Sources of Music
Is the music you listen to renewable, inexhaustible, or nonrenewable? Think about it.
Renewable, Inexhaustible, or Nonrenewable?
If we talk about generating electricity, we often talk about the future lying in renewable and inexhaustible sources of energy. I think we can apply similar understanding to our sources of music.
RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES: “Wood constitutes a renewable energy source, but only if it is used at a rate that is equal to or less than its rate of regeneration. Other growing plants, such as hemp, corn and straw, can be used for biomass power creation and then grown again the next year.” (source)
INEXHAUSTIBLE ENERGY SOURCES: “Wind, solar and hydroelectric power provide energy from sunlight, air movement and evaporation (in the form of water that rises from the ocean, falls on the land, enters rivers and subsequently passes through the turbines in dams).” (source)
NONRENEWABLE ENERGY: “Nonrenewable energy sources have a finite existence. Chief among these are oil, natural gas, coal and uranium for nuclear power.” (We are all aware by now that nonrenewable sources of energy are not a good long term plan for the health of our planet and society). (source)
However, when it comes to finding sources of music, there is one fundamental difference that matters: Electricity is fungible.
One kilowatt of electricity can be substituted for any other kilowatt of electricity and it’s basically all the same (I’m sure there are technical exceptions to this but the basic idea stands).
Music is not. If one minute of music is substituted with *any other* minute of music, the result is certainly different. While a source of new music might seem inexhaustible, it is not. If it is not renewed, it will run out.
New Music is Renewable but not Inexhaustible.
Many recent developments in the music industry have come to treat music as an inexhaustible resource. We believe that there are no inexhaustible sources of new music. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: musicians are exhausted!
Like the fossil fuel industry before them, many stars of the music industry rely on the processing and resale of resources extracted from large, but ultimately exhaustible resources:
- They mine the archives of every musician who has ever been recorded.
- They use music of - and often take money from - active musicians without supporting the ecosystems required to renew them.
Sure, mining the archives for music can throw up some beautiful surprises. It’s certainly a worthwhile endeavour. But it is also an exhaustible resource, and it does little to create new works of art for people to enjoy.
Instead, it is vital that we focus on actively renewing and reviving the sources of new music that we love, to ensure that musicians can continue to create, learn, and teach.
At Groovalo, it's our mission to foster healthy music ecosystems and equip creative musicians to thrive. By including musicians and their communities in our success - through our artist profit sharing and our community partnerships (more on that soon!) - we are focused on investing in renewable music and doing everything we can to support active creative musicians as the ultimate renewable resource of new music.
Let’s think about where our music comes from. Let’s all find more renewable music and support it, however we can.