Get the key ideas from

Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay

The (Dodgy) Business of Popular Music

By Simon Napier-Bell
16-minute read
Audio available
Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay: The (Dodgy) Business of Popular Music by Simon Napier-Bell

Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay (2014) takes its title from a late nineteenth-century vaudeville song and explores how the music industry has evolved and adapted to various changes and inventions that have continuously revolutionized what we listen to and how we listen to it.

  • Music geeks with tastes that cut across genres
  • Pop culture historians
  • Readers interested in the music industry

Simon Napier-Bell has a long and storied career in the music industry as a producer, the manager of the Yardbirds and cowriter of Dusty Springfield’s hit, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.” As an author, he’s also written the books Black Vinyl, White Powder and I’m Coming Down to Take You to Lunch.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
3,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from

Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay

The (Dodgy) Business of Popular Music

By Simon Napier-Bell
  • Read in 16 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 10 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay: The (Dodgy) Business of Popular Music by Simon Napier-Bell
Synopsis

Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay (2014) takes its title from a late nineteenth-century vaudeville song and explores how the music industry has evolved and adapted to various changes and inventions that have continuously revolutionized what we listen to and how we listen to it.

Key idea 1 of 10

The modern music business took its first steps with the invention of copyright law and the record player.

Music has been around in one form or another for millennia. And yet, in the grand scheme of things, it was only recently that songs began to be seen as individual, rather than common, property.

This distinction emerged with the first copyright laws, which not only created a new branch of the legal system, but also a new publishing market for songs.

It began in 1710 when the British court of law first recognized authors as having rights over what they wrote. Suddenly, authors now owned their work and got royalties from each sale.

This led to the first music publishing house, Chappell & Co., which was founded in the early nineteenth century after the owner of a piano shop, Samuel Chappell, joined forces with the famous pianist Johann Baptist Cramer. Soon they were collecting, publishing and selling Cramer’s sheet music to the public.

Naturally, it wasn’t long before others noticed that publishing sheet music was an easier and more profitable way for artists to make money than playing concerts. And the general public loved it because they could buy the sheet music, play the songs in their homes and hear music that they would never have access to otherwise.

But the world of music publishing really exploded at the end of the nineteenth century, when an innovation known as the phonograph opened up the doors for a whole new revenue stream.

In 1877, Thomas Edison produced the first commercial record player, making it possible for people to play recorded music in their homes.

For publishing companies, this meant they could now turn their attention away from sheet music and to the much more profitable world of records.

Sheet music could last years before it became worn down and tattered enough for a family to buy another copy, whereas a record would get played and replayed at such a rate that buying another one was practically inevitable.

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Key ideas in this title

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.