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Re: videos and music and music sales
I don't think there's any single concrete element one can add to any
type of music to make people accept it more. By concrete elements, I'm
talking about things like video, audience participation, unusual
instruments, cowbell, synth washes, drum machines, etc.
Video in particular is often a distraction from the music, except in
cases where the two were purposefully created together as a single
My theory for musical success in any genre (myself being a relatively
unsuccessful musician) goes something like this:
--Develop a unique and clear musical persona.
--Think about which elements of your performance highlight your
musical persona, and which elements detract from it.
--Consider that you have an audience, or at least a potential
audience. When you play in public or create an album, it should be for
your audience, rather than for yourself.
--The audience wants to hear you, as you can best represent yourself.
They don't necessarily want you to play things they've heard before or
would expect from other musicians.
--Lastly, dumb luck. The people who have the most success in any kind
of music not only follow the above 3 steps, but their musical personas
happen to be something that a lot of people want to listen to.
And if you make "challenging" music, never describe it to people that
way. Telling people, "Hey, let's listen to some challenging music" is
like saying "Hey, let's do some calculus for fun!" You may get some
takers, but they'll be the musical equivalent of math nerds. (And
about as common as math nerds.) There are lots of people who liked
Frank Zappa, Philip Glass, John Cage, John Zorn, Einsturzende
Neubauten, The Residents, Nurse With Wound, etc long before they found
out the music was supposed to be "challenging".