The Art of Music Production: The Theory and Practice

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9780199921720: The Art of Music Production: The Theory and Practice

The Art of Music Production is the first book to comprehensively analyze and describe the role of the music producer in creating successful music recordings. Now in its fourth edition, it is the definitive guide to the art and business of music production.

Author and producer Richard James Burgess distills this complex field by defining the distinct roles of a music producer.The first part of the book outlines the underlying theory of the art of music production. The second focuses on the job's practical aspects, including training, getting into the business, and--most importantly--the musical, financial, and interpersonal relationships producers have with artists and their labels. The book is packed with insights from successful music producers, ranging from the beginnings of recorded sound to today's chart-toppers and across genre lines. It features many revealing anecdotes, encompassing both the daily and overarching career-related challenges that a producer faces. Burgess addresses the changes in the nature of music production brought about by technology and, in particular, the millennial shift that has occurred with digital recording and distribution. His lifelong experience in the recording industry as a studio musician, artist, composer, producer, manager, and marketer, combined with his extensive academic research in the field, brings a unique breadth and depth of understanding to the topic.

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From the Author:

I hope you enjoy the brand new fourth edition. I completely rewrote the book with a lot of additional material, particularly related to the changes in the industry since the third edition in 2004. This edition has full citations, a bibliography and an index, and for the first time, I separated it into two distinct sections: the theory and the practice.  The theory section covers the typologies, or categories of producers, that I have expanded from four to six, and I have renamed them all from the previous editions. I also looked at the categories from several different angles in this section.  The practice section covers all the material in the previous editions and more. I have updated it with more insights from current producers and a wider spread of genres. I addressed additional questions that students have brought up in class over the years.  It is important to note that the book is not a "how to" book that will teach someone how to record music or run a DAW; there are many excellent books that do that. My intention when I wrote the first edition in 1994 was to give a wide ranging perspective on the facets of production that were learned naturally by "growing up" within the studio system, but are not so easy to learn or teach in the classroom. As Hugh Padgham said to me recently, "fifty percent of producing is dealing with people," and, in many cases, that may be an understatement. This is not to lessen the importance of technical knowledge. It is hard for a producer to survive today without being able to run a DAW and take care of all the technical tasks. Nevertheless, schools, manuals, magazines and other books do a good job of teaching those specific, and ever changing skills. The landscape of production has changed dramatically since I wrote the first edition. However, I find it instructive that the most recent crop of successful producers, from all genres, are still dealing with, what appear to be, timeless issues--and insights into these are what I hope I have captured in this fourth edition. 

About the Author:


Richard James Burgess is Director of Marketing, Sales and Licensing at Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and also runs his own artist management company, Burgess World Co. He has managed major label artists with top ten chart hits and international touring schedules. As an artist in his own right, he has charted in many countries and has produced gold and platinum albums for artists such as Spandau Ballet, King, Adam Ant, Colonel Abrams, Five Star, Living in a Box, Shriekback, and New Edition.

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