Dust Off Your Instrument and Play!

Dust Off Your Instrument and Play!

Resources from the music collection at the Oakland Public Library to help you get back into playing your instrument, or learn a new one.

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House Concerts: A New Twist on a Centuries-Old Tradition

House concerts are once again gaining in popularity. Performing artists are looking to find creative approaches to reaching new and appreciative audiences, and ways to make a living doing what they love.

Throughout history, from the early consorts of the European Renaissance (fourteenth through seventeenth centuries) to the rent parties of the Harlem Renaissance (1920s and 1930s), having “house concerts” has been a way to introduce an audience to new chamber music compositions and play for an appreciative audience in an intimate space. The rent parties that flourished in New York, Chicago, and Detroit (among other places) in the early to mid-twentieth century were just that: a way to help pay the rent! And let’s not forget the tradition of folk music house performances and sing-alongs that are also part of the house concert’s long and varied history.

Today house concerts—albeit in a more refined form than the rent parties—are once again gaining in popularity. Performing artists in the current generation are looking to find not only creative approaches to reaching new and appreciative audiences but also ways to make a living doing what they love.

Below are some books and resources available at the Oakland Public Library to kick start a successful house concert. Also included are a selection of related titles.

No Booker, No Bouncer, No Bartender: How I Made $25K on a 2-Month House Concert Tour (And How You Can Too).” / Shannon Curtis

Web marketing for the music business / Tom Hutchison : Includes chapters on Finding your market — Successful promotion on the web — Social networking sites — Mobile media — Mobile music marketing, and other topics.

Making music your business : a practical guide to making $ doing what you love / by Traci Truly : Includes chapters on Doing business with booking agents — – The business of performing — -Selling your CDs and merchandise — Doing business on the Internet, and other topics. Also available as an e-book.

Social media for musicians [e-book] : YouTube / Gary Hiebner

Making and marketing music : the musician’s guide to financing, distributing, and promoting albums / Jodi Summers : Includes a chapter on marketing and promotion.

Start you up : rock star secrets to unleash your personal brand & set your career on fire / Steve Jones : a narrative telling the stories through rock history to reveal often-overlooked lessons on personal branding.

Starting your career as a musician / Neil Tortorella :  includes chapters on brand and marketing, the importance of social media for musicians, and opportunities for collaboration, promotion, distribution, and more.

Booking house concerts: maximize your gigs by going off the grid / Kaitlin McGaw : Electronic Musician, Mar 1, 2012; Vol. 28, No. 3 : article from OPL’s subscription to Gale OneFile database.

Music business handbook and career guide / David Baskerville, Tim Baskerville

All you need to know about the music business/ Donald S. Passman

Billboard international talent & touring directory : a great resource for music managers and musicians alike, this resource includes over 30,000 artists, managers and agents from 68 countries worldwide, including the U.S. and Canada. In addition, it contains listings of tour services and merchandise, sound & lighting vendors, equipment & instrument rentals, and much more.

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You Too Can Play the Ukulele

Want to learn to play the ukulele? Do you already play and want to learn more tunes? The Oakland Public Library’s music collection has many ukulele instructional scores/CDs and songbooks you can borrow.

Read the full blog here.

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