Friday, May 29, 2009


 

Final


 


 


 

Musical Tones As An Alternative Therapy


 


 

Dr. RAVI SHARMA

Reader & Head

Dep't. Of Music

M. D. University.

ROHTAK – 124001.


 

dr_ravisharma@yahoo.co.in


 

[Abstract: There are many kind of therapies, existing in medical field treating patients with medicines as direct and indirect ways with an alternative therapies. Music has emerged as very strong alternative therapy. Because treating with different kind of medicines resulting into side effects. Though its development is very recent in India, but western countries has already been experimenting and implementing through research and professional music therapist in different hospitals and at patients home as well. There is a boom in the minds of doctors and other practitioners adopting music as alternative therapy now days. This paper deals with the personal experiences and different view to support the facts.]


 


 

Fine arts directly stimulate and sometime excite our senses. Fine arts have this capacity of stimulus. Here we are going to talk specifically about music. Music, which is expressed through various intervals of tones and overtones, these tones are perceived by the mind through one of our five senses the ears.


 

This is the human being, who express their feelings through many ways i.e. language, touch, tones and by being silent too. All these can be divided into two categories, physical and psychological. Through these expressions our senses get a stimulus, which is unique to each of the five senses. Each organ of sense produces peculiar sensation, which cannot be excited by means of any other; the eye gives sensation of light, the ear sensation of sound, the skin sensation of touch. Even when the same sunbeams which excite in the eye sensations of light, impinge on the skin and excite its nerves, they are felt only as heat, not as light. On the same way the vibration of elastic bodies heard by the ear, can also, be felt by the skin, but in that case produce only a whirring fluttering sensation, not sound (Helmholtz:1954,p-7). The sensation of sound is therefore a species of reaction against external stimulus, peculiar to the ear, and excitable in no other organ of the body, and is completely distinct from the sensation of any other sense.


 

As has been already mentioned that music is based upon the different intervals of tones, that is sound. Man is always concerned with the sound. It is said that the universe hangs on sound. What ever we listen and speak is of mixed kind of sounds. It could be musical and non musical too. What ever it is but it is true that we are surrounded by sound. Sound is every where, within an around us a continuum of vital force and latent energy (Rowell: 1992; p-35). It is the air which transmits all kind of vibrations to our ears. It is a matter of everyday experience that whenever two bodies mutually strike each other, an impression is produced on the ears by the vibration of the air adding upon that organ and thus we get the idea of sound. Where there is no air like on the moon we can not hear any kind of sounds through our ordinary ears.


 

We have established the importance of various kinds of tones. It is also known that the music of various nations of different times varies according to the conventions, taste and liking of the people. There are two most common elements exist in any kind of tune, consist of rhythm and sound. It reflects the vibration impact on all the living beings. Though it is totally different that the capacity of reaction is impulsive only on human being. Animals are not capable of identical thinking like human being, thus cannot be included as a part if experiment because they cannot express through speech. Hence, we are limited up to the activities related to the human being. In reality the sense of music is common element not only in human beings but also in almost all living beings.


 

Today specially in urban life our habits and other procedure have develop in such a way that the relation have been more and more complicated resulting in more and more tension and stress. Moreover our life styles are giving more blood pressure and more diabetes. These led to more medicines more prescriptions and more tests. These in turn create more side effects then the real effects. For example an antibiotic which are given in many ailments, gives you acidity as side effect and prolong usage of an antibiotic can create an ulcer in the stomach. Therefore the doctors are in search of some kind of alternative therapy whereby they can reduce the intake of medicines and add to the comfort of the patient. There are other kind of alternative therapies exist also i.e. Homeopathy, Acupressure, Acupuncture, Magnetic therapy, Reiki etc. Whereas the music therapy is considered to be the best. We are not of the view that these therapies have no role in the medical field but here we are more concerned with the music therapy.


