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Music and Sound Recording - What You Need to Know

What's Happening Today

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The times they are a-changin'

Let’s Toot Our Own Horn

Look at the music charts! Turn on your radio! Pick up a magazine! Browse the Internet! Canadian artists, in virtually every musical genre, are finding bigger audiences at home as well as filling concert halls and stadiums worldwide. Many Canadians are also working behind the scenes, from managers, to record producers, to recording engineers with international reputations. Do you want to make your mark in the musical world? The many Canadian success stories show clearly that you too can do it!

The “Reality Check” is in the Mail

Canadian musicians, singers and songwriters face global competition. The English-Canadian market is small, competition is fierce and long-term survival can depend on success in the United States or elsewhere. Canadian products go head-to-head with U.S. releases from the giant multinational record companies. The Quebec market, while providing a strong at-home audience, is even smaller. In some musical genres, long-term survival depends on success in the United States, Europe or in other francophone markets. Nonetheless, many Canadian artists and bands are playing to sold-out audiences in Europe, Asia and elsewhere. Look beyond the North American border for your audience. Set your sights high, but don't forget perseverance and market research –they will bekey to your success.

Digital Media = New Jobs!

Digital media= like CDs, DVDs, personal playing devices (such as MP3 players and iPods) and web applications have created a new and exciting market for musicians, composers and technicians. Virtually all titles – whether adventure games, how-to guides or training tools – need music and sound. Sound is incorporated into the marketing and branding of images and products. That's great news for anyone getting into this field. Do you like music? Do you like computers? It's possible to combine both these passions in a single career.

Nothing But Net

The Internet is an exciting place where smaller businesses can finally compete on an equal footing with the larger ones. For example, by setting up websites, unsigned bands or unknown artists can provide audio samples of their material, video clips from performances to promote their latest recordings, and an e-mail address where fans can reach them. Exposure to a global audience through the Internet means great opportunities to get known, sell your work, and create opportunities to perform. It is very important to establish and protect your copyright: your ownership of your work and the right to be paid for its use. Nonetheless, small and large record labels, radio stations, promoters and studios are all jumping online. You might discover a few career possibilities you never thought of before. If you are not afraid of hard work and you have creativity, imagination and technical expertise, your future may be full of opportunities.

The Indie Scene

Independent record labels are springing up around the country in just about every musical style imaginable; in Quebec, they occupy 25% of the market. Inexpensive new technology means that just about anyone can afford to make a decent recording of their music. With the arrival of affordable professional quality recording software, you can make your own CD. If you're interested in starting an independent label or, as an artist, signing with one, you'll enjoy more artistic freedom and be able to record the kind of music you love. If you can achieve local or regional success on an indie, you might just attract the attention of a major label. Check out some of your favourite artists. Are they on a major or an indie label?

Music Trivia Challenge

Can you match the artists in Column A to the statements in Column B?

Le jeu des correspondances

11 The Guess Who     A. What Canadian jazz pianist, considered by many to be the among the world's best, had a commemorative stamp issued by Canada Post in August 2005 — the first time someone still living, other than the reigning monarch, has been honored with a stamp?
22 Arcade Fire     B. This group from Winnipeg, Manitoba, is perhaps recognized for its most influential song "American Woman,' recently covered by Lenny Kravitz. Who is this band?
33 k-os     C. What Toronto-based hip hop artist stole the limelight at the 2005 Juno Awards, winning three Juno awards for his uplifting debut album ...Joyful Rebellion?
44 Great Big Sea     D. What Grammy and Juno award-wnning Canadian jazz singer/pianist had her album The Look of Love go #1 bestseller in the US and to 5-tune platinum in Canada?
55 Diana Krall     E. What Canadian India group Was hugely popular in Europe before they became known in Canada?
66 Oscar Peterson     F. This high-energy East Coast band catapulted Celtic folk songs into the mainstream by fusing rock into the traditional versions. Their best known album Up quickly went platinum. Who am they?