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Determining artist royalties in the music industry

The methods publishers use to divide up artists` royalties in the music industry.

Recording executives` jobs require that they determine who their customers are and what they want, and in order to do this they must have access to adequate resources for researching current market trends. BDS (Broadcast Data Systems), SoundScan, and Billboard charts are extremely helpful to executives in making decisions, however they are not infallible.

BDS is a complex computer system that reads encoded data streams in each song played on the radio. This feature enables it to count the number of times a song is broadcast each day - useful in determining the popularity of certain songs (whether or not they are in heavy or light rotation, and for how long) as well as reporting to ASCAP, BMI, and similar organizations in order to determine an artist`s royalties. BDS seems to work the best out of all the systems because of its 98-99% accuracy rate in compiling songs, however as radio seems mostly to be the slave to advertisement that most media outlets are, I don`t think it`s necessarily a good judge of what the general populace wants to hear.

SoundScan is another computer system that works in chain stores and large retailers across the country to track music sales. Total sales are compiled and published in reports for record execs to see who`s selling and who`s not. Again, a good idea on the surface, but we must keep in mind that smaller retailers do not often have access to the SoundScan service, and they do provide for about one-third of all music sales. Bear in mind also that smaller "ma and pa" stores often have a greater customer loyalty for their ability to allow the customer to special order, preview CDs before purchase, and often being tailored to fit a more local or specific flavor of music that may not be available elsewhere, which can account for some very popular music groups that have not gotten major label consideration but are nonetheless formidable contenders in the music business (i.e.: The Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews Band, and many others).

Thirdly, recording executives can rely upon Billboard Magazine`s charts to show the top 100 ranking of songs played on the radio and sold each month. The charts show how long the song / album has been in the top 100, and what rank it received for each week. This can be a useful guide to a band`s long term and short-term success or failure, but unfortunately it is subject to the same error margins as BDS and SoundScan.

In my opinion, none of the above systems work as well as they should to determine trends in music consumerism; however, trend-setting is key to an artist`s longevity in the music business, and without some method of tracking current market trends, recording executives could not make adequate decisions regarding contractual obligations for the artist, pay rates, and promotional considerations among others. So, perhaps in the future, improvements can be made to introduce a cheaper, more widely available method of music sales tracking that would cover not only large retail outlets but smaller stores as well; or, improving the power or range of the BDS system to cover local and short-band radio stations as well as larger, corporate sponsored ones.

Written by Sabrina Surovec -

Uncommon Ragas: Hem Kalyan and Khem Kalyan

In this feature we shall discuss the aprachalita (uncommon) Ragas Hem Kalyan and Khem Kalyan. These melodies have been part of the Hindustani armoury for well over 100 years but are rarely heard in today's mehfil. Most of the active performers are scarcely acquainted with their essence and recordings of the older masters are few and far between thus thwarting efforts towards meaningful retrieval. The two rAgas have much to recommend them by way of aesthetic merit and deserve wider recognition and revival through performance. Throughout the promenade , M = shuddha and m = teevra madhyam.

Raga Hem Kalyan

There is no Kalyan-anga in this rAga and hence some purists refer to it as just Hem. The rAga employs all shuddha swaras. The nishAd is very weak (alpa), the rishab and dhaivat are rendered alpa in Arohi movements. Hem Kalyan's signature is embedded in a characteristic tonal sentence in the mandra saptak given by: S, P' D' P' S. Most of the tonal activity occurs in the mandra and in the poorvAnga of the madhya saptak. A supporting cluster - G M P G M R S - reminiscent of Kamod is often encountered; so is the P-S-P coupling. The declining S-P' or S"-P swoop is mediated by a meeND. The dhAtu of Hem Kalyan is encapsulated in the following three sentences:

S, P' D' P' S, S R S G M R S P' D' P' S

S M G P, P G M R S, G M D, P, P D P S"

S" P D P, P S" D P, G M D, P, P G M P G M R S, P' D' P' S

It will be observed from the foregoing swara constructions that the rAga contours are not only vakra but there are frequent wide intervals to be negotiated. The space for AlApchAri is thus modest and there is limited facility for straight up and and down tAns. These considerations render the rAga out of bounds to all but the most capable performers and perhaps accounts for its relative obscurity.

In his Abhinava Geetanjali, Volume 4, Ramashreya Jha "Ramrang" makes a distinction between Hem and Hem Kalyan. In his view, the former is what we have just discussed above whereas Hem Kalyan obtains from the avarohi use of the teevra madhyam as well and the Kalyanic treatment of rishab.

The line-up of clips has the masters at play. Hem Kalyan, with its heavily vakra build, is not naturally suited to Amir Khan's gAyaki but the great man rises to the occasion and turns in a brilliant rendition. He opens with the vilambit composition, daiyyA ri maiN kAse jAya pukAruN, credited to "Sadarang," the original Hem Kalyan bandish universally regarded as the carrier of the rAga's kernel. Amir Khan unwinds in vilambit jhoomrA and then adds his own Tarana for the druta item:

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