new research provides evidence of an effective, low-cost intervention: arts education.

What Would a Positive Federal Arts Policy Look Like in The Trump Era?

Arts Journal
Economist Tyler Cowen has some suggestions for how he thinks national arts policy in the United States could improve under a Trump Republican Congress.

How do Musician's Brains Work While Playing?

Science Daily
Some musicians are better at sight reading music, while others are better at playing by ear. Does this mean that their brains are processing information differently?

Conventional Wisdom Is That Orchestra Subscriptions Are Dead. But Are They?

TRG Artists: Adam Scurto
In the age of Netflix, Amazon, and Uber, does the model need a small tweak, a substantial jump start, or a complete-and-total-tear-down-and-rebuild to remain a worthwhile offering?

This Christmas Season: The Tyranny of the Boxed Set

Salon: Annie Zaleski
Pink Floyd's set costs $500 and has 27 discs, Dylan's set has 37. Bowie? Only 12 disks or 13 LPs for just $250

The Year of the Goodbye Album

The Ringer: Lindsay Zoladz
On bittersweet parting gifts from David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, and Phife Dawg

I Went to My First Classical Music Concert. It Was in My Living Room.

NY Times: Tamara Besdec
I barely listen to classical music, so how did a live string quartet end up in my apartment on a Saturday night?

Al Gore: How Bob Dylan Shaped My Political Consciousness

Rolling Stone: Al Gore
Ahead of Nobel Prize ceremony, former vice president shares favorite memories of singer-songwriter, including the time Dylan gave him a harmonica.

Giving a Great Jazz Storyteller His Due

The New Yorker: Gwen Thompkins
By the time Barker died, in 1994, at the age of eighty-five, he had played, talked, and written his way into jazz history. Now there’s an annual Danny Barker Banjo and Guitar Festival in New Orleans, and late last year G.H.B. Records released “Danny Barker, New Orleans Jazz Man and Raconteur,” a compendium of recordings collected by two traditional-jazz musicians turned producers—the Swedish-born pianist Lars Edegran and Richards, the English drummer who thirty years ago helped make “A Life in Jazz” happen.

YouTube Executive Tells the Music Industry to Stop Whining, Start Innovating

Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
(NOTE: this is a different take on the same data as the NYT article above)
YouTube paid the music industry $1 billion in the last year alone, according to comments from an executive today.  So why all the whining? Almost overnight, YouTube is the biggest enemy of the music industry.  And this debate is getting uglier by the second.  This year, the company has been accused of ripping off artists, stealing their videos, and barely paying its fair share.  Even the biggest manager in the music business, Irving Azoff, has come out swinging against YouTube.

 
  NATIONAL  
 


Modern Opera Thrives in L.A.
The New Yorker: Alex Ross
Akhnaten,” Philip Glass’s saga of ancient Egypt, and “The Source,” Ted Hearne’s meditation on WikiLeaks, demonstrate a commitment to contemporary work. Area have done far more than emblazon their names on buildings: they have fostered an atmosphere in which new work can germinate and thrive.

Atlanta Ballet Begins a New Act Under Artistic Director Gennadi Nedvigin

Atlanta: Cynthia Pond Perry
His vision requires an exacting new approach to training, so dancers can further extend their artistry.

Tragic Oakland Fire Spotlights Artist Housing Problem

LA Times: Liam Dillon
The Ghost Ship fire tragedy puts a focus on the plight of Oakland artists dealing with soaring Bay Area housing costs.

Fort Worth Symphony Strike Ends as Donor Rides to the Rescue

NY Times: Michael Cooper
The donation helped close the book on a tumultuous period in which orchestras in Fort Worth, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh went on strike, raising new questions about the financial health of classical music.

Conductor Teddy Abrams Renews Contract with Louisville Orchestra

Courier Journal: Elizabeth Kramer
The Louisville Orchestra announced Monday that it has extended the contract for music director and conductor Teddy Abrams, who came to the orchestra in 2014.

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Reports Record Ticket Income

Indy Star: Erick Dick
The $8.49 million in ticket sales is a 15 percent increase over fiscal year 2015 and the fourth consecutive increase since fiscal year 2013, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra reported during its annual meeting.

