This week in music: 7/29 – 8/4

Technological advances turn out to be bad for music

A former music producer discusses how much the music industry has changed in the past couple decades, comparing the downward trend in music to an upward trend in technology. Making money as a musician has become much more difficult in recent years. (From Forbes)

 

Non-profit organization brings music to inmates

The organization, called Jail Guitar Doors USA, works in prisons across the country, conducting weekly song-writing and performance workshops for the prisoners. Professional musician Wayne Kramer, who played in the band MC5, is a co-founder of the 5-year-old organization. (From USA Today)

 

New Jersey music festival creates havoc for police

The Electronic Adventure concert in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, as part of a touring music festival, resulted in 42 arrests during the two-day event. Local police were not told about the event until Wednesday July 30. Thirty-four people were also treated for different sicknesses at the concert. (From The Star-Ledger and NJ.com)

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This week in music: 7/22 – 7/28

Playing an instrument helps kids learn

Contrasting with previous studies finding that listening to music will improve IQs, newer studies have shown that learning how to play an instrument can significantly, and more consistently, improve academic performance. With many low-budget schools cutting music programs, these findings could act as a valuable deterrent for this trend. (From KQED and The Times and Democrat)

 

Questlove’s new show brings back music television

The band leader of the influential band The Roots has created a show on VH1, called SoundClash, that features three acts of different genres performing together. Playing on Wednesday nights, the show’s three guests for this week are Sia, Ed Sheeran and Grouplove. (From The Daily Beast)

 

Streaming services have big decisions to make

In the first six months of 2014, more than 70 percent of music consumption was through downloads or music streaming, according to Nielsen SoundScan data. Even so, 70 percent of Spotify’s revenue pays for music royalties, meaning profit is difficult to achieve consistently. (From Quartz)

This week in music: 7/15 – 7/21

Music therapy may be deceiving in dementia cases

A Dartmouth College professor believes that music therapy might not be as beneficial as studies and television documentaries have shown. The professor said that music may be stimulating false memories instead of reviving memories. (From The Atlantic)

 

Music industry once again is in decline

A mid-year music report has shown a 15 percent drop in album sales and the growth in online streaming services is a large factor. Vinyl album sales are the only part of the industry to see growth, with a 40.4 percent increase so far this year, according to the report. (From the Chicago Tribune)

 

Man found dead at Canadian music festival

21-year-old man was found deceased in his tent at the Pemberton Music Festival on Friday July 18. The festival, which takes place in British Columbia, Canada, ended Sunday July 20 but, even though foul play is suspected, no suspects have been named. (From Billboard and CBC News)

 

Radiohead set to record new album

The popular alternative band are beginning to work on their ninth studio album, the first album since 2011. The band has decided to meet sometime after summer, but members already have been emailing ideas to each other. (From The Guardian)

This week in music: 7/8 – 7/14

Famous recording studio set to be sold

The property containing a historic Nashville studio, called RCA Studio A, is being sold to a developer. Even though the news has sparked protest among music enthusiasts, owner Harold Bradley said he has tried to sell to a music company for decades but was unsuccessful. (From NPR)

 

New application simplifies music sharing

A team headed by two former Boston College students has created an iOS application that allows people to share music across multiple music streaming services, such as Spotify and Soundcloud. The application became available on Apple products on July 11. (From BostInno)

 

Music found to help Alzheimer’s patients communicate

A small-scale study, published in the Journal of Music Therapy, shows that music therapy sessions can be beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease patients, confirming the results of prior studies on the subject. The study focused on playing music that was popular during the patient’s youth to stimulate diminished communication skills.(From FoxNews)

This week in music: 7/1 – 7/7

Chimpanzees now found to have an ear for music

study conducted by Emory University professors found that the primates prefer certain music (Indian ragas and Akan music from West Africa) to silence. The results are significant, as previous experiments had shown that chimpanzees preferred silence to any kind of music. (From io9 and the Journal of Experimental Psychology)

 

Digital downloads beginning to mirror CD sales

According to a Nielsen SoundScan report, digital album sales are down nearly 12 percent and singles sales are down 13 percent when compared to 2013. The growing popularity of digital streaming services may be partially to blame, as the report showed a 42 percent increase in songs accessed that way. (From The New York Times)

 

Independent music chooses a different path for online streaming

With the success of major label artists on music streaming websites, some independent labels are partnering with smaller servicers, such as Drip.fm, in order to connect with their fans. (From The New York Times)

This week in music: 6/24 – 6/30

New book points to profound impact of music

A neuroscience professor is publishing a book, titled “This Is Your Brain On Music,” discussing that listening to music may enhance creativity. Even though volume and tempo are important factors, music genre does not seem to be as influential as previously thought. (From the Huffington Post)

 

Katy Perry becomes biggest digital seller

The pop singer has sold more than 70 million digital singles to date, a dominant statistic when considering it was achieved in an industry less than two decades old and the next closest artist, Rihanna, has sold 20 million fewer. (From CNN)

 

Google Glass to transform music technology

The system, which looks like a pair of glasses and is worn the same way, allows performers to stream concerts live and easily record music. Google Glass was made available for sale in the United States in May and the United Kingdom in June. (From Billboard Magazine)

This week in music: 6/17 – 6/23

Google clashes with indie musicians over new service

The Internet powerhouse is in the process of launching a new music-streaming service via YouTube, which Google owns. Google’s terms for inclusion in the service, however, are seen as unfair by a few independent labels. (From CBS News.)

 

Music streaming now playing a part in UK singles chart

After over a decade of online downloads and Internet sales, the UK top 40 singles chart will now count music-streaming data from sites, such as Spotify, in its rankings. Legal online downloads have been part of the chart since 2005. (From The Guardian)

 

Professor’s app simplifies songwriting

A University of New Mexico professor has created an iPhone application that allows people who may not play instruments to create music. The application is already being reviewed for use at more than 20 public schools in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (From the Albuquerque Journal)