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Discernment. Online










In the USA,  big music producers often create a band or a genre


'I was at a concert where Jagjit Singh blended a couple of his melodies with such sheer brilliance that almost everyone in the audience was taken through a journey of tears one moment and joy the next'
'I would be very pleased to get in touch with promoters and venues in Chennai to bring some of our artistes to India'

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Selling style, not content

The music market is ruled by the producers' desire to sell a 'lifestyle' to the teen market,  says Durga Prasad


I would like to add the following to the mail related to music pricing.

Although the response by Mr Anshu Jayaswal is quite good, it does not give the whole picture. This is not to take away anything from Lahari which offers low-priced music.

Music companies no longer sell just music. They sell a lifestyle to teens, tweens and youth in general who are the most important buyers of music. Especially in the USA, the big music producers often create a band, or a genre of music -- witness the growth of various boybands or a Britney Spears. Here the criterion is saleability of the stars and not the music they create. These stars are good looking and dance very well but their musical abilities are questionable. In effect music producers decide the way the music market emerges.

This involves huge marketing expenditure. But good marketing does not always sell junk music. Since not all albums sell well, pricing is atrociously high. This is again the reason why not-so-hot sellers are quickly sold at discounts and compilations brought out of hit songs from various albums.

My contention is, if promotional expenditure is reduced and sample availability improved, the "Really Good Music" will get filtered in by itself. Let the market decide what is good and what is not. I am talking about "pull" marketing rather than "push" marketing as is done now.

This will cut costs in more ways than one. Marketing costs are low, production and distribution costs are reduced, and huge inventories of all sorts of music need not be maintained. This reduces inventory costs. Of course lead time for production needs to be reduced and the music companies need to be faster in their response to demand spikes.

It is a well known arguement on various Internet postings that if the music appeals to a person, it is bought even at present day prices. So, at a lower price, it will obviously sell more and improve returns. At least that's what pricing theory tells us!

Warm wishes for the new year.

Durga Prasad

In praise of Jagjit Singh

I have strong objection to a few words in your review of Visaal.

While I do not have any reservations in agreeing to your praise of Ghulam Ali, who is par excellence in rendering ghazals, it was totally uncalled for on your part to have the following paragraph in your otherwise wonderful review:

"Ghulam Ali is far superior to Jagjit Singh and Hariharan, both in the way he handles his voice and his imagination. Jagjit Singh does not much care for improvisation, and tends to simplify and then oversimplify what he sings. Hariharan takes his flexible voice through incredible acrobatics which distract from the words. Pankaj Udhas does not have rigour, and Anup Jalota is lost in the world of bhajans."

I was hurt to see the reviewer blatantly criticize Jagjit Singh and Hariharan. It was a bit disappointing that you have generalized Jagjitji's and Hariharan's ghazal rendering. If you feel that Jagjit Singh does not care much for improvization, I will gladly send you some free tickets to one of his concerts... I was in a concert where he blended a couple of his melodies with such sheer brilliance that almost everyone in the audience was taken through a journey of tears one moment and joy the next. It is still fresh in my memory after 2 years! You have surely hurt every single Jagjitji's fan with your words.

Please don't get into comparison of things when you review some items. If we have to praise Switzerland's landscapes, would we have to take come other country as an example and say it is not equally appealing? Why do we have to do that at all?

Being an ardent fan of The Music Magazine, where unbiased reviews are written, it bleeds my heart to say that I may not wish to come back to the site any more, where for the first time I found that one artist's talent is attacked to make the other look better. If a Jagjit fan reads this review, I will have company in sharing these thoughts.

Why is it a standard practice to criticize one to praise another (aka Coke vs Pepsi )??!!

Tipparaju Shailendra

(There is no question that Jagjit Singh can improvise brilliantly, and he does that at all his live concerts. But he has himself gone on record several times to say that he simplifies his singing in order to reach a wider audience. Jagjit Singh has recorded several albums where he sings a fixed number of lines with more or less predetermined phrases -- unlike at a live concert where he musically interprets a line of poetry several times over, interacts spontaneously with his accompanists, and builds up a world of varied hues. The point of the review was that dumbing down works against the artiste's true creativity. After all, it was Jagjit Singh's improvisational creativity that made Shailendra ecstatic at the live concert. Jagjit Singh's studio recordings neglect this aspect of his art. -- Ed)

Shava shava source

I have listened to Shava shava from K3G. In the song, there are some Punjabi folk lyrics. It seems this part of the song comes from a popular folk song. Could you please tell me which soundtrack and which album it is from, if a recording exists.


Jazz tours in South-east Asia

Besides the distribution of ECM records from Germany and all related record labels like ECM New Series, Carmo, Watt, Xtra-Watt, Rune Gramophone and Japo in all South-east Asian countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei), Unisono sdn bhd, located in Kuala Lumpur/ Malaysia organize jazz concerts with national and international artistes in this region.

Beginning of 2003, IMG World has booked Keith Jarrett for two concerts in Kuala Lumpur and some other ECM artists like Dave Holland and Jan Garbarek are planning for the 2002 season.

I would be very pleased to get in touch with promoters and venues in Chennai to bring some of our artistes to India (and of course the other way round too).

Klaus Thiemann 

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