Production Music

Production music refers to music that is owned by production music libraries.

Generally the music is composed specifically for use in Film, TV, Radio, Multimedia and Business.

Since these libraries generally own all of the rights in the music they can licence it directly without the need to gain permission from composers or writers. It can therefore be licensed immediately with a clear cost to the end user.

The advantage of a production music library is that it can cater to a wide range of musical styles and themes with many libraries holding ten of thousands of tracks and cuts.

Production music gives producers and directors a platform from which to choose audio that is suitable for their project or brief. Libraries often have tracks relevant to current musical genres, styles, charts and culture. Many libraries will hold music across the entire spectrum of music history and include Classical, Jazz, Blues, Rock n Roll, Dance and Reggae – amongst a host of contemporary collections or themes created for business or media applications.

The convenience factor means that anyone who needs production library music can choose from a huge range of styles, access the audio from one place and know exactly how much it will cost. Most libraries have Rate Cards so producers can budget for the costs of a project in advance.

Their is also the peace of mind that many libraries will almost always have a piece of music suitable for the job and if not will help you to find some. Many will also offer custom music production services.

History of Production Music

Typical music for production has been around since the days of silent cinema. In those days the audio was supplied in written form and sent over to small orchestras and bands who would perform the sound live in time with the film.

Since then many production music companies have built up sound and audio libraries. These include Boozy & Hawkes, Cavendish, Sonoton, Extreme Music, EMI, Sony BMG, KPM, De Wolfe and many others.

Traditionally, music libraries sent out their music collections on CD. These days it is more likely to be accessed via the internet, file-downloading, hard drive or CD’s, CD-Rom, DVD-Rom

Production Music Online

The Internet has enabled music for production to be distributed online via downloading. It has also given a platform for new companies and libraries to set up independently.

There are now many production music libraries online. The quality and price can vary enormously as can the actual license terms or use of the music. However production music downloads now seem to be the preferred method for many media professionals around the world.

Royalty Free Music

Royalty free music varies slightly to the attributes of production music.

Production music has generally been licensed on a pay-per-use basis. That is you pay for every single use of the music – If you want to use music on a TV show then you license the rights for that. If you want to additionally use that music on an interactive CD-Rom then you would have to license those rights.

Royalty free music on the other hand offers customers a way of purchasing a CD of the music which can then be used as many times as you like without any further payments or fees.

However the Internet and other issues has meant that many royalty free music libraries now operate more like traditional production music libraries and vice versa.

This is most likely attributed to the growth of independent music libraries who can create their own license and finance models according to their own marketplace requirements.

Sync Fees and Dub Fees

A Production music company charges a fee for the licensing of their music. This is often referred to a ‘Synchronization Fee’ or ‘Dub Fee’. This is one of the main income streams for music libraries.

Performing Rights Organisations

Performing Rights Organisations (PRO’s) protect, administer and collect performance royalties on behalf of its member composers, artists and publishers.

Performance royalties are generated when music is broadcast on TV or Radio or played in public places like restaurants and other business spaces.

Music that is publicly performed or broadcast has to be licensed. For example a broadcaster such as the BBC or SKY has to pay to broadcast music as do restaurants, shops and users of music on hold systems and others.

These licenses are issued by PRO’s to music users whenever music is broadcast to the public. The revenues from these licenses is then collected and split up between all of the members of that particular PRO.

Most countries have their own PRO such as PRS (UK), ASCAP (USA), GEMA (Germany). Many countries have more than one.

See the FULL LIST of Performing Rights Organisations

Music libraries are generally also music publishers. Their musical works are published via a PRO and any broadcast or public performance of that music will accrue performance royalties.

A Prayer & Plea For Indian Arts, Culture & Music

Acts alone do not help in the promotion or prevention of a culture from going to rack and ruin. The hapless condition of our Music & Culture is a glaring example of governmental apathy and neglect. According to a report prepared by UNESCO, the Punjabi language will disappear from the world in 50 years. Our language, dialects, and specially one of the oldest, enduring rich heritages of music, is decaying.

We ourselves are discouraging our children from opting for arts, culture & music as a career. Envious of the progeny of our nearest & dearest ones studying medicine, engineering or IT, we force our children to pick the same career, which they may be least interested in. We don’t want our children to be what they wish to be, and where they can excel; rather we wish them to be, what they don’t want to be and remain average. We want to create doctors, engineers and managers at the cost of our fine tradition of arts and culture. This is a catastrophic development.

