Music in the past came in physical formats such as albums, CDs, eight-track tapes, and so on. Today streaming music is very popular. Over the past decade, CDs have seen their sales fall over 80% and even digital downloads are going through the same downturn. Streaming music, on the other hand, has surged. The only thing that is really left in the physical landscape for music is vinyl which is having a bit of a come back because it is retro. Despite the fact that we’re using streaming music more often we can learn a lot about physical music formats And how they impact our music.
We have a deep connection at to music do to the album art. Think of some of your favorite bands and favor and then you probably associate that music with the actual album art. In the digital space, album art is still important because people want to get an impression of your music and they can get this through the artwork. If you want to draw listeners to your music, album art even online is important.
Many people have experimented with long albums or short albums but the range is usually around 30 to 50 minutes for a decent album. Regular vinyl albums used to have about 20 minutes per side. This is usually the standard for a decent album. if you have one that is too long it might not draw The listener in as much as something that is shorter. there are of course exceptions but this is the general rule.
In the past, we used to get up to turn the album over to the other side. There used to be periods of silence before the album was turned over. Since the artist knew that the album was going to be turned over they would strategically choose the opening track of the B side of their album. Often they would put the softer songs at the end of the first side to get the listener ready for the second side. Space between songs is ideal as our ear is used to hearing this and it can prime the listener for the next song. Music today still uses this sequencing because we are so used to hearing it from the albums of the past.
In the past, there was importance on the single or the single 45 RPM. Many people would collect the singles and this was a form of playlist building because individuals wanted to collect the most popular songs. Today, we still talk of singles but it’s not the 45 RPMs we used to collect but the most popular songs from the album or the main track. The single for your album should be the strongest song that can stand on its own.
When you had a physical medium the label on the artist could say something about the music. The individual could read the liner notes inside the album to learn more about the artist or the actual album. Albums would also include promotional items and sometimes extra material that the listener could collect. Any way that you can provide this sort of information for the listener in today’s music medium is ideal. You should list the band members, their roles, and everyone that worked on the album so that people can understand your band and the album that you have created. You can also provide links to promotional materials if you have them or your band page.
Another thing you can learn from physical music from the past is that people allowed to collect music. Your record collection was a part of you and it was a part of who you were growing up. there were certain albums that people just have to have. Albums today can still help to form our identity even if they are in the digital form. You want to create something that people are going to treasure and something that is going to be a part of their life for many years to come even if they are just viewing the content online. That sense of owning something that is a part of our musical history should still be the goal of any artist.
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