How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

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    Default How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    Last week I was talking to a saxophone player I know who said his daughter, who has just left college, doesn't even own any CDs. She and her friends apparently listen to music on streaming services or as downloads. Another friend of mine listens to Spotify.

    My question is, are there any benefits for saxophone players to release a physical CD now? I think most classical saxophone players I know have at least one CD released but they were released a few years ago. The reason I am asking is I am no longer sure which is the best way to distribute classical saxophone music.

    Any opinions really appreciated as I am doing some research into the commercial viability of various formats.

    PLEASE NOTE: I have since added a short, anonymous survey on Google Docs. If you are not surveyed out you can find it here:

    http://www.ianstewart.eu/survey.html

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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    I'm old school: I listen to music on streaming only if there's something I want to listen very quickly. You know, the kind of situation were someone tells you: "hey, have you heard that great solo of XXY in the record YYX?". Bam: streaming.
    When I really want to listen I love to have a CD, without advertising (on Spotify its particularly bad: they put some high volume pop hit while you're listening to baroque music... I mean: what are they thinking?), without transmission glitches, without delays. Just the music.

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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Stewart View Post
    Last week I was talking to a saxophone player I know who said his daughter, who has just left college, doesn't even own any CDs. She and her friends apparently listen to music on streaming services or as downloads. Another friend of mine listens to Spotify.

    My question is, are there any benefits for saxophone players to release a physical CD now? I think most classical saxophone players I know have at least one CD released but they were released a few years ago. The reason I am asking is I am no longer sure which is the best way to distribute classical saxophone music.

    Any opinions really appreciated as I am doing some research into the commercial viability of various formats.
    Look forward to the results, would be interesting how many of the young streamers actually listen to any kind of Sax style.
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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    I still buy entire albums, but I prefer to purchase them as downloads rather than CDs. I don't think there's anything wrong with a classical musician's pressing some CDs, however, as long as you don't confine the release to CDs. Even if you can't get your material onto iTunes and/or Amazon, at least make it available as a download somewhere, from your own website if necessary. I remember a discussion here a year or so ago about a new Rascher Quartet album that was available only as a physical CD, and since there was no North American distributor, the disc had to be mail-ordered from Europe. That struck me as absurdly behind the times.

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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ballad state of mind View Post
    Look forward to the results, would be interesting how many of the young streamers actually listen to any kind of Sax style.
    With that in mind I decided to create a short, anonymous survey. The link is in my original post but is relinked here:

    http://www.ianstewart.eu/survey.html

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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    With all the music theft and pirating, I don't think that for the average musician there's much money anymore in CD sales. CD's are pretty much looked on by many, now, as advertising tools, not money makers.
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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    I mostly buy music in downloads from Amazon. I prefer it to iTunes since I am am not tied to Apple hardware. But I don't share it around, I do respect copyright and in that I may be considered old-fashioned judging by comments about 'entitlement' to file sharing that I have seen. I also have bought downloads from Linn and directly from artists' websites. Very occasionally on Amazon the CD + 'Auto-rip' is cheaper than the download, which I don't really understand, but I didn't complain since I reckon I'm getting a better deal. I almost never buy from stores now. I went into Fop in London (where Bill Lewingtons music store used to be!!) a few times with a musician friend who loves to browse and buy DVDs etc, but I found it a chaotic and unpleasant experience (much like Lewingtons actually ). Hope that helps Ian.

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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    I finally caved and subscribed to Tidal. I've been avoiding streaming because of the horrendous payouts to musicians, but my holding out isn't gonna have an effect on that. Tidal pays em a bit more, anyway. Actually, I've been loving it. Filled in the gaps in my Mike Brecker and Brecker Brothers collection first, listened to several Coltrane album that aren't in my 30+ CD collection, explored some hiphop and dance stuff on their curated playlists, checked out some of the current west coast jazz guys I hadn't really listened to yet, dug some of Kenny Garrett's new stuff...

