Pinching (or taking back) ideas from popular music: Placing the concept album in contemporary classical music.
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Success in marketing classical music depends largely on three key factors: the size and status of the CD release label; the status and image of the performers and composers; and the repertoire presented. Marketing CDs of newly written contemporary classical music by Australian or international composers with performers who are not internationally known and through a small, independent Australian label, is, therefore, a difficult task with a resulting struggle to obtain airplay, recognition and sales. This paper reports findings from several projects that involved the marketing of just such newly written Australian music. The authors are the practice-led researchers who are actively engaged in the projects. Because of the challenges described above, we anticipated difficulties in getting airplay, recognition and sales, and we responded by turning to the idea of the concept album. This paper, therefore, looks at the concept album as a potential strategy for classical composers and performers to locate new ways of programming works, ordering CD tracks, and placing their music into the listening community.
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