Music is a universal love language that not only transcends cultures and continents but changes and morphs as it goes. Each people group throughout history has uniquely expressed core aspects of their cultural identity through the art of creating and sharing music. This form of expression is both science and art and is a deep part of the human experience.
While almost anyone can relate to the experience of enjoying music there is a profound love that people have for music, when creating is their passion. Creating music is as broad a category as the range of various styles that you can enjoy listening to. Everything from singing to perfecting an instrument to learning how to work with various recording software all come under the guise of music creation.
Yes, most people start with their first guitar or piano lesson, however, within the music industry, there is a huge variety of jobs and skills that people can learn. The most amazing part of the music industry is how truly massive it is and how important the various roles that it is comprised of are.
If you have been wondering about how the music industry works, here is a three-part guide that breaks down some very basic concepts that will help give you a better grasp!
Part 1: The Artist(s)
No doubt, when someone says the words ‘music industry’ this is perhaps the very first thing that pops into the mind. Whether it’s global hit sensations like Adele and Taylor Swift, or a local indie band playing their first show at an outdoor bar and grill, the artist is the most instantly recognizable part of the music industry.
While there is typically an army of talent, dedication, and skillsets behind any successful artist that expands well past their own capabilities, the truth still remains that the music does come from the artist. Yes, Micheal Jackson wouldn’t have been Micheal Jackson without the army of technicians, producers, and the thousands who make music distribution a reality, helping turn the King of Pop into a legend, however, Micheal Jackson himself is unreproducible.
The ‘it’ element of an artist, from Elton John to Billie Eilish is unique, powerful, and has the ability to touch hearts and minds all over the world. These incredible humans have a natural gift, and years of honing discipline to be able to craft moments of music that can transcend cultures and reach around the globe.
With modern technology making recording and music distribution more accessible than it ever has been, a mass insurgence of new art has given birth in recent years. Artists that are able to produce, and distribute their music from the comfort of their own homes have allowed for a whole new level of sharing music that is revolutionizing the way people view art itself.
Part 2: The Producers
When it comes to creating music that captures a generation and stands the test of time – nearly as important as the magic of the ‘it’ factor that comes from the artist, is the skill and pairing of a great producer.
A music producer represents more than just a financial investment, although they can be financially invested in the process of developing an artist’s music. Instead, music producers are skilled technicians, the true architects of the music industry that not only help develop the full potential of an artist but connect those artists to the right audiences. A truly legendary producer will never simply create music from an artist, but instead will draw out the very best.
These producers are not just highly skilled in the art and discipline of music, but deeply understand the recording process and are innovative in capturing the artists they produce. These figures can have a hand in all aspects of an artist’s musical journey from pre-production, production, and post-production decisions and guidance.
Part 3: The Audience
The most important aspect of the music industry is always going to be the audience. The people who love an artist’s music don’t necessarily give it value, however, they prove the need for artists to commit to honing their skills and producing art. Music is meant to be enjoyed, and it is one of the greatest simple pleasures of life itself.
With the constant evolution of technology, artists and producers are actually finding more intimate ways of connecting the listener to the music than ever before. With more and more access being gained through streaming platforms, audiences can now enjoy music like they never have. The music industry is vast, and there is a wide variety of functions and skills that people can find to plug into and get involved.