 

The most important influence or effect of music on human body is it teaches us how to examine our mind and what changes it under goes from time to time under certain influences. It is also said that Indian Ragas have the capacity to change the entire mood of a person who is under stress. It is just like a doctor observing the change to the physical condition of his patient under the influence of a particular drug. Many Indian musicians have furnished the list if many Ragas claiming with their benefits and disease cured, but without mentioning the research methodology and the nature of experiments through they established the facts and how, when and where did they get the result. I think it is not the Ragas that influence the human body but it is kind of music, which he likes. The dose of music should be given on the basis of one's liking to music or according to his nature. I had an opportunity to be in a clinic with doctors to undergo and experience related to the music therapy. We applied the science of music in certain patients of different diseases and noticed the change in them. We observed that some of them even liked the sound of sea-waves and rejected the whole idea of listening any kind of classical music. A heart patient was also tried with the classical music, but he complaints the increasement of throbbing the heart beats. Initially I experienced that after few cases of music therapy, off course the result was not encouraging at all. We enquire the music of their liking and after playing the music of their taste and got the positive results. It reveals that music therapy should not be bound to any particular class of music; but to provide the music as per liking of the patient. It is evident that music, off course has the patient provided the right approach is made. Hence it gives us more freedom from all kind of boundaries which we had as pre-determination. With reference to the main subject of music therapy, one should not try to impose a particular kind of music instead the liking of the patient. It is a therapy of tones which has it physics of frequency with their colours of mixed combinations on human mind's chemistry which differs from one to another. One cannot treat on the same pattern of sound therapy with another. Because it is a matter of emotional behavior of individual psychology. In fact it is the magnetic power of tiny vibrations of music he appreciates that changes his mind's direction from negative to positive. The mental conditions of a patient cause to create biological changes in the body. Dr. Oliver Lacks stated in a World Music Congress that music therapy is a tool of great promises in many neurological disorders, because of music's unique capacity to organize or re-organize the cerebral function, when it has been deranged (Lacks: 2003). After studying the content of Dr. Oliver Lacks, we analyzed the advance conditions of mental faculties of human being. After a micro study we came to the conclusion that cerebral is related only to the general behavior of human kind. The refined thoughts go to the cerebrum by optic thalamus of the human brain.


 

In certain countries the experiment on music therapy has proved that it allows tremendous relaxation to the nervous system of human being. In other words, music calms their nerves or reduces the mental stress and provides enlightenment. All fine arts like music, dance, painting and architecture etc. have a common quality- that of deep emotional experiments of a collective consciousness which is social but individually and subjectively expressed (Doraiswamy:2007). The main purpose of music is to control all types of emotional irregularities that exist in human beings because it is a subject of emotions. It is a usual practice by the psychologists to treat patients with tranquilizer who are under stress. In this treatment drugs are not important, instead pleasing and soothing music is required.


 

According to famous psychologist, Dr. Anthony Starr, music is the best medicine in relaxing stress. The case of a pregnant woman in this context is very important. She confessed that her delivery was very smooth as she was listening to the piano from a music therapist, playing in a room above the labor ward. It reveals that music stimulates the nerves of a person very mildly and regulates the flow of blood. It creates a power of concentration in the mind and spreads an agreeable massive sensation throughout his body. It reveals that sensations influenced our mind and mind influences the body.


 

A research had been conducted on the recovery of patients after surgery that women undergoing hysterectomies. Who listen to relaxing music and sound of ocean waves while under general anesthesia experienced less pain, were less fatigued when released from the hospital, and were able to sit up sooner after their operation than patients who did not listen to music? Women who enjoyed the music and encouraging words during the operation felt less pain. It revealed that the flow of rhythm and melody had natural ability to enhance the avenues of mental and physical well being.


 

Music has immense amplitude in increasing memory power also. It has been noticed that people lose memory power in old age and it is very difficult to cure it even by using psychological treatments. Here the magic of music works. It is not necessary that one should listen to music only when he is under stress or anxiety. It is always preferable to have music in the background through tape recorder or radio while working at home or in the office. Now days some business houses keep people listening to music while their calls are in hold.


 

Music is a powerful medium which turns the heart and mind of the man kind. Ultimately such type of tuning creates harmony in the faculty of mind and the heart; it has been proved that music imparts a biological effect on every living being.


