New World, New Map: GPS for Today’s Music Industry

West Virginia University

This course provides an engaging and methodical insight into the past and present cultural and commercial music industry developments, directions, and trends. It will equip the students with the knowledge and skills necessary to appreciate, understand and more productively participate in today’s music industry field.

A development of music industry and its systems was not an instantaneous, single event that can be attributed to one point in time, one idea, one person, or one institution. Its evolution, from a solely cultural phenomenon to a multifaceted commercial product, involved various social, technological, and legislative processes that defined its place in the society. Ultimately, in order to truly understand the new world of the music industry and its future direction, one must consider its progress and development stemming from those diverse processes.

This course explores and addresses those often neglected, but vital, issues and perspectives as it is maps out, clarifies, and analyses today’s music industry structures, principles, and spectrum – the issues of not just the existing surface state, shape, and mechanics, but of deep root causes and origins. For, it is these original particles of the music industry’s DNA, combined with all its adaptive mutations over time, that lead to true understanding of its present and allow a meaningful glimpse at its future.

Syllabus

The course is divided into five academic units, each consisting of three learning segments – the roots, the regulations, and today’s industry methods and practices - scheduled as follows:

 Part One

  • Introduction -  "An Elephant, A Miracle, And The Messengers Of Doom"
  • Roots: Music Publishing & Copyright - “And Music Learned To Play Business”
  • Regulations, Part 1: Music Copyright Fundamentals; © and - “The Birds And The Bees Of The Cs And The Ps”
  • Regulations, Part 2: Musical Works Licensing - “Penny For Your Thoughts (If I Can Sing Them)”
  • Methods and Practices: Music Publishing - “Can’t Eat A Song, Now Can You?”

 Part Two

  • Roots: Live Music Industry - “Of Bread And Games”
  • Regulations: Live Music Licensing, Insurance, and Permits - “Dotting The Is And Crossing the Ts”
  • Methods and Practices: Concert Promotion - “If You Build It They Will Come…Or Not"

Part Three

  • Roots: Recording Industry - “Sounds For Sale”
  • Regulations: Sound Recording Licensing - “Paying The Piper”
  • Methods and Practices 1: Recording Industry - “Madness, Meet Method”
  • Methods and Practices 2: Standard Recording Agreements - “Bargains And Bridges (For Sale)”

Part Four

  • Roots: Magnetic Recording and Multitracks - “Multiple Magnetic Personality”
  • Regulations: Digital Recording, Reproduction, and Transmission - “Putting A Leash On A Music Byte”
  • Methods and Practices: Recording Production Planning - “A Puzzle Unpuzzled”

Part Five

  • Roots: CD, MP3, and Online Marketplace - “So One Thing Led To Another…”
  • Regulations: Fair Use Doctrine, Sampling, and Creative Commons - “To Use Or Not To Use, That Is The Question”
  • Methods and Practices 1: Recording Agreements for Today’s Industry - “Time To Put Your Clothes On, Emperor”
  • Methods and Practices 2: Music Promotion, Distribution and Sales - "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag (Full Of Online Services)"

Recommended Background

An interest in the history, workings, changes (and issues) surrounding the music industry.

Suggested Readings

Links will be provided to a variety of governmental/industry websites and other online material.

Course Format

The course will consist of lecture videos, which average 10 minutes in length. There will also be quizzes, inline video quiz questions, and other suggested activities. There will also be suggestions for outside readings, resources, and discussion.

FAQ

  • What resources will I need for this class?
    • A computer
    • Reliable Internet access
    • An interest in the music industry
  • What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class?
    • The issues facing the Music Industry (now and in the past)
    • The creative solutions being pursued by independent artists and labels
  • What background is expected for learners in this class?
    • An interest in the music industry
  • What can I earn for completing this course?
    • You can earn a Verified Certificate by verifying your work with a risk-free, no obligation Signature Track trial. Payment for Signature Track can be made anytime until the week before the course ends — so you’ll be more certain that you’ll earn your Verified Certificate.

Dates:
  • 15 October 2014, 5 weeks
Course properties:
  • Free:
  • Paid:
  • Certificate:
  • MOOC:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Email-course:
  • Language: English Gb

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