Free Online Traditional Irish Music. How much does it help you?

It never ceases to amaze me how much free traditional Irish music there is online now as compared to years ago and I wonder what difference it makes to people in learning their flute, fiddles, accordian or whatever.

Firstly can anyone enlighten me about how all the clips get up on Youtube from providers such as RTE,BBC etc. Do these stations put them up and does YouTube pay the stations? Do the musicians that appear in the clips get paid, and why is this different to normal copyright in the print media? If it is free for us to use and learn from, surely someone must be getting paid for it. When artists allow themselves to filmed do they not stipulate that it can't be shared or used in a free forum such as YouTube, or is this all part of self promotion, with the more sites such as this that embed , the better, bringing them to a wider audience.

Secondly with all the free online music, be it traditional Irish or other is it making a big difference to members learning experience. Do you use these clips to inspire or motivate yourself? Do you learn variations, ornamentation or skills form the clips? As stated before in spending so much time on TradConnect I find that the repeated listening to certain videos of Tommy Peoples, John Carty and others is making a big difference to my playing.

How do others find it?

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If it is copyrighted material, as most original tunes and songs are, then that person that created the art and registered the art has the rights.  I'm not sure about American and international laws concerning rights to traditional folk music.  There is an upsurge in folk-based music in the U.S. right now.  If the folk music grows in stature as it did in the mid 1950s to mid 1970s in the U.S., everyone will be looking to profit from it, especially huge media giants. Folk music over the last three decades has been kept relatively underground in the U.S. (as a popular mainstream music form).

I do worry whether any of the more successful artists can keep up with advancing technology.  As most honest adults, I cherish purchasing my own CDs and going to the concerts. I don't want to say what the college kids are doing here in the states, but I guarantee that anyone who pays one cent for any recording of any genre of music is considered almost ridiculous by most of their peers. A lot of the adults are now making free music archives too.  Nearly every recording ever published is available for free, if you know where to go and how to rip it. It's easy and quick to build a whole music library all for free.  I think that the Irish trad music community has a lot of honest loyal fans (more than most other genre), in my personal opinion.

I don't think it will affect Irish media like RTE (unless they are owned by an American parent corporation), but according to what I've been reading, the U.S. will be going after the international offenders who post copyrighted materials first.  That makes me worry about the videos I've already uploaded, as I don't know much about their origin or ownership. As the law is currently written, offenders in the U.S. will be subject to felony punishment if caught uploading valid material.  I also think a lot of the laws in Europe and abroad will follow suit with whatever happens here in America.

This law will forever impact how any materials can be shared on the internet, so I just wanted to bring it to attention of my friends overseas... every bit of media on the internet comes across through servers in the U.S., so all the sites on the internet will be subject to editing and / or prosecution.

Tony, you have a point.  It's confusing because I don't often know whether a performance contains any copyrighted materials, whether or not the artists object to be posted.  It will rather to be safe than sorry, because ignorance of the laws in the U.S. are no excuse for breaking the laws.

I know that a lot of the more successful artists are actually using FaceBook to promote their new releases, which is well within their rights.  I believe the law to be loosely written, open to interpretation of the judicial system.  Somehow, I think all of the huge media giants with big money will come out the winners regarding SOPA, and tech savvy websites will be forever damaged.

I think it is absolutely a necessity these days, some of us have no access to live music at all. I live in a place that has one singing session a week, with a mish mash of cajun, bluegrass/celtic tunes in between  - maybe 4 or five sets the whole session. So no regular tunes and certainly its not common to have live trad gigs. While I would love to take advantage of live music, we are lucky if we get two really top acts tour here each year (in Australia). Sometimes I think that you guys in America (not Ireland Obviously as it goes without saying) don't really know how good you have it in terms of tunes. 

I am all for royalties and artists being paid and all of that stuff, but seriously - if you don't want people looking at you for free on the internet, then come and do a tour here and get paid for it!! :) 

I learn heaps of tunes of youtube clips. 

I know personally of clips that are up of sessions, where no permission was not asked and the tune players feel uncomfortable about it, but unfortunately - that is the way of the world now, there is no privacy. 

Having said that, I am the same Connie - I either buy CDs or buy tunes off the internet, I would never ever dream of downloading trad stuff for free, its hard enough to make any money in trad as it is! 

The music/videos etc. offered for free are a great service, IMO, to those of us who are unfamiliar with the music and artists of a particular genre. YouTube exploring has led me to many artists I would not otherwise have heard of and I purchase their music for my library all the time. Being able to find the dots for a song and using YouTube performances to help learn to play it provides a lot of inspiration and motivation to those of us who don't have the luxury of others to make music with locally.

I don't condone illegal use of the music or videos but understand that many, many people only want something for free and would not pay no matter what. It's a sad situation for the artists who don't get paid for their hard work, but I like to think that there are enough people like myself who buy the tunes after seeing them on a free service like YouTube that it all balances out.

I don't see how private "movies" of live performances can be controlled except by prohibiting cameras at the show. I know it's done at large venues, so the performers are aware of the problem. OTOH, showing a short clip of a concert or performance that you particularly enjoyed to your friends on a social network could potentially lead to legitimate sales for the artist - free advertising, and we all know that word of mouth is the quickest and easiest way to make sales.

I have very little opportunity to learn "knee to knee" with an experienced irish flute player. I find You-Tube a great teacher. However it makes me crave even more superior first hand learning with a live person.

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