I have composed contemporary classical music. What? You have also composed beautiful contemporary classical music? No, not rock or pop or country music. Contemporary, classical music. And it sits on your computer or on scrawny hand-written music pages neatly tucked in your drawer. Maybe it has been performed. Maybe you have recorded it. You may think that this is the end of the story. Music is only to be heard in a concert hall or private functions, never to be repeated or listened to again.
Well, think again. Have you thought of putting it on the web for others to hear? What? Contemporary classical music out on the web? Who in the world is looking for classical music using the web? Aren’t all such classical music-lovers diehard technophobes, usually older folk, maybe in big cities and only in western countries? Hold on there! Such stereotypes are simply unfair. How do you know, and why, oh why, take anything for granted?
Go ahead. Try it out. See if a new breed of music lovers can be honed to your wonderful creations. Now you can introduce your music to the world –yes, your classical music! It is not the pariah that you think it is. There can actually be a real audience and following for the exact sound that you have produced, the sound and musical message that certain segments of society are actually searching for. So why not try the digital route? What do you have to lose?
Okay, so you have thought about it. You decide to take up my challenge. After all, you have by now Googled my name – Shaunie Shammass – and have actually have seen the diversity of sites where my classical music can be seen and heard. And now you want to know how to actually put up your own music on the web, right? Well, it is actually easier than you think. The magic words are “digital distribution”. And the steps to take are really rather easy. Ready?
First, you need to have a recording of your work. Don’t have one? Get some friends together to play it, but you must make a professional or near-professional recording of the performance. Second, take it to a professional for digital mastering, unless you know how to do it yourself. The end-result is just so much better. Third, find a website that does digital distribution. You can search for the words “digital distribution” and several sites pop up immediately. Make sure that the site you choose reformats your audio files and that it distributes to major music sites such as iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, etc. Finally, follow the instructions on your chosen site. Check the previews of your music that they provide carefully before approving your tracks for final distribution.
Voila! Your music is now online for everyone to take note of. So, go ahead Google your name. And feel the pleasure that I have of digitally distributing your classical music online for all to hear!
My first musical performance was at age 3 – in front of an old age group at the community center, where I dutifully played a Yiddish tune that I was able to pick out with one finger on the piano. They loved it – I hated it. The old folks surrounded me after the concert, showering me with slobbered kisses and pinching my poor little cheeks. I have had stage fright ever since.
I nevertheless studied piano, going through the yearly exams of the Toronto Conservatory of Music for 10 years. And then I dropped music for other passions – linguistics, phonetics, the sounds and languages of people.
Fast forward. I meet my future husband, born in Shiraz Iran. He sings me Persian songs, and woos me with a stack full of Persian-style music that he has collected over the years on grainy cassettes. I fall in love with him, and this music.
Fast forward again. I’m now married, 2 kids, and teaching at a university. I look into taking university courses that lecturers can audit, and come across a composition class, but I am told that not everyone is accepted – I have to have something to show the professor. I have written a piano piece, classical but based on Persian songs, and show it to him. He allows me into the class. Andre Hajdu. A remarkable teacher, opening the door to a remarkable journey that I am still taking. Encouraging the nascent musicality that has lain dormant for so many years, and unleashing my creativity as only a true teacher can.
I am still trying to find my musical voice, entwining east and west, in the language of classical music. Only time will tell if I succeed.
Listen to free previews of Zylascope’s Electronic Music in our music store.