The following Letter to The Editor is in response to the editorial, The day the music died, which appeared in the Northern Pen, June 11.
First, let me say your writer is obviously not a musician trying to make a living. The claim that the new rules are a death knell for music is a bit grandiose. What about the independent musicians struggling to make a subsistence income? They work hard to write and play and record music only to have others help themselves to it. Then, in an ultimate slap in the face, they use it as a backdrop to their most important occasions, all the while the musician who wrote and performed it gets left out in the cold. Why don’t more people have the musician in person perform the piece of music?
My family and I have been performing for years and producing music, and we love it, and I make a living doing it. I also give hundreds of dollars after every performance to a local charity. My work has value and it is not free for me to travel and provide it, so I should be compensated. I sell albums at my shows and I live on the income. Why should someone feel free to rip me off by downloading it without compensating the artist?
Our real enemy here is not rules trying to ensure we get paid, it is the fat cat middle-people taking money from us to ensure we are able to sell our music. That is why we as a group have chosen to go independent and represent ourselves. These rules may not be effective but that is not really important to me. They do start in a small way to say there is some value in what I do. Think about that next time you have a funeral, wedding, or family celebration. Behind every song is a songwriter, musician and performer who relies on income to survive. Why not hire a musician for your next event.