Inside the Music Business

By Tony Barrow; Julian Newby | Go to book overview

17

The songwriter

Few generalizations can be made about the job of the songwriter. No two songwriters write in the same way; no two songwriters earn the same amount of money for their work; and songwriters cannot predict how much they might earn this year or the next, or can ever guarantee that, as from tomorrow, they will ever earn a single penny from their craft again. As a songwriter you can earn vast sums of money, but you can also hit the lowest lows the music business has to offer.

Songwriting is pretty well the only job in the business in which you have to start from scratch with every project. A guitarist can buy a better guitar, take tips from fellow guitarists, develop an on-stage style and, with practice, will almost always improve from one day to the next. A manager can mould and develop an act and learn and develop management skills as the act grows in stature and in confidence. Publishers and A&R people will learn from experience how to find, how to nurture and how to sell their acts and their properties, and producers are learning new tricks of the trade all the time—often aided by new technology which is racing ahead of every other trend in the business.

Meanwhile, having finished one song, the songwriter moves to the next one facing the same blank sheet of paper, facing the same fears over whether or not the publisher, the manager and the band will like or even understand this next piece of work, and facing the frustrating fact that no one, least of all the songwriter, knows how or when the next song will be complete and,

-167-

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Inside the Music Business
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements xii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Getting Inside the Music Business 12
  • 3 - The Record Company 19
  • 4 - Artist Management 32
  • 5 - The Publisher 44
  • 6 - The Negotiators 56
  • 7 - The A&R Person 63
  • 8 - The Producer 72
  • 9 - Marketing a Release 82
  • 10 - Video 91
  • 11 - Press and Public Relations 103
  • 12 - Music and the Media 117
  • 13 - The Concert Promoter 132
  • 14 - The Merchandisers 141
  • 15 - The Fan Club 149
  • 16 - The Artist 158
  • 17 - The Songwriter 167
  • 18 - The Session Player 176
  • 19 - On the Road 186
  • 20 - The Star 196
  • 21 - The Summing Up 205
  • Appendix A 210
  • Appendix B 222
  • Index 229
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