 

After analyzing all above points we came to the conclusion that music has the special capacity to stimulate our body and to generate positive affects through a prefect combination of tones. Although in India we do not have music therapist. But in the western world, there are music therapist who play a greater role in comforting the patient as whereby the physician. It is the choice of patient whether or not he/she has an inclination to an alternative therapy. He/she can or cannot opt any of these i.e. Homeopathy, Acupressure, Acupuncture, Magnetic Therapy, Reiki etc. Secondly Dance is also a part of music can be treated as yogic exercise. Dance with perfect rhythmic and orchestral effect can cure obesity also, which will help in reducing the risk of diabetics. Dance therapy is very effective on those who are deaf and dumb people. Their physical problem can be cured through it. It is not only benefited for physically challenged people but also for the normal people also to be cured or any irregularities in their physiques. A well known dancer of Bharatnatyam reveals that avoid of caesarean operation of a pregnant women by adopting and learning of Bharatnatyam dance. There is a latest trend in Banglore –where many mothers are to be are happily dancing their way to the labour room. Reveals A. V. Satyanarayan, Banglore-based Bharatnatyam Dancer, who has completed his Ph. D. in dance therapy from International Open University, Sri Lanka, also evaluates the importance and role of exercise at the time of pregnancy that a pregnant woman needs exercise to keep her body and limbs supple for easy labour. According to him, dance therapy, if followed correctly, helps the mother deliver naturally and avoid labour-ralated complications (Chakraborthy: 2007).


 

Many artistes of Indian origin settled in other countries had a great role in popularizing Indian music and different dance forms there. They have already established very deep rooted cultural impact in their respective countries of living. They have given an immense impact and effected not only to Indian origin people but also to the people of that particular country. Recently Mira kaushik, a famous dancer of Indian origin settled in United Kingdom is the first ever Indian dancer had been awarded with prestigious order of the British Empire, recognition of her contribution to the dance. Her academy trained special teachers to teach people with learning difficulties, physical disability and other emotional and social challenges. She is the most committed dancer who has delivered the most talented students of dance from her academy which required special skills to treat patients of physical disorders. Due to her hard work and enthusiasm dancers therapy is now well established in United Kingdom. She also revealed that the classical dances of India were not considered as the therapy in that country. That was a challenge to her which she successfully overcomes. She trained many dancers who are still working as dance therapist in UK very successfully (Bhattacharya: 2007). There is no doubt that music has therapeutic impact mostly on all human body with few common factors that particular sound waves effected the body through conscious and unconscious mind controls the very body of own and is a central part of consciousness but we should not ignore the direct therapeutic value of dance posture which has an immense, direct and immediate effect on body with quick results as mentioned above while discussing the importance if dance as therapeutic value. Author of an article "Music Therapy – Loose Ends Galore" (Doraiswamy: 2007) also established the same views on therapeutic value of music and said that it has widely effects on human being i.e. (a) it is the result of certain frequency pattern which act independently of the patients awareness, perception or appreciation of the music itself and (b) it depends in the patients perceiving the administered sound pattern of music. Though Doraiswamy restricted himself commenting about therapeutic value up to music but dances too have remedial value.


 

I would suggest here that music therapy should not be taken as an emergency tool treating only when some one is under stress or in some psychological disorder, rather music or any other creative art should be a compulsory part of our daily life through learning or listing.


 

Here it is note worthy that medicines have a very special role in curing an ailment we can not say no to medicine. Only music therapy will not give the desired result, but it is true that if this therapy is added to the medication with other routine medicine also it is expected that the patient will be alright with less amount of chemical intakes. It is a great help to the medical science. As music also is a scientific art.


 


 


 

BIBLIOGRAPHY


 

Bhattacharya, Nandini, (2007), March 02. Hindu: Article: Succour and Hope through Dance.

Chakraborthy, Ajanta: (2007) The Times of India, Article: Dance your way into Labour, avoid C-section.Times House, 7, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi.

Dorraiswamy, P. K. (2007) Shruti, Issue 268, Music Therapy – Loose Ends Galore?

