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Play music for a living? Read this...


Funk Jazz

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Well, I don't play music for a living; more like, live for playing music...

 

Wow, that looks to be a good reference, FunkJazz.

 

By the way, once again, you've got one cool avatar; can't stay with the same one for long, can ya?

 

_____________________ http://www.stickergiant.com/Merchant2/imgs/125/ekz018_125.gif

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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i have avatar attention deficit syndrome :freak:

 

the real hard hitting portion of the report is in the tremendous disparity between educated musicians and other educated people. the average jazz musician with a bachelor's makes under 20K a year. it's a travesty that such a national treasure will slowly die because of economics and an cultural ignorance.

 

now you don't have to like jazz, but it's hard not to respect it's cultural importance as an authentic "american" musical form.

 

it's also a travesty that the NEA isn't studying blues musicians, as i'm sure the picture is far worse. it's no less of a treasure, but far less blues guys are out there working union gigs, you know? hard to make any sort of census.

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FunkJazz,

 

A very articulate and important point that you make there. I never realized the facts cited, although I certainly find them easy to believe. What a travesty! :(

 

That's even worse than what they pay the teachers of our future generations, and the future of the country!

 

One of the not-so-good restults of Capitalism, not that I'm against Capitalism, but it rewards what makes money, not what is "good". And, btw, before you start jumping on any perceived anti-democracy; Captialism and Democracy are not necessarily the same thing. I don't want to turn this into a SS forum thing.

 

Dave the Downhearted

Gotta' geetar... got the amp. There must be SOMEthing else I... "need".
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I skimmed the report, and read the replies here, and the big thing I noticed is lack of support networks - rehearsal space, health insurance, pension system.

 

A jazz band (any band really) is essentially a small business with 3-10 employees. Small business in any field faces similar problems, but if you are in a business like internet marketing or something, you can share office space, get into an insurance pool, etc. much more easily than if you make music.

 

It just goes to show how the arts are under-appreciated in the marketplace. Taken for granted, artistic music will disappear from the public eye, and leave even more prominence to manufactured acts like "American Idols". Jazz is becoming split into underground and museum piece. :(

 

Sorry to be a mope.

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I don't know what the clubs are like down there, but up here, it's a crying shame. In the Eighties and Nineties, a musican could make a small fortune playing on the road. Our guitar player had enough money from gigs in the Eighties that he bought a house!

 

When I came off the road in 1996, a lot of the clubs had gone to using a D.J. and now...most of them do.

 

The jazz and accoustic duo etc. have been getting a rough time as well thanks to the closing of coffee shops that lost out to big name companies.

 

What does the future hold for musicians? Not sure...Can you call a guy who clicks his mouse a few times to set up a beat in Sonic Foundry's Acid program a musician??? I suppose we'll see.

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Originally posted by A String:

...Can you call a guy who clicks his mouse a few times to set up a beat in Sonic Foundry's Acid program a musician??? I suppose we'll see.

I and my Acid Pro software resent that remark... :D ...Actually I use Acid to create grooves that I practice over, or to record .wav files that I can email to others.

 

All points in this thread well-taken...

 

 

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Originally posted by Dave th Dude:

One of the not-so-good restults of Capitalism, not that I'm against Capitalism, but it rewards what makes money, not what is "good".

that's an excellent point Dave, the change is largely market driven. the majority of jazz records sold are from the 50's and 60's, and they only account for roughly 8% of overall record sales.

 

in other words, modern jazz artists are losing $$ because people want to buy Miles Davis and Wes Montgomery records. it's hard to build a "name" today.

 

Originally posted by billster:

I skimmed the report, and read the replies here, and the big thing I noticed is lack of support networks - rehearsal space, health insurance, pension system.

it's interesting to point out about half of the musicians polled claimed to have a retirement plan (i question that statistic... most of them probably meant social security).

 

in the end if they don't have healthcare, they end up a burden on the system for the rest of us. uninsured people still get sick.

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yikes, we have to be careful not to let this thread get about politics. :eek:

 

the point is, should a bachelor degree in jazz performance be as valuable as a bachelor degree in some other fields?

 

shouldn't it at least be the gateway to a liveable wage?

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There's some statistic I saw once about the alarming number of people who have a degree in one field, and work in another. Think of all those people with degrees in things like history.

 

I also remember a study that said musicians make great IT people.

 

I would hope a B.A. in any field would help you get an opportunity, and I've always insisted my 4 years of music school make me a better employee for a number of reasons: abstract thought, multi-tasking, willingness to look "outside the box", creative solutions, etc.

 

:eek: ability to toot my own horn :eek:

 

Anyway, we used to have a joke:

 

A guy applies for a job shoveling out horse stables, and the owner says "I see you have a college degree."

 

The guy says, "Yes, in political science."

 

The stable owner says, "Oh, OK, for a minute I thought you were over-qualified."

 

:D

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Jazz was once (1920s~40s or early 50s) the very definition of pop music.

What led to it's lessened popularity wasn't so much marketing as things like divergence of focus (after the mid-1940s there wasn't a single stylistic thrust to it), the WW II-era ban on recording by the musicians union, cost effectiveness of big bands versus small combos as well as other factors, the single-most of which was a tendency to be complicated "art" music that seemed to inherently divorce itself from what most people want---dance beats & hummable tunes.

 

It is true that today all music markets are driven by cosmetic marketing & high dollar return & that's why most new musical acts have short term careers. There's an undercurrent in the business world, too, that downplays musicians who try to set their own agendas on artistic or any grounds other than sales.

 

I think what's really needed is musicians with an ability to create music that appeals to large numbers but still maintains some real creative juice & who have the vision to see the near future's self-marketing prospects of technology & ways that even create new formats

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Originally posted by billster:

...Anyway, we used to have a joke:

 

A guy applies for a job shoveling out horse stables, and the owner says "I see you have a college degree."

 

The guy says, "Yes, in political science."

 

The stable owner says, "Oh, OK, for a minute I thought you were over-qualified."

 

:D

I and my political science degree resent that remark ;) ...

 

 

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Originally posted by Dave th Dude:

Originally posted by FunkJazz:

.. the point is, should a bachelor degree in jazz performance be as valuable as a bachelor degree in some other fields?

YES :cry:
My degree is in broadcasting. It was not a gateway to a living wage in my field, believe me. You have to have earned at least a Master's in anything before people pay any attention to your degree these days. A BA gets you about what a High School diploma used to.

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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I have a Bachelors degree in Composition from Berklee.

 

I just got a statement from Social Security, so it's easy to know what I have earned. In the years I was earning my living from music, it was around or under that $20k/yr in todays dollars. It wasn't until I cut back or eliminated music that I could find a job that brought me somewhat close to middle class.

 

Nobody can gurantee you anything in this life, you have to make of it what you can. I wish for, hope of, and dream about ways that this society can value musicians and other artists the same as we do other providers of products and services, the way artists have been valued in other cultures, but it's a steep climb. I know a lot of poor musicians (or good musicians who do not earn money from it), and quite a few wealthy ones (because of my music-related job), but there is a small club with select membership of middle-class musicians.

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