We are ignoring music, arts & culture education at the primary level, secondary level, and undergraduate level. In India music is provided very little support as an academic subject, and music teachers feel that they must actively seek greater public endorsement for music education as a legitimate subject of study. Hence, music advocacy is to be promoted significantly. It is our collective responsibility to preserve our inheritance and to develop it into a rich legacy for future generations.

Modernity does not make tradition redundant. We are the offspring of a complex and rich culture, and music has played a crucial role in synthesizing it. It merits more than a disinterested glance by the authorities in colleges and universities. One is amazed at their callousness and quite dumbfounded at their ignorance when they talk of abolishing the subject from their syllabus. They argue that ‘unnecessary’ subjects require monetary props and they want to save their beloved country some much needed cash. We are not the victims of any financial crisis but of pure, unalloyed prejudice. Who will take up cudgels on behalf of us musicians who languish on the dusty shelves of modern education in India?

Of course, a new education policy has been announced by our Govt. Sadly, only technology, polytechnics, industry linked training centers, medicine, management etc. have been the point of discussion. What about our culture, arts and music? Philosophers and pedagogues variously define education. This is said to be the sum total of a man’s character. Education in the Indian tradition is not merely a means of earning a living; nor is it only a nursery of thought or a school for citizenship. It is initiation into the life of spirit, a training of the human soul in the pursuit of truth, and the practice of virtue. However in the present context it is a means to earn one’s living. Education should not merely be treated as a means of empowering people to get jobs for livelihood. The Indian Education Commission (1964-66) asserted that education ought to be related to the life, needs and aspirations of the people and thereby made a powerful instrument of social economic and cultural transformation.

Music has also remained the victim of State Govt.’s horrendous apathy and neglect. As the result of the deliberate, inexplicable intentions of the Punjab Govt. posts of lecturers in music from various Government Colleges like Govt. Barjindra Collge, Faridkot, were abolished. They declared that such subjects were an unnecessary surplus and a drain on the treasury. Later on, following an agitation by the Student and Teacher Unions of Punjab, and keeping in view the upcoming elections, the Govt. of Punjab changed its mind and a few posts were reinstated.

Our academia in India has failed to attract students who are genuinely interested in music. Life has changed in the last decade. We cannot apply the same decadent vision to our education system. Our educational institutes are offering the same old fashioned, hackneyed, outmoded two/three year courses & examination programs in arts, culture and music. A revision is mandatory and it should be accepted without any raising of eyebrows. We will have to design new state-of-the-art curricula to urge students towards the study of art & culture, especially music.

The United States of America and some of the European Countries have outlined National Standards for arts Education to be followed by every student and teacher at the primary level, as well as the secondary level art education.

- Students should be able to communicate at a basic level in the four arts disciplines-dance, music, theatre, and the visual arts.
– Students should be able to communicate proficiently in at least one art form.
– Students should be able to develop and present basic analyses of works of art.
– Students should have an informed acquaintance with exemplary works of art from a variety of cultures and historical periods.
– Students should be able to relate various types of arts, knowledge, and skills within and across the arts disciplines.

There is a set of national standards in music education also, which most teachers adhere to:

- Singing alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
– Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music. Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments.
– Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines.
– Reading and notating music.
– Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.
– Evaluating music and music performances.
– Understanding relationships between music, the arts, and other disciplines outside the arts.

The Indian Government and private institutions should also include these musical standards in their Education system. Teachers should establish these standards in classrooms beginning in a kindergarten general music class, and ending in undergraduate level general, band, choral, or orchestral classes.

In today’s ‘global village’ scenario, the higher education system of developing nations like us must seek integration with universal learning. The concept of internationalization of higher education in syllabi, teaching and research should be implemented. Our institutes must introduce some new ultra modern courses in music.

