People’s concepts about what they are willing to pay for music often leave out some very important aspects. Their view consists only of the here and now. They see a book that costs $32.95 and maybe think they should not have to pay that much.
Let us forget for the moment that they might find another copy somewhere and then scan it. Let us just suppose they simply think $32.95 is too steep.
I bought my only “Clarke’s Technical Studies for the Cornet” in 1962 for $2.25. It was published by Carl Fischer from the original plates of Clarke’s own publishing in 1912.
What did my $2.25 investment get me? I still use the book today. It is pretty beat up but the music is all there and just as readable as when I first opened it fifty-four years ago.
Fifty-four years is a long time. That book lasts longer than your cell phone, your television, your computer, your car, your clothes washer, your dog, your job, maybe your house and maybe your marriage. It uses no batteries and no electricity. There is no software interface between the user and the data. It is totally recyclable and yet it has cost me only 4 cents per year to use!
It is even more cost effective than the time you’re going to spend ripping it apart and scanning it. But people don’t consider that. Even if it cost $32.95 that would still only be 61 cents per year. Where else can you get a deal like that? We have to face it – paper music is one of the greatest deals on Earth.
Yet people these days often feel like it is too expensive. And now they don’t even have to spend the time to scan it themselves – other Robin Hoods have done it for them and will post the files on the Internet as free downloads, whether it is still under copyright or not.
And only because the advance of technology has made all of this possible.
It has made it much easier to copy and reproduce the books but much harder to live up to the ideals of what you know should govern that question.
There are pluses and minuses to everything. Quite frankly, if it weren’t for the Internet and all of the modern copy and reproductive equipment now available, Balquhidder Music wouldn’t have survived this long. Is there a net gain?
Once upon a time, Mao Tse Tung was asked what he thought of the French Revolution. “Too early to tell”, he replied.