For centuries, people have been playing music. The process of becoming a musician requires so many different skills. For example, let’s look at the piano. To become a pianist you must have an understanding of musical notation, train your hands in muscle memorization, understand music theory, and practice, practice, practice.
With the advancements in computer software in the music industry though, this experience is changing. Today there are software programs that allow users to develop scores in their home “studios” (aka, living room) on a computer without hardly any musical background at all. That’s not to say that you don’t need skill or talent to make this kind of music. You still need to understand how to make a rhythm that sounds good, how to develop a harmony, and ultimately understand how to build the structure of a song. But what you can now avoid is the years of practice, practice, practice.
Never before have so many amateurs been able to move to a state of success just by learning how to use computer software. This situation isn’t unique to music. It’s not difficult today to get your hand’s on an HD video camera and some editing software to make your own film or to purchase a 15 megapixel DSLR and start shooting professional quality photos. In a world where the line is blurred between “professional journalists” and “professional bloggers,” whose to say who an amateur or a professional really is any more.
In the case of creating music with these amazing software programs like ProTools, Ableton Live, or even just GarageBand, anyone (with a computer) can become a musician with a little dedication and online research.
I’m interested in how this will change the dynamic of the music industry. We’re now hearing stories about “bedroom musicians” cranking out phenomenal albums on their mac and with the new forms of music distribution (Spotify, BandCamp, CDBaby) suddenly the need for corporate sponsorship is not a requirement. Think this will lead to a series about how modern technology is allowing talented people to get front and center with out the established “paths to success”. It’s not to say that this is a brand new trend (Nirvana produced Bleach in a garage for $500) however the format is changing and possibly even easier than before.
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