    There are no ads, and the sound quality is downright impressive. I recently got new headphones (my band uses IEMs so I finally got good ones) and along with the Tidal subscription I haven't listened to so much stuff that was new to me in years.

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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    I'm almost 30, so I don't know if I can be "old school," and I always purchase the CD for saxophone music. I like to have a hard copy, because I study the recordings. However, the music I listen to casually or "for fun" I tend to download or stream.

    Basically this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Hadamard View Post
    I'm old school: I listen to music on streaming only if there's something I want to listen very quickly. You know, the kind of situation were someone tells you: "hey, have you heard that great solo of XXY in the record YYX?". Bam: streaming.
    When I really want to listen I love to have a CD, without advertising (on Spotify its particularly bad: they put some high volume pop hit while you're listening to baroque music... I mean: what are they thinking?), without transmission glitches, without delays. Just the music.
    As far as releasing your own recorded material... I agree with LostConn
    Quote Originally Posted by LostConn View Post
    I don't think there's anything wrong with a classical musician's pressing some CDs, however, as long as you don't confine the release to CDs. Even if you can't get your material onto iTunes and/or Amazon, at least make it available as a download somewhere, from your own website if necessary. I remember a discussion here a year or so ago about a new Rascher Quartet album that was available only as a physical CD, and since there was no North American distributor, the disc had to be mail-ordered from Europe. That struck me as absurdly behind the times.
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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    I started my collection of music recordings back in the LP/reel-to-reel era. I remember with nostalgia what a wonderful ritual it was to thread a tape onto my Tandberg, sit back with the booklet in hand, tune everything else out, and listen to an entire reel. Same with LPs and later with CDs.

    Does anybody in the younger generation today actually listen to an entire tune? Do they make a ritual of any of it?

    The high school students I teach use recorded music in a completely different way from how I used it at that age. I used recorded music in a way analogous to standing in front of a great picture and looking at it for a long time. Today's kids' use is analogous to living in a room with wall paper you can change with a little switch in your pocket even though you never really look at the walls.

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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    I would definitely say that I'm "old-school" in how I listen to music. I still buy CD's and LP's for two main reasons:

    1. Quality of sound
    2. Having a physical specimen

    In a number of cases, certain recordings are only available as hard copies. This makes things especially difficult when it comes to classical saxophone since some of the finest classical saxophone recordings are only available on out-of-print albums where there isn't enough demand for a reprint or for availability on iTunes. Even with that aside, I do still use the Internet for casual listening. I have a subscription to Naxos' online streaming service as well as Tidal. If I hear something for the first time that I really enjoy, I go out and buy the CD. However, I've made a habit of avoiding Amazon except when it comes to third-party sellers who offer used recordings. Other than that, it's mostly CD Universe, CD Baby, ArkivMusic, Discogs, etc. for me.
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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    Ha, Ha! The thread title threw me. How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music? My answer: They don't! I do quite a bit of classical work in my area and although I enjoy playing classical literature, I don't enjoy listening to it.

    I use itunes and various streaming services. I do not have much music on CDs or albums anymore.

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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    I still buy a CD when I can. It supports the musician, I LIKE seeing them on my shelf, and for something like classical saxophone music, I always like having something that feels more permenent. For more casual stuff, I use Spotify mostly.
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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    I like owning a CD and I don’t quite so much like having music in other forms. Streaming is really not for me. I also listen to quite a lot of radio, mostly news, talk or journalist programs.

    Few years ago I was made aware of the almost limitless availability on blogs on internet of rare and impossible to find on CD recordings, a very commendable operation which many aficionados painstakingly were placing on the internet to be diffused, again this was hardly an infringement of the copyright laws, since this were for the most part over 40 years old originally on LP’s, most of them never been or no longer available in CD form so there wasn’t even the possibility to buy them.