Helmholtz, Hermann, (1954) On the Sensations of Tones. Dover Publications, Corporation, New York.


Lacks, Oliver, (2003) The Times of India, Article: Music Therapy.Times House, 7, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi.

Rowell, Lewis, (1992) Music and Musical Thoughts in Early India. The University of Chicago Press,Chicago.


 



 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

Final


 


 


 

Musical Tones As An Alternative Therapy


 


 

Dr. RAVI SHARMA

Reader & Head

Dep't. Of Music

M. D. University.

ROHTAK – 124001.


 

dr_ravisharma@yahoo.co.in


 

[Abstract: There are many kind of therapies, existing in medical field treating patients with medicines as direct and indirect ways with an alternative therapies. Music has emerged as very strong alternative therapy. Because treating with different kind of medicines resulting into side effects. Though its development is very recent in India, but western countries has already been experimenting and implementing through research and professional music therapist in different hospitals and at patients home as well. There is a boom in the minds of doctors and other practitioners adopting music as alternative therapy now days. This paper deals with the personal experiences and different view to support the facts.]


 


 

Fine arts directly stimulate and sometime excite our senses. Fine arts have this capacity of stimulus. Here we are going to talk specifically about music. Music, which is expressed through various intervals of tones and overtones, these tones are perceived by the mind through one of our five senses the ears.


 

This is the human being, who express their feelings through many ways i.e. language, touch, tones and by being silent too. All these can be divided into two categories, physical and psychological. Through these expressions our senses get a stimulus, which is unique to each of the five senses. Each organ of sense produces peculiar sensation, which cannot be excited by means of any other; the eye gives sensation of light, the ear sensation of sound, the skin sensation of touch. Even when the same sunbeams which excite in the eye sensations of light, impinge on the skin and excite its nerves, they are felt only as heat, not as light. On the same way the vibration of elastic bodies heard by the ear, can also, be felt by the skin, but in that case produce only a whirring fluttering sensation, not sound (Helmholtz:1954,p-7). The sensation of sound is therefore a species of reaction against external stimulus, peculiar to the ear, and excitable in no other organ of the body, and is completely distinct from the sensation of any other sense.


 

As has been already mentioned that music is based upon the different intervals of tones that is sound. Man is always concerned with the sound. It is said that the universe hangs on sound. What ever we listen and speak is of mixed kind of sounds. It could be musical and non musical too. What ever it is but it is true that we are surrounded by sound. Sound is every where, within an around us a continuum of vital force and latent energy (Rowell: 1992; p-35). It is the air which transmits all kind of vibrations to our ears. It is a matter of everyday experience that whenever two bodies mutually strike each other, an impression is produced on the ears by the vibration of the air adding upon that organ and thus we get the idea of sound. Where there is no air like on the moon we can not hear any kind of sounds through our ordinary ears.


 

We have established the importance of various kinds of tones. It is also known that the music of various nations of different times varies according to the conventions, taste and liking of the people. There are two most common elements exist in any kind of tune, consist of rhythm and sound. It reflects the vibration impact on all the living beings. Though it is totally different that the capacity of reaction is impulsive only on human being. Animals are not capable of identical thinking like human being, thus cannot be included as a part if experiment because they cannot express through speech. Hence, we are limited up to the activities related to the human being. In reality the sense of music is common element not only in human beings but also in almost all living beings.


 

Today specially in urban life our habits and other procedure have develop in such a way that the relation have been more and more complicated resulting in more and more tension and stress. Moreover our life styles are giving more blood pressure and more diabetes. These led to more medicines more prescriptions and more tests. These in turn create more side effects then the real effects. For example an antibiotic which are given in many ailments, gives you acidity as side effect and prolong usage of an antibiotic can create an ulcer in the stomach. Therefore the doctors are in search of some kind of alternative therapy whereby they can reduce the intake of medicines and add to the comfort of the patient. There are other kind of alternative therapies exist also i.e. Homeopathy, Acupressure, Acupuncture, Magnetic therapy, Reiki etc. Whereas music therapy is considered to be the best. We are not of the view that these therapies have no role in the medical field but here we are more concerned with the music therapy.


