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Book Notes: Bob Dylan, The Lyrics: Since 1962

As Bob Dylan has been such a prolific songwriter, his oeuvre is large and complex, and any book containing his lyrics will have to have quite a bit of girth. This new release is, I have to say, the heaviest book I own, though not quite the largest (in height and width). Weighing 13 1/2 […]

The iTunes Store Sells Philip Glass Sheet Music

I spotted an interesting item on the iTunes Store today. Together with a new recording of Philip Glass’s Complete Piano Études, Apple is selling the sheet music for these works, in the iBooks Store. This is not new; there is plenty of sheet music on the iBooks Store, but I had not noticed it before. […]

How Much Media Content Does a 16 GB iPad Hold?

In a recent article, I did a test to see how much free space was left on a 16 GB iPad after installing iOS and all of Apple’s apps. Taking into account the “Other” space that’s always lost on an iOS device, I got a bit more than 8 GB to store music, movies, photos […]

Paying the Pono Premium: Neil Young’s Exorbitantly Priced Hi-Res Music

I’ve been following the Pono story on this website. For those not familiar with it, Pono is a Toblerone-shaped digital music player backed by Neil Young, which is designed to play high-resolution music. It’s started shipping recently, and, curiously, I haven’t spotted any reviews or even comments of any depth on forums. Also, the Pono […]

Book Review: Franz Schubert, The Complete Songs, by Graham Johnson

Among the large bodies of work in the classical music repertoire, Franz Schuberts songs, or lieder, is one that stands out not only by its scale – some 729 songs, written before the composer’s death at age 31 – bit also by its quality. Sure, there are some songs that aren’t masterpieces, notably from his […]

First Impressions: The Complete Basement Tapes, by Bob Dylan and The Band

In the continuing Bootleg Series of Dylan releases, we’re now able to hear a very special collection of songs: The Complete Basement Tapes. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) This six-disc set brings to disc – finally – the (more or less) complete Basement Tapes that Dylan and The Band recorded in West Saugerties, New York, near Woodstock, […]

The Audiophile Fallacy

I was reading a book of Leonard Bernstein’s letters recently. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) This book contains letters both to and from Bernstein and a variety of people: friends, family, and other musicians, composers and conductors. In many occasions, one of the correspondents mentions having listened to a record or a live performance on the radio. […]

Is there any value left in music?

Whether the rot set in with the arrival of iTunes, or the earlier availability of music through illegal file-sharing sites, isn’t clear, but it seems that a whole generation now has the belief that music is essentially a free commodity, rather than something for which one should pay.

Part of the problem is that the very forces held up to be the saviours of the music industry sometimes do themselves no favours, for example by treating music as nothing more than a promotional tool.

Andrew Everard makes some good points here, though I disagree that iTunes is to blame. Quiet the contrary; the iTunes Store is what got people to buy digital music. But the commodification of music, and its overabundance, have certainly made it seem that music has little or no value any more. But even more than that: most people just don’t care about music; it’s just wallpaper for them.

via Is there any value left in music? | WORDS AND MUSIC.

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