Violinist To Release Record For Free Online

from the power-of-free dept

Top British Violinist, Tasmin Little, has announced plans to release her next album Naked Violin for free online next week. Although fairly well known within classical music circles, Tasmin wanted to grow her fanbase, so her solution was to use the power of free. The classical music genre has seen a huge rebound as a result of the internet, so perhaps it’s not surprising to see more classical musicians embracing its power more quickly. Seems like they’re finally starting to realize that the actual problem isn’t that people were “stealing” their music, but rather that not many people actually cared enough to bother.

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Comments on “Violinist To Release Record For Free Online”

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CHL Instructor (user link) says:

Re: public domain

The original written music is all in the public domain, but the actual performances can be copyrighted. Nice to see current classical albums available in the public domain.

There is a very nice collection of JS Bach MP3s that was just released to the public domain at

I’m not as much a Bach fan as a Mozart fan, though.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: public domain

Um… that’s not true. I used to work as an editor in a music publishing house. For pieces with sheet music that is in the public domain, the producers and/or performers can copyright their performance of it.

Also, a newly-published edition of a piece of sheet music gets a brand-new copyright. Even if the music is exactly the same as an older public-domain manuscript, the new edition has been typeset and printed differently, and the editor may have made changes to piano fingerings and other details.

ChurchHatesTucker (user link) says:

Re: Re:

Pix or GTFO.

Seriously though, here’s my prediction: She puts the album up, a bunch of people download it, and a small percentage of them pay for it. Every idiot reporter will be talking about how it was a failure, purely by looking at the percentages, and ignoring whether or not she actually increased her exposure and grew her fan base. (That’s assuming she’s asking for payment, TFA isn’t clear on that.)

As I’ve said before, if you looked at the percentage of people who hear a song on the radio that actually buy the song, you’d get some pretty dismal numbers. (Sadly, the recording industry has lately been acting like they took that advice seriously.)

Howard Lee Harkness (user link) says:

Something similar

I plan to do a concert late next Spring with another violin teacher and a pianist, of some of the popular student concertos, and I plan to record and post it on my website. I will also encourage my students to come and record it. It’s rather difficult to find professional recordings of the Seitz and other student concertos, possibly because the accomplished players aren’t interested in doing them.

Norm says:

Great idea

Unlike ChurchHatesTucker I think this is a winner and has proven to be so for many non-mainstream musicians/artist. While certainly not a boon and no one expects that, she will sell more albums because of it. And the ostensible purpose is to widen the fan base of classical music which is different than sell more records.

Most people are not going to pay for that album but a good amount will buy some of her other releases.

4-80-sicks says:

I’ll check it out. I like the violin as an instrument in combination with others, (see: Pig) and if it can stand on its own in my taste, I’ll pay for it; if not, I won’t listen to it again.

Like ChurchHatesTucker says, a lot of analysts will take anything they can to point to this as a failure. 5000 people download and only 1000 pay? It works now but when everybody does this it won’t? Only big name artists are known enough to make this work? Only small, up and coming acts can take this kind of risk?

Fortunately, this is a much better model than the radio. I don’t buy what I hear on the radio (not that I listen to the radio any more. You ever hear of Pig?) because I was burned so many times when I was younger. Hear a good song on the radio, go buy the CD for $16, and only two tracks are worthwhile. This model is much better–I can preview the album, decide if a significant portion is worthwhile, and if so, buy it. If I only like one track, maybe I’ll pay a fraction of the requested price and keep that one track. Better for them than not receiving anything.

And here is the crux of the “record labels treating their customers like criminals” scenario. If I can’t hear this album for free first, I’m not going to outlay cash for it. Since I can, I may. It requires trust.

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