Small duration Courses:

Music playing and performance courses should be offered at college level, e.g. Guitar/Sitar/Tabla Intermediate (duration 3 months), Music performance, Flute Ensemble etc. 3 months duration Courses in different instruments like Sitar, Tabla, Harmonium, Sarangi, Flute, Violin, Guitar, Synthesizer, Drums etc. Different courses in different genres should be offered e.g. Classical, Folk, World Music, Fusion, Bollywood, Light Music, Western including Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic, Opera, Operetta, Zarzuela, Rock, Grind core, Heavy Metal, Punk, Pop, Rhythm & Blues, Rap, Jazz, Electronica, Break beat, Drum & Bass, Ambient, Electro, Down tempo, Electro, House, Trance, Techno, UK Garage, Reggae, Calypso etc.

We must host in our college, graduate and undergraduate programs in musicology, evolutionary musicology, ethnomusicology, bio-musicology, music technology, zoo-musicology, music therapy, musilanguage, and music education.

Courses in Musicology (Socio-musicology, Zoo-musicology and Evolutionary Musicology): including:

Music Archeology, Music Appreciation, Introduction to Musicology, Methodology (research methods) of Music, Philology of Music, Orchestration, Counterpoint and Fugue, Acoustics of Music, Aesthetic Philosophy, Composer or Genre, Topics in Music Literature, Introduction to Music Bibliography.

Courses in Zoo musicology: including:

Fundamentals of Sound and Music of the World, World Music Theory and Musicianship, Musical Cultures of the World, World Music Performance Organizations, Psychology of Music, Experimental Research in Music, Anthropology of Music, Music of different countries, Music and Mind, Historical Readings in Ethnomusicology, Material Culture of Music, Interpretive Theories and Music.

Courses in Music Technology: including:

Degree Course in Creative Sound Engineering & Music Technology, Degree in Audio & Music Production, Live Sound Courses, Music Writing, Music Business, Music Publishing.

Music Therapy Courses:

A university in Australia is offering a course in Music Therapy which includes: – Applications of Music in Therapy (child clients, adult clients, contemporary contexts), Research in Music Therapy, Music Psychology Research, Music Therapy Skills (guitar, voice, groups and verbal counseling skills, improvisation skills, working toward performance and songwriting, vocal improvisation, receptive methods), Clinical Training in Music Therapy, Guided imagery and music (therapy that combines music and deep relaxation states to explore and guide thoughts and feelings).

Music Education courses:

This program should be designed to enhance the knowledge, skills and understanding of both current and prospective music educators. One can learn through academic study and practice within an international context.

Institutions must start offering courses which are universally recognized and acclaimed. Each course must provide an opportunity for all different kinds of musicians to pursue their own work. A student should also learn about the wider context of music. One of the primary aims of the course should be to facilitate students’ understanding of their contemporary musical world, in short its wide historical and contemporary context. At the same time, Music Degree pathways should offer considerable crossovers and opportunity for collaboration, so that a student is enabled to explore and use the most advanced techniques of contemporary music. Throughout the course, a student should be encouraged to choose his/her own area of focus and identify his/her own distinctive musical personality. This personal evolution of potential will easily lead to a body of composition, performance or written work that will, in turn, open doors both to existing career paths and the creation of new market niches. A creative vocational approach arms graduates with diversity of experience, backed with a strong skill base and theoretical underpinning.

2000-2010 – The Decade That Music Died

Over the past ten years a majority of the top ten songs on the Billboard charts has been consistent trendsetters. Songs that have saturated radio airwaves by the masses are placed in constant rotation to enthrall us. These songs appeal to a certain audience that often allow those in the music industry to capitalize on the opportunity to gain new fans of the most popular genres of music today. But some of these genres of today music have lost the luster for true music lovers, that they often resort to the classic CD’s from their youth just to hear music they deem as good music.

But what is considered “good music”? According to industry executives, “good music” is “any music that can capture the attention of an audience.” However; for the demographic of listeners in their mid twenties to mid thirties, “good music” is music that’s worth listening to many years after, and whose lyrics has meaning and depth.

So if the music industry has released nothing but “good music” over the past ten years, then why is it that the demographic of listeners in their mid twenties, thirties and older doesn’t find it worth listening to?

