Are ASCAP and BMI Killing Local Music Scenes and Shops?

ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC are performance rights organizations. They collect fees from shops that play licensed music and distribute them to the original songwriters. Though they claim to protect the rights of musicians, they may be hurting up-and-coming artists playing live music at local venues by driving shops to shut down live performances. If a band plays a cover song, penalties can range from $750-$30,000 per song against the shop. And the problem is that money collected from live performances, which are usually smaller genres (blues, folk, or any music other than mainstream) often don’t go to the composers. Because of the immense fees, many shops have closed down venues for live music and struggle with their business leading to bankruptcy.

UK’s First National ‘Quiet Hour’

UK initiates a national ‘Quiet Hour’ in 13 shopping centers. Starting on October 2nd, shops will dim the lights and turn down music for an hour each day for a week. This initiative follows on from a survey showing that 64% of people with autism avoid going shopping due to loud pubic noise. This is a very important initiative as it spreads awareness of autism and encourages people to make the world more autism friendly. Here’s a link to this wonderful news!

A quiet night out? City pub and Chorlton café win award for their ban on playing ‘muzak’ to customers

Popular Edinburgh cafe, band member owner, plays no muzak! Here’s an article about his cafe. “Piped music is one of the great evils of our time, if you want to listen to music just put on some headphones,” says Adam Berlyne, music lover and band member. The cafe has been voted ‘best quiet cafe’ described by voters as ‘a wonderful place with no music, that no matter how crowded it is they can always squeeze you in’.

Adam Berlyne manager of the North Star Deli by Manchester Evening News

The New York Times: The Joy of Quiet

The author of this article reminds us that what gives us true joy is being absorbed in a moment, whether it’s reading a book, having a conversation, or listening to music. The Joy of Quiet is “that kind of happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens.” – Monk David Steindl-Rast.

Vivienne Flesher

Read the article HERE.

“A series of tests in recent years has shown, Mr. Carr points out, that after spending time in quiet rural settings, subjects “exhibit greater attentiveness, stronger memory and generally improved cognition. Their brains become both calmer and sharper.” More than that, empathy, as well as deep thought, depends (as neuroscientists like Antonio Damasio have found) on neural processes that are “inherently slow.” The very ones our high-speed lives have little time for.”

The Washington Post: Eating out may be bad for your ears

A restaurant in Washington. (Scott Suchman/For The Washington Post)

Gail Richard, a columnist for The Washington Post, educates us that the noise level in restaurants is a big health concern for everyone. “Consistently listening to noise levels above 70 decibels can cause hearing loss over time,” he writes. One way that he encourages us to take action is to spread information about noise levels at restaurants to others. The article also includes informative survey results: Read the article HERE.