 

The most important influence or effect of music on human body is it teaches us how to examine our mind and what changes it under goes from time to time under certain influences. It is also said that Indian Ragas have the capacity to change the entire mood of a person who is under stress. It is just like a doctor observing the change to the physical condition of his patient under the influence of a particular drug. Many Indian musicians have furnished the list if many Ragas claiming with their benefits and disease cured, but without mentioning the research methodology and the nature of experiments through they established the facts and how, when and where did they get the result. I think it is not the Ragas that influence the human body but it is kind of music, which he likes. The dose of music should be given on the basis of one's liking to music or according to his nature. I had an opportunity to be in a clinic with doctors to undergo and experience related to the music therapy. We applied the science of music in certain patients of different diseases and noticed the change in them. We observed that some of them even liked the sound of sea-waves and rejected the whole idea of listening any kind of classical music. A heart patient was also tried with the classical music, but he complaints the increasement of throbbing the heart beats. Initially I experienced that after few cases of music therapy, off course the result was not encouraging at all. We enquire the music of their liking and after playing the music of their taste and got the positive results. It reveals that music therapy should not be bound to any particular class of music; but to provide the music as per liking of the patient. It is evident that music, off course has the patient provided the right approach is made. Hence it gives us more freedom from all kind of boundaries which we had as pre-determination. With reference to the main subject of music therapy, one should not try to impose a particular kind of music instead the liking of the patient. It is a therapy of tones which has it physics of frequency with their colours of mixed combinations on human mind's chemistry which differs from one to another. One cannot treat on the same pattern of sound therapy with another. Because it is a matter of emotional behavior of individual psychology. In fact it is the magnetic power of tiny vibrations of music he appreciates that changes his mind's direction from negative to positive. The mental conditions of a patient cause to create biological changes in the body. Dr. Oliver Lacks stated in a World Music Congress that music therapy is a tool of great promises in many neurological disorders, because of music's unique capacity to organize or re-organize the cerebral function, when it has been deranged (Lacks: 2003). After studying the content of Dr. Oliver Lacks, we analyzed the advance conditions of mental faculties of human being. After a micro study we came to the conclusion that cerebral is related only to the general behavior of human kind. The refined thoughts go to the cerebrum by optic thalamus of the human brain.


 

In certain countries the experiment on music therapy has proved that it allows tremendous relaxation to the nervous system of human being. In other words, music calms their nerves or reduces the mental stress and provides enlightenment. All fine arts like music, dance, painting and architecture etc. have a common quality- that of deep emotional experiments of a collective consciousness which is social but individually and subjectively expressed (Doraiswamy:2007). The main purpose of music is to control all types of emotional irregularities that exist in human beings because it is a subject of emotions. It is a usual practice by the psychologists to treat patients with tranquilizer who are under stress. In this treatment drugs are not important, instead pleasing and soothing music is required.


 

According to famous psychologist, Dr. Anthony Starr, music is the best medicine in relaxing stress. The case of a pregnant woman in this context is very important. She confessed that her delivery was very smooth as she was listening to the piano from a music therapist, playing in a room above the labor ward. It reveals that music stimulates the nerves of a person very mildly and regulates the flow of blood. It creates a power of concentration in the mind and spreads an agreeable massive sensation throughout his body. It reveals that sensations influenced our mind and mind influences the body.


 

A research had been conducted on the recovery of patients after surgery that women undergoing hysterectomies. Who listen to relaxing music and sound of ocean waves while under general anesthesia experienced less pain, were less fatigued when released from the hospital, and were able to sit up sooner after their operation than patients who did not listen to music? Women who enjoyed the music and encouraging words during the operation felt less pain. It revealed that the flow of rhythm and melody had natural ability to enhance the avenues of mental and physical well being.


 

Music has immense amplitude in increasing memory power also. It has been noticed that people lose memory power in old age and it is very difficult to cure it even by using psychological treatments. Here the magic of music works. It is not necessary that one should listen to music only when he is under stress or anxiety. It is always preferable to have music in the background through tape recorder or radio while working at home or in the office. Now days some business houses keep people listening to music while their calls are in hold.