After further discussion with Atlanta’s LS Muzik Group, a company representative says, “most of the music that is released today has a certain appeal that reflects the trend set during that time. If at that time, snap music or crunk music is the sound that’s in, then that’s what the trend will follow. It is rare that you’d find “good music” [from the likes of] a Neyo, R. Kelly, Usher, Mary J Blige, Anthony Hamilton, or Musiq Soulchild to name a few. Not including good folk, rap, country, gospel, blues, jazz, or alternative rock music from some great artists who are worth listening to also. But out of the few named, there’s really not that many artists today that has potential for longevity. These artists are force fed to the consumer just to make record sales. We truly doubt half of them will be around to play sold out arenas in the next ten years.”

Hoping to bridge the gap between the two demographics of listeners in their mid twenties to mid thirties, the company looks to bring back good music that is worth listening to by adapting the Motown approach by signing good talent and releasing heartfelt songs with meaning.

Although the idea to bring back good music is what LS Muzik Group intends to do, there’s still that certain group of listeners the company may struggle to gain. Mainly because the music industry have already captured the attention of this group over the past ten years with music that has a sound of its own, a sound that has captivated them with what LS Muzik Group deems as over synthesized sounds. It is unclear however, as to how the company plans to win over that demographic, when all they know is what the music industry have force-fed them.

And because of this, the dividing line between the two demographics has left a void in the music industry, simply because true music lovers aren’t as fascinated with listening to over synthesized sounds that has little to no substance. This has crippled record sales over the past ten years.

In spite of the clever marketing initiatives by the music industry to capture true music lovers, the effort hasn’t been significant enough to impact their decisions to enjoy listening to the music released today thereby causing most of the music released today to barely go gold or platinum. This is all due in part not only to the Internet, but because true music lovers in their mid twenties, thirties, and older who enjoy good music, are not buying what is most popular today. But if what’s popular is Trey Songz or Chris Brown, then how is it that either of the two artists survives in such an industry where their level of success or failure is dictated by their marketing, and not their music.

“Record companies have gotten somewhat smart on how they market and release artists. Their idea to market and release Chris Brown or Trey Songz on the same Tuesday as they would Robin Thicke or K Jon isn’t the same. Simply because record sales for Chris Brown or Trey Songz may be slim for the first week of release, that marketing and releasing Trey Songz against K Jon on the same date would immobilize their sales goal of going gold or platinum, against a more likely artist that can, who has a more mature fan base of true music lovers who enjoy listening to good music,” says one industry executive.

This scenario is all too common in the industry today, whereas album release dates are rescheduled all due in part to industry executives being aware of the competition. Often times that competition is welcomed in what appears to be a rivalry to see who can out sell the other, as with the Kanye West and 50 Cent release in 2007. Rivalries such as this makes for clever marketing that will often propel record sales through the roof the first week of release, causing artists to go platinum. However at what cost to record companies? “Record companies can pay millions of dollars to market an artist all at the expense of gaining a few true music lovers. The gamble is to win the few they think will be loyal followers. While hoping the artists does their part to deliver good music to keep them [the fans] loyal.”

But with dismal record sales on the rise, artists are struggling to deliver good music to keep true music lovers devoted. Long gone are the days of the Motown Sound, Disco, P-Funk, and New Jack Swing era that we’ve all grown so accustom to that has found its way in music today through the practice of “sampling”; that most artists have lost all sense of creativity to produce almost anything remotely appealing to true music lovers. In order to win them over without the over synthesized sounds, they must sample or take portions of music from great artists like Teddy Pendergrass or The O’Jays just to get their attention.

So how can music get a fresh revitalization to capture the attention of true music lovers? Well according to LS Muzik Group, “bring back live musicians and artists who feel passionate about love and family values.” This could well be true, being that everything in heavy rotation on the radio is all about sex. “Where are the family values in the songs we hear today, there aren’t any. Most parents today don’t want their children listening to the radio, mainly because all they’re hearing is about sex.” From Trey Songz “Invented Sex”, to R. Kelly’s “Number One”, songs like these have saturated commercial radio and have left somewhat a bad taste in the mouth of true music listeners.

However artists like R. Kelly who has a solid fan base of loyal true music listeners, releasing songs like “Number One” is often well taken, being that an artist of his caliber is able to release just about anything and go platinum.