    I got a few and even burned them on CD and printed the booklets but then I realized that for some reason I didn’t enjoy that form of ownership and gave them almost all away.

    Now this form of exchange of rare and impossible to find music has almost died out and that is very sad for those who are into music genres that are simply not broadcasted or impossible to find in the fewer and fewer shops.

    I suppose one could subscribe to one of the many streaming radio services but I mostly listen in the cocoon of my car when going places rather than at home and I don’t do that with my phone connected on the internet (I don’t even use internet on the go really) and connected to the car stereo.

    This is another sore spot.

    Radio (in the Netherlands) in the ether is dying out.

    We no longer have an national AM station, few days ago 747 Khz. was put to sleep forever. Short Waves transmission already disappeared many years ago.

    The FM still resist but the pressure is to put everything on digital radio DAB. The world is changing in a way that it will make it beyond recognition and very soon the only way to do everything will be through the internet.

    The tax office just informed me that we won’t have tax returns communicated to us via the ordinary post but only via internet, which is an act of discrimination for all those ( and I know many) who don't use the internet.

    The other day a journalist reporting from Paris was saying that the telex machines reported the events. I doubt that. It must have been a figure of speech.

    In the Netherlands the telex service has been put to sleep in 2007! We still have a “ telegram “ service but in reality what it is is that we send an Email to a service which then brings a printed email to you, but it is no longer sent as telegrams were always sent.

    Times change and we all find difficult to change with the times.
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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    I have digitized all my music and movies into iTunes. I have a computer dedicated to iTunes Home Sharing. Everything on an external RAID drive with another RAID drive that mirrors the first. Having spent the last 16 years in I.T. I value having a good backup. I now purchase all my music and videos online. Both of our vehicles have the Uconnect 8.4N system with SD slot so we each have all the music at our fingertips while driving. I periodically update the SD cards with the latest purchases.

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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    perhaps not all of us then...
    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some don’t. Those who have the cherries aren’t likely to share them though.

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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    I can't remember the last time I purchased a CD. It has to be pushing 10 years ago. Today I almost exclusively use Soundcloud, Youtube or iTunes and it's a listening experience that rarely lasts any longer than 15 mins at any one time. My listening style is more like having multiple snacks throughout the day as opposed to sitting down and eating a longer meal. If I listen to classical sax, it's often on Soundcloud. There's a good amount of content out there.

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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    As people have expressed an interest in the results of this survey and research, here is a summary of the results:

    CDs are easily the preferred physical format - 88% listen to CDs and 71% listen on speakers and hi-fi systems.

    76% listen on computer speakers, 63% on headphones, and 46% on earbuds.

    The general opinion seems to be that it is good for classical saxophone players to release CDs for many reasons: to increase profile, showing an artistic achievement, moving to another level as far as employers and concert promoters are concerned, and if they are also teachers, attracting students.

    It is doubtful that a classical saxophone CD would make a profit however and most sales seem to be made at the player's recital.

    The most popular format for listening to classical saxophone is YouTube - 93%. Players I have spoken to believe video will become more important online, rather than just audio files.

    It also appears that streaming is the future for most forms of music, including probably classical saxophone.

    For promotion the opinion is that CDs and YouTube are the most useful - excluding live playing of course.

    Thank you to everyone who replied to this thread and took part in the survey.

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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    Quote Originally Posted by LostConn View Post
    I remember a discussion here a year or so ago about a new Rascher Quartet album that was available only as a physical CD, and since there was no North American distributor, the disc had to be mail-ordered from Europe. That struck me as absurdly behind the times.
    Classical players network a lot more tightly. Some aren't interested in marketing period, never mind virtual marketing. As for the RQ, they in particular are content with a small, but intensely serious audience.
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    Default Re: How do classical saxophone players and their audience listen to saxophone music?

    For those who able to get a copy of the U.K. Clarinet and Saxophone Magazine, an article based on my research is published in the Spring issue, which has just been published.

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