A new era for classical music?

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felino
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A new era for classical music?

Post by felino » Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:00 pm

Hi everyone!

I'm new around here, and English is not my first language, but I will do my best!
I read yesterday that Nielsen SoundScan has published on the Internet the results of music sales. "Classical" genre has increased 22,5% ! In 2005, 15,875 million discs were sold, and that number changes to 19,447 millions in 2006.

Any idea why this positive rebirth? If you are curious, this is the site with all the info:

http://home.businesswire.com/portal/sit ... ewsLang=en

Greetings,

Felino Furioso

Corlyss_D
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:46 pm

Welcome to the forum, Felino

I'm just guessing: maybe it has something to do with the increase in downloads and heavy advertising about the downloads. That could be bringing new fans to classical music, who then go out and buy cds. The Beeb's 2005 experiment with the Beethoven symphonies astounded all the experts with the high numbers of people downloading performances of the symphonies produced specifically for the purpose of downloading. I can't imagine that anyone liking what they heard stopping with just the 9 and not exploring on their own.
Corlyss
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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Sat Jan 06, 2007 5:16 pm

Hello and welcome - I look forward to your contributions.

I'm always wary about marketing statistics. To a certain degree, the classical music public has shifted modalities rather than grown. I would give some of the credit for any real increase to budget labels, especially NAXOS.

But with regard to most surveys, a basic question is what counts as classical music. I suspect much, too much, reflects ill-advised but commercially lucrative crossover projects.
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felino
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Post by felino » Sat Jan 06, 2007 5:58 pm

They do not specify what "classical" involves, but I don't think crossover or film music is included. Who knows...

The Internet is definitely a strong tool to get music -any music. But those numbers reflexes CD's sales. My guess: you can't download all you want in classical genre - but in rock, rap, alternative, etc you can easily find your favorite track - legally or not. I don't think you can easily find a mp3 file of all Brahms symphonies by this or that orchestra. Since classical works are not so easy to find on the Internet with your favorite performer, you have to get it on CD.
Of course we have alternatives like Naxos subscription, but I think you understand what I mean.
Alex Ross made this sort entrance in his blog:
http://www.therestisnoise.com/2007/01/t ... of_th.html

Greetings,
Felino

CharmNewton
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Post by CharmNewton » Sat Jan 06, 2007 6:05 pm

Ralph wrote:Hello and welcome - I look forward to your contributions.

I'm always wary about marketing statistics. To a certain degree, the classical music public has shifted modalities rather than grown. I would give some of the credit for any real increase to budget labels, especially NAXOS.

But with regard to most surveys, a basic question is what counts as classical music. I suspect much, too much, reflects ill-advised but commercially lucrative crossover projects.
Looking at the data, I found it difficult to see how classical was up 5 million units when most of the groups listed (other than Warner) were down. And Warner isn't producing much these days.

Ralph, you could be correct about NAXOS as they aren't listed in the results (I guess they fall in the "other" category). If so, that would argue against crossover since that isn't their game.

Compilations are popular to judge from the number that keep appearing. Some of these represent good value measured in enjoyment per dollar (I recently bought a 2-CD set of Baroque arias on Decca from BMG for $4) so they could be adding to the totals as well.

I believe the renewed interest in beautiful voices singing popular music (Il Divo, Vittorio, Josh Groban, Marcelo Alvarez-Salvatore Licicra "Duetto") and artists like Andre Rieu bode well for lighter classical.

John

burnitdown
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Post by burnitdown » Tue Jan 09, 2007 9:44 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:I'm just guessing: maybe it has something to do with the increase in downloads and heavy advertising about the downloads. That could be bringing new fans to classical music, who then go out and buy cds.
When popular music is seen as it actually is, which is endless in availability and repetition, many who would otherwise have savored the same seven Led Zep CDs have moved on to Beethoven.

Good.

The death of the Hollywood music/movies industry would impact my life not at all.

Nashvillebill
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Post by Nashvillebill » Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:35 pm

I will have to agree with Ralph and that that number is alterd by the Josh Grobans, Il Divo, and Andrea Bochelli's. Considering about 3 million of those units alone from 2006 are from 2 cds (Groban - Awake, Bochelli - Amore)

If you look at this weeks top sellers you have the three mentioned above + Sting, Sarah Brightman and a best of disc. the top Ten makes up about 35% of all sales this week. So depending on your definition of classical music the numbers can be deceiving. (and yes Naxos is included in the "other" catagory)

But The Numbes they published do include Downloads (from paid sites of course, not file sharing). And the increase of digital downloads is growing rapidly as is the availability of Classical music on those sites. For example Naxos' entire catalog is available on EMusic and itunes.

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Post by Ralph » Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:33 pm

NAXOS, by the way, has started publishing very attractive short biographies of composers with a CD of excerpts from their works. Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Center is prominently displaying the books. There's nothing there of use to experienced classical music lovers but this is one more way to get those new to classical music comfortably involved. I hope NAXOS's venture succeeds. If they're smart, they'll commission a book about Dittersdorf.
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Nashvillebill
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Post by Nashvillebill » Wed Jan 10, 2007 4:59 pm

Hey Ralph,

Very cool to know about the Lincoln Center B&N. They have been great recently about incorporating more Naxos product in their stores. With those books and that promotion their doing of the Very Best of series any one who is a newbie to classical has many opportuinites to learn.

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