Friday, August 26, 2016

Music and the Numbers

We were just talking about music as a business and coincidentally a friend sent me this link: Pop Singer Taylor Swift Gives $50,000 to Seattle Symphony. I saw this a few days ago, but it didn't strike me as blogable. But in conjunction with my last post, there might be something to note. I was saying before that classical music has always needed the support of an enlightened minority because it has never been feasible as a business. So three cheers to Taylor Swift for her contribution. If every pop diva contributed...

But let's put this in context. Taylor Swift's 2016 earnings, according to Forbes, are $170,000,000 USD. $50,000 is a little less than 3/100ths of a percent of her income. If I were to give a proportional amount of my modest income it would be, let me do the math here,  $15! What the numbers tell us is that the very wealthy only need to contribute a small amount of their resources in order to give healthy support to classical music. The question we should be asking is what would encourage them to make these modest contributions?

3 comments:

Christine Lacroix said...

She also just recently donated 50 000 $ to a Louisiana food bank in response to the flooding. JKRowling lost her billionaire status recently from giving away so much money. God it must feel good to be able to do that!

Marc Puckett said...

Your point is well taken but alas I have no influence on the Beyoncés and Biebers of the contemporary world. Locally, that Nike fellow (well, he's in Portland or wherever; Phil Knight) gives hundreds of millions of dollars to the University of Oregon for games and team uniforms; I doubt writing a polite letter would have much effect-- on the other hand, of course, I have no idea what gifts he may make to the arts &c &c; I believe that there are web sites that collect that sort of information? Perhaps the Grammys people need to hire an executive or two who will make the classical part of the show a more visible part of their annual production? I don't watch or pay attention to them myself but am presuming that the classical awards &c happen outside of prime time, the way the more technical honors are bestowed at the Oscars (or were given, anyway, when last I watched).

Bryan Townsend said...

Wow, I didn't realize that JK Rowling had been that generous! Of course, any more than five or ten million, unless you have BIG plans, is really pointless, so why not give it away?

It's my feeling that the best plan is to simply play and compose the best music we can and try to let people know how great it is. That is pretty much the point of this blog.