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FORBES: That ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket. I think the liberal arts degrees can be fantastic, provided that they actually contain sufficient academic rigor and are representative of some of the amazing achievements and insights of mankind.

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BREITBART: 5 REASONS THE MUSIC BUSINESS IS IN THE TOILET. “Sales of recorded music have declined by 70 percent since 1999, even while adjusting for inflation, according to Boluk. After years of sustained growth, digital music downloads from online outlets like iTunes have also begun to decline.” I’m not sure if it’s a side effect or a cause, but it is unfortunately the music business has focused solely on entertainment and given up on artistic excellence.

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JULIE PARSONS: Don’t Wait To Make Art. “That might be simplifying, but there it is. What you do matters. So, be encouraged. Not one of us lives a small life. Each of us, each of us musicians influence others by our music, an outpouring of self. It is an art that has no concreteness, it is momentary and fleeting, and sometimes we feel it might have been insignificant. It is not.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME: Happy Birthday Copyright Bombshell: New Evidence Warner Music Previously Hid Shows Song Is Public Domain.

In other words, there’s pretty damning conclusive evidence that “Happy Birthday” is in the public domain and the Clayton Summy company knew it. Even worse, this shows that Warner/Chappel has long had in its possession evidence that the song was at least published in 1927 contrary to the company’s own claims in court and elsewhere that the song was first published in 1935. We’ll even leave aside the odd “blurring” of the songbook, which could just be a weird visual artifact. This latest finding at least calls into question how honest Warner/Chappel has been for decades in arguing that everyone needs to pay the company to license “Happy Birthday” even as the song was almost certainly in the public domain.

It’s been reported for years that the company brings in somewhere around $2 million per year off of the song — and it’s looking like none of that money should have been paid.

Yikes.

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SOME INTERESTING BACKGROUND ON THE HISTORY OF CHORALNET by Jack Senzig with an interview of Jim Feiszli.

By that point (fall of 1993), there were about 100 subscribers to ACDAlist. Gene Brooks was notoriously skeptical of all things computer, refusing to even turn one on. Well, some enthusiastic person, I do not recall who (wasn’t me), got a notice posted in the Choral Journal about ACDAlist and urging everyone with email access to join. Now, naïve me, I had assumed all along that this list was officially OK with Gene and the elected Board.  Lo and behold, when I got back from sabbatical in October there was fax in my mailbox (remember faxes?) from the national ACDA president, dated two months earlier, in essence asking, “who the hell are you and who said you could use the term ACDAlist?” Now, mind you, I had just come off eight years of ACDA leadership service and had declined to run for division president because of ACDAlist. And Lynn Whitten was the current national President-Elect!
 
So, I copied the fax into an email and submitted to the subscribers of ACDAlist asking what they thought we should do – kill the list? (Lynn and Walter were both subscribers). Shit-storm.  First of all, the sender of the fax was angry because he thought I’d been ignoring him, and then he was furious that I would publicize this fax.  Some subscribers expressed dismay that the list wasn’t “official” and quit. I, of course, thought it had all been cleared up there somewhere. But the majority of the list subscribers (99% ACDA members, BTW), said, “No matter what, do not kill the list. Change the name if necessary.” So we changed the name to Choralist.

 

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JERRY SEINFELD’S ADVICE FOR Managing Stress Under Pressure: “Seinfeld revealed a quirky method for calming his nerves in the Seinfeld TV show writer’s room: he would look at space photographs taken by the Hubble Space Telescope to remind him how insignificant everything can be perceived.