Anonymous yet personal, this Blog chronicles
the daily events and musings of Jim.
It provides an easy way for his friends and family to check in on him,
and serves as a online repository for his random
thoughts, kaleidoscopic flashbacks, and writings on an array of diverse topics.
“Deconstructing Jim” is simply here to
entertain you, but not intended for college credit.

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Chapel Hill, NC, United States

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Going Digital - Redux

One explanation for the precipitous decline in public participation in the arts (such the number of people who attend concerts) is the introduction of new media - such as the Internet.

Indeed, it may be true that pod-casts, digital downloads, streaming media, and Facebook have all replaced traditional venues of musical and interaction. It's been a while since the typical American family leisurely sat around and listened to Grandma play her favourites on the piano.

As a composer, it seems a little strange to know that there actually are people out there listening to my music (or at least downloading it). I can't see them. They're invisible, and I have only the most vague idea of who they are.

For instance, the report generator for my website indicates a steady increase in traffic over the past two calendar years. Here is a chart of the "number of requests" per month (over 24 months) from January 2008 to December 2009.

Over the past two years the monthly average for pages sent was 300. The average requests handled were 2,302. That's small by most commercial web-standards, but the rate of increase is what interests me. Monthly requests have grown to over 6,000 per month.

Closer analysis indicates that most of the hits are for free downloads of MP3 audio files and musical scores in Adobe PDF format. Of those, most requests originate from outside of the United States.

My music seems to be most popular in China, Germany, England, France, Italy, Greece, and the Netherlands.

It's stunning to see the number of times particular works of mine have been downloaded. It's often a number large enough to fill a sizable concert hall.

I'm not letting any of this get to my head, since I don't necessarily equate "number of requests" with flesh-and-blood people who actually listen. Web-based statistics can be very misleading.

Yet, the numbers indicate that something is going on. I'm just not convinced that it is real, otherwise the phone would be ringing.