Detroit Symphony Family Grows with New Training Orchestra for Adults

Detroit Free Press: Mark Stryker
Spearheaded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Community Orchestra makes its public debut with a concert on Sunday.

Rap and Hip-Hop Bring Folk Music to New Audiences

Smithsonian Folkways: Alan Ginger

Why Atlanta Is the Undisputed Capital of Hip-hop Culture

The Ringer: Justin Charity
ATL has been a rap factory for more than two decades, but the debut of a groundbreaking TV show and the reemergence of a trap legend cemented the city as the undeniable hip-hop capital in 2016

The Sudden Rise of Lil Yachty

NY Times: Joe Coscarelli
The stylish 19-year-old rapper has made his way from obscurity in Atlanta to working with LeBron James and Kanye West.

 
  INTERNATIONAL  
 


The Barenboim-Said Academy Opens in Berlin
NY Times: Alison Smale
One of Daniel Barenboim’s visions for classical music, Berlin and the Middle East was achieved Thursday night when the Barenboim-Said Academy, named for the maestro and the Palestinian-American intellectual Edward Said, opened in the historic heart of the German capital.

Greg Lake, Emerson, Lake & Palmer Co-Founder, Dead at 69
Rolling Stone: Kory Grow
Greg Lake, a singer and multi-instrumentalist who helped propel prog rock into the mainstream as a member of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and King Crimson, died Tuesday. His manager told the BBC he had recently had "a long and stubborn battle with cancer"; the news comes nine months after the death of his bandmate, Keith Emerson. He was 69.


 
  ENTREPRENEURSHIP  
 


How the Music World Flocked to Instagram in 2016
Fast Company
No longer just a place to share pretty photos of sunsets, the social media platform figured out how to appeal to musicians and their fans.

Digital in 2016

We Are Social: Simon Kemp
We Are Social’s comprehensive study of digital, social and mobile usage around the world containing all the digital data, social stats and mobile numbers you need to understand the state of digital around the globe, as well as in-depth studies of 30 of the world’s key economies.

Apple Music Surpasses 20M Paying Subscribers 17 Months After Launch

Music Business Worldwide: Tim Ingham
Apple Music officially has more than 20 million paying subscribers. The Cupertino company just confirmed the milestone to MBW – and it comes less than 18 months after the streaming service launched on June 30 last year.

Streaming Drives Warner Music’s Biggest Annual Revenues in 8 Years

Music Business Worldwide: Tim Ingham
Len Blavatnik just enjoyed his biggest year as Warner Music Group owner – by some distance. Considering the global recorded music business is expected to post (constant currency) revenue growth of around 5% this calendar year, these figures suggest a significant market share rise is in store for WMG.

Vinyl Records Sales Outstrip Digital Sales for the First Time Ever

Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
That’s the first time this has ever occurred in the history of the music industry. But it probably won’t be the last.  As sales of iTunes music downloads continue to tank, music fans are increasingly attracted to vinyl records.  In fact, one is surging, while the other is tanking.  

Related article: 48% of People Who Buy Vinyl Don’t Even Listen To It, Study Finds
Digital Music News: Charlotte Hassan
48% of people who actually buy vinyl don’t even listen to the records, according to just-released stats.  But this gets even crazier: of the 48%, 41% have a turntable but choose not to use it, while 7 % don’t even own a turntable.

How Technology Has Changed The Online Musical Marketplace

Music Think Tank: Cherie Nelson
The music industry is in a state of flux. Technology has changed the way musicians play and how engineers produce music, but most of the impact can be measured in how listeners consume and discover music. But what are the main technologies and platforms, who drives these trends and how has the business end held up? Here’s a look at how technology has changed the way people listen, buy, sell and discover music.

 
  OFF THE BEATEN TRACK  
 

The World's Oldest Surviving Piano Sounds Better That You'd Think
Musical Toronto
When we find a video featuring a performance on a piano nearly 300 years old, the oldest known in existence today, it is a very special treat. And what makes it all the more extraordinary is just how good it sounds.

 
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