 

Music is a powerful medium which turns the heart and mind of the man kind. Ultimately such type of tuning creates harmony in the faculty of mind and the heart; it has been proved that music imparts a biological effect on every living being.


 

After analyzing all above points we came to the conclusion that music has the special capacity to stimulate our body and to generate positive affects through a prefect combination of tones. Although in India we do not have music therapist. But in the western world, there are music therapist who play a greater role in comforting the patient as whereby the physician. It is the choice of patient whether or not he/she has an inclination to an alternative therapy. He/she can or cannot opt any of these i.e. Homeopathy, Acupressure, Acupuncture, Magnetic Therapy, Reiki etc. Secondly Dance is also a part of music can be treated as yogic exercise. Dance with perfect rhythmic and orchestral effect can cure obesity also, which will help in reducing the risk of diabetics. Dance therapy is very effective on those who are deaf and dumb people. Their physical problem can be cured through it. It is not only benefited for physically challenged people but also for the normal people also to be cured or any irregularities in their physiques. A well known dancer of Bharatnatyam reveals that avoid of caesarean operation of a pregnant women by adopting and learning of Bharatnatyam dance. There is a latest trend in Banglore –where many mothers are to be are happily dancing their way to the labour room. Reveals A. V. Satyanarayan, Banglore-based Bharatnatyam Dancer, who has completed his Ph. D. in dance therapy from International Open University, Sri Lanka, also evaluates the importance and role of exercise at the time of pregnancy that a pregnant woman needs exercise to keep her body and limbs supple for easy labour. According to him, dance therapy, if followed correctly, helps the mother deliver naturally and avoid labour-ralated complications (Chakraborthy: 2007).


 

Many artistes of Indian origin settled in other countries had a great role in popularizing Indian music and different dance forms there. They have already established very deep rooted cultural impact in their respective countries of living. They have given an immense impact and effected not only to Indian origin people but also to the people of that particular country. Recently Mira kaushik, a famous dancer of Indian origin settled in United Kingdom is the first ever Indian dancer had been awarded with prestigious order of the British Empire, recognition of her contribution to the dance. Her academy trained special teachers to teach people with learning difficulties, physical disability and other emotional and social challenges. She is the most committed dancer who has delivered the most talented students of dance from her academy which required special skills to treat patients of physical disorders. Due to her hard work and enthusiasm dancers therapy is now well established in United Kingdom. She also revealed that the classical dances of India were not considered as the therapy in that country. That was a challenge to her which she successfully overcomes. She trained many dancers who are still working as dance therapist in UK very successfully (Bhattacharya: 2007). There is no doubt that music has therapeutic impact mostly on all human body with few common factors that particular sound waves effected the body through conscious and unconscious mind controls the very body of own and is a central part of consciousness but we should not ignore the direct therapeutic value of dance posture which has an immense, direct and immediate effect on body with quick results as mentioned above while discussing the importance if dance as therapeutic value. Author of an article "Music Therapy – Loose Ends Galore" (Doraiswamy: 2007) also established the same views on therapeutic value of music and said that it has widely effects on human being i.e. (a) it is the result of certain frequency pattern which act independently of the patients awareness, perception or appreciation of the music itself and (b) it depends in the patients perceiving the administered sound pattern of music. Though Doraiswamy restricted himself commenting about therapeutic value up to music but dances too have remedial value.


 

I would suggest here that music therapy should not be taken as an emergency tool treating only when some one is under stress or in some psychological disorder, rather music or any other creative art should be a compulsory part of our daily life through learning or listing.


 

Here it is note worthy that medicines have a very special role in curing an ailment we can not say no to medicine. Only music therapy will not give the desired result, but it is true that if this therapy is added to the medication with other routine medicine also it is expected that the patient will be alright with less amount of chemical intakes. It is a great help to the medical science. As music also is a scientific art.


 


 


 

BIBLIOGRAPHY


 

Bhattacharya, Nandini, (2007), March 02. Hindu: Article: Succour and Hope through Dance.

