The complex evolution of the music publishing industry

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The complex evolution of the music publishing industry

Acting companies in London during the Renaissance were perennially in search of new plays. They usually paid on a piecework basis, to freelance writers.

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Publishing as it is known today depends on a series of three major inventions—writing, paper, and printing—and one crucial social development—the spread of literacy.

Before the invention of writing, perhaps by the Sumerians in the 4th millennium bc, information could be spread only by word of mouth, with all the accompanying limitations of place and time.

Writing was originally regarded not as a means of disseminating information but as a way to fix religious formulations or to secure codes of law, genealogies, and other socially important matters, which had previously been committed to memory.

Publishing could begin only after the monopoly of letters, often held by a priestly caste, had been broken, probably in connection with the development of the value of writing in commerce. Scripts of various kinds came to be used throughout most of the ancient world for proclamations, correspondence, transactions, and records; but book production was confined largely to religious centres of learning, as it would be again later in medieval Europe.

Only in Hellenistic Greece, in Rome, and in China, where there were essentially nontheocratic societies, does there seem to have been any publishing in the modern sense—i. The invention of printing transformed the possibilities of the written word.

Printing seems to have been first invented in China in the 6th century ad in the form of block printing. An earlier version may have been developed at the beginning of the 1st millennium bc, but, if so, it soon fell into disuse. The Chinese invented movable type in the 11th century ad but did not fully exploit it.

Other Chinese inventions, including paper adwere passed on to Europe by the Arabs but not, it seems, printing. The invention of printing in Europe is usually attributed to Johannes Gutenberg in Germany about —50, although block printing had been carried out from about In less than 50 years it had been carried through most of Europe, largely by German printers.

Printing in Europe is inseparable from the Renaissance and Reformation. It grew from the climate and needs of the first, and it fought in the battles of the second. It has been at the heart of the expanding intellectual movement of the past years.

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Although printing was thought of at first merely as a means of avoiding copying errors, its possibilities for mass-producing written matter soon became evident. Infor instance, 18, letters of indulgence were printed at Barcelona. The market for books was still small, but literacy had spread beyond the clergy and had reached the emerging middle classes.

The church, the state, universities, reformers, and radicals were all quick to use the press. Freedom of the press was pursued and attacked for the next three centuries; but by the end of the 18th century a large measure of freedom had been won in western Europe and North Americaand a wide range of printed matter was in circulation.

The mechanization of printing in the 19th century and its further development in the 20th, which went hand in hand with increasing literacy and rising standards of education, finally brought the printed word to its powerful position as a means of influencing minds and, hence, societies.

The functions peculiar to the publisher—i. With increasing specialization, however, publishing became, certainly by the 19th century, an increasingly distinct occupation.It is futile at this early stage, however, to anticipate the new publishing landscape in detail or to specify the rate of evolution, which will be sporadic and complex, or the future role of traditional publishers as digitization advances along a ragged and diverse front, while .

turn to the live music sector, in Section VII, offering some descriptive data on general movements during the new millennium. Finally, Section VIII includes general conclusions as they relate to the future of the music industry.

Book publishing

II. Industry Overview Today, the music industry in the United States faces its largest challenges to date.

With music sales still growing, the objections to taping are largely unheard. By the late s, music sales slide, and the record companies begin an industry-wide campaign to curb home taping. Until the early 20 th century, music publishing referred exclusively to the printing and sale of sheet music.

In the contemporary business model, music publishers secure rights to original material and exploit those rights by licensing the material for recording, airplay, inclusion in films and television, and a myriad of other commercial uses.

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The complex evolution of the music publishing industry

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