Making Money With Music is the holy grail of happiness.*
If you can make money with music, you can do what you love and make a living. And if you do what you love, you’ll likely do it well. You may even do it so well you get rich.
There is a catch, however: Music doesn’t feed people. Music doesn’t put beams in ceilings or tiles on floors. Music doesn’t let you travel to see your loved ones, or talk to them over vast distances. Music won’t help you produce widgets faster. Music doesn’t share information quickly all over the world, and music won’t remember you when you next listen to it. Music doesn’t even teach you how to do any of these things. Music will not keep your credit card information safely, and it certainly won’t make your computer work better. Music has no effect on your body odor, and it is hardly worth using as a quick snack. Music might lift your spirits, but it can also make you depressed. Music won’t come and cuddle up on your lap.
So why the heck does any one listen to music at all?
Music is in the same esoteric, ill-defined, hard-to-measure area as faith healing, astrology and pop psychology. It’s really hard to say anything certain about it at all, but it’s all over the place.
Music can tell stories, but that’s more of something that is done on top of the music. When a song about great heroes, great protest or great love is sung, the music just sits there nonchalantly and is. The meaning we “get” from the song is the meaning of the words that we know, but we don’t need to speak music to get music. It teaches itself.
There is no doubt music has an effect on us: Heavy metal is a great way to feel okay being angry. Minimal Electro is a great way to feel relaxed, unmoved and special. And my favorite, Funk, is a great way to feel good about being different.
So, it would seem, any kind of musical performance has in common the potential for you to feel something.
Now that’s kind of neat; razor blade producers and computer vendors are bending over backwards to find a way for you to get really excited and feel something about their cold, machine-like products, but if you can strap three wires on a stick you have direct access to the holy grail of consumer marketing.
* If you were to say this is a very subjective statement, I would agree.