Chakraborthy, Ajanta: (2007) The Times of India, Article: Dance your way into Labour, avoid C-section.Times House, 7, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi.

Dorraiswamy, P. K. (2007) Shruti, Issue 268, Music Therapy – Loose Ends Galore?

Helmholtz, Hermann, (1954) On the Sensations of Tones. Dover Publications, Corporation, New York.


Lacks, Oliver, (2003) The Times of India, Article: Music Therapy.Times House, 7, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi.

Rowell, Lewis, (1992) Music and Musical Thoughts in Early India. The University of Chicago Press,Chicago.


 


Friday, May 22, 2009

Music industry must move on

 
 

Victor Keegan

 
 

It simply won't give up blaming everyone but itself for the sorry state it claims to be in.

 
 

It is said to be one of the biggest robberies in history, but where is the actual damage? Yes, it's downloads time again. The music industry simply won't
give up blaming everyone but itself for the sorry state it claims to be in. It has eased off prosecuting teenagers — future customers — for downloading
in their bedrooms. Smart move, that. But it still insists that internet service providers do its dirty work by stopping the flow of illegal downloads.

 
 

But what's so special about music? If ISPs are responsible for pirate music flowing past them, then ditto for pornography and everything else. Great idea:
I can sue my service provider whenever a virus gets on to my PC. How dare they let it through! It is an unworkable solution designed to placate an industry
that still doesn't fully understand what is happening. The industry's response to the creative revolution, in which artists remix and mash each other's
work, is to go hell-for-leather to extend copyright law for recordings from an overlong 50 to 70 years so that a minority of rich copyright holders — often
companies set up to exploit someone else's rights — can pass royalties on to their successors. If copyright lasted for 20 years, as patents do, the economy
would gain from wealth produced by artists making their own versions of Snow White, or whatever.

 
 

The industry, which successfully sued The Pirate Bay operation, claims that more than one billion illegal music downloads were made in 2007, crippling the
industry. I don't approve of illegal downloads, but where is the evidence of economic damage? Look at the figures. In the last quarter of 2008, album sales
in the U.K. were — wait for it — 0.9 per cent up on the previous year, when the economy contracted by 1.5 per cent. And U.K. royalties for songwriters
rose 8 per cent in 2008. Recession? What recession? Overall album sales, which some had predicted would collapse by more than 10 per cent in 2008, fell
by only 3.25 per cent, while digital albums rose by 65 per cent. And the singles market? Why, 2008 was the biggest year on record in terms of units sold
across all formats.

 
 

So where is the damage? The music industry is like no other. It is a spectrum ranging from constantly broadcast free music (including internet radio where
you can search for a favourite track being played live) to albums bought in shops. If you buy a Nokia Xpress Comes With Music phone (for under £130 in
the U.K.) you can download up to 4,000 tracks legally. Does anyone need more? Spotify enables you to hear streamed music of your choice with occasional
adverts, free and legally. This is easier than sorting through thousands of peer-to-peer tracks downloaded to your desktop. Last.fm does something similar
and Apple's iTunes paved the way, proving that people will pay for affordable music that is easy to download.

 
 

Have you noticed something about these companies? None of them came from the music industry. While the industry was suing customers to preserve the status
quo, it took outsiders to create mechanisms to ensure paid-for music has a viable future. If music had created its own payments system with prices reflecting
the zero cost of extra tracks it could have seized control of the creative revolution. It has certainly spawned millions of freeloaders, but also people
who buy new tracks after hearing pirated versions and lots like me who started buying music again after a long absence because it is so easy.

 
 

As people increasingly listen to music on their mobile devices where, unlike the web, there is a built-in payments system, the problem of pirated tracks
should diminish.

 
 

Meanwhile, how many of the billion tracks claimed to be downloaded represent actual economic damage such as lost sales it is impossible to say, except that
it is not remotely as great as the industry claims. Indeed, if there had been no publicity about illegal downloads then, on the published evidence, the
music industry is one that has been doing remarkably well during the recession. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2009

 
 

******