The musician in R. Kelly has allowed for him to survive in an industry that lacks creativity. Yet, he manages to stay in touch with his fan base while adjusting his talents to accommodate both younger and older audiences with songs like, “Number One”. But can the same be said of an artist [like a] Trey Songz? “Trey Songz is a talented artist; however, his fan base of course is entirely different from that of an R. Kelly or Robin Thicke not only because of the way he’s marketed, but also how he appeals to an audience that doesn’t understand good music. But considers what he sings to be. Keep in mind we are talking about a group that may not have even grew up listening to “good music” from the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s.”

Because of this lack of understanding, Trey Songz is able to sustain a fan base based entirely on his talents as a singer, songwriter and producer and thereby, creating music that his record label deems worthy of marketing and releasing to his fans. It is this group of listeners who are twenty-five and under, the music industry caters to without a second thought of catering to the older audiences. Why is this? It appears that a majority of the top ten songs on the Billboard charts is created by artists who themselves are twenty-five years of age and under, and who are basically creating music just for their age group. This has allowed for teenagers and young adults with a great deal of disposable income to spend their earnings from part-time jobs, birthday and holiday money on music, thereby pumping a small breath of life into the industry to keep it a live. So what’s going to happen once this age group gets much older and mature? Are they likely to even consider listening to Trey Songz or Chris Brown ten years from now?

The combination of good marketing combined with good talent can make artists such as Trey Songz a huge success because of the trend set in the industry today. Allowing record companies to capitalize off their talents now, and possibly tomorrow, depending on the terms of the artist-recording contract. Whereas in the days of Motown-“good music” was all it took to propel the success of an artist. It was imperative that Berry Gordy developed and released artists he knew could create “good music” that’s worth listening to many years after. This process of artist development became a critical element in the music industry up until 2000, when record labels took the time to develop an artist for longevity.

But if the trend has been set in motion to follow music that’s been hot for over the past ten years, then going against what the industry is doing to bring back “good music” with great lyrical content, is what LS Muzik Group looks to do and pave a way of their own in the industry.

With a well driven team of professionals and a roster of talented musicians and singers like Mr. Tao Jones and Jackie Watson who seek to change the direction of music released in the industry today, it is likely that “good music” can make a major comeback in commercial radio.

But what would be the downside to all of this? One major downside would be discovering more artists like Mr. Tao Jones and Jackie Watson who have the passion to write and sing “good music”. The other is how to reach the demographics twenty-five and under who are captivated with what they’ve heard on the radio for the past ten years. To this group of listeners, growing up in an era where music is either sampled or synthetically created is all they know to be good music. However not understanding where the music they’re listening to originally derived from.

Music from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s is now considered old school to this younger audiences, which today has all become obsolete, leaving room for a younger hip sound that’s all synthetically created like fast food. So what was once old, is now new again.

Take Monica’s “Everything”, a melodic rendition of Denise Williams, “Silly”. This is a classic example of an artist who feels passionate about love and family values, has great talents, a solid fan base, and understands that the industry needs “good music”. However with the odds against her to accommodate her fans, record label, and a younger audience who thinks her music is old school, it is difficult for Monica or any artist of her stature from 70’s, 80’s and 90’s to make a comeback.

“In order to survive in the music industry today, an artist who once were in high demand during those days, would have to readjust their talents to accommodate the trend today in the industry. This doesn’t necessarily mean change the style of music that made them successful for years, but do what it is they do best while incorporating a younger hip sound that will appeal to both audiences.”

However not all artists can readjust and appeal to a younger audience. Artists like Monica are learning that the industry has changed dramatically over the years with an all-new sound that has made it somewhat complicated to adjust to, making it difficult to comeback. But often times an old school artist can return like they’ve never left and go platinum. Take Charlie Wilson, former member of the famed G.A.P Band or George Clinton architect of the band Parliament-Funkadelic, these artists have set a perfect example on how to readjust their talent in rap music to accommodate the trend of the industry to reach the younger audiences. It is this adjustment that Charlie Wilson and George Clinton were able to comeback with rap artists like Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube.

Although this strategy may have worked for Charlie Wilson and George Clinton-it is by far a long shot that other artists of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s can achieve. Because of the generation gap within the music industry, it is clear that fans are divided between what’s considered “good music” and what’s not. Therefore making it difficult to bridge the gap. And if record executives continue to overlook this issue, artist they consider as today stars will suffer immensely with record sales in the coming years, leaving them with a short term musical career. Here today, gone tomorrow.