Music as a cottage industry: Baconworks

Depending on whether or not you’re employed by the music industry, this is either an apocalyptic end time for music or its new golden age. I know people who lost their jobs in the music industry. The professional end of the business is under great stress, but surely there has never been a better time to be an amateur musician than now.

I work with an amateur musician named Greg Bacon. Greg is a skilled performer on multiple instruments and a composer, and his genre is primarily Irish traditional music. He happens to get paid for being a database systems analyst, but the guy is a true musical wizard. Don’t take my word for it! Go to his site: He’s got details about how he records his music, and then he lets you listen to it for free. He’s got MIDI files and scores in addition to some amazing performances of his original compositions. You know you’re on a musician’s web site when pages are tagged by their musical key. Here’s G major. Listen to the Hazards of Hatteras after you read about his great uncle Stinson, a windjammer captain who had no business living to 104. Great stuff, written, arranged, performed, recorded, and distributed all by one person, and at no cost to you, dear friend.

Thanks for all the music, Greg!

This embarrassing wealth of good free music presents the same paradox that I see all the time in the software world. By welcoming all the smart, motivated people around the world who want to write code even when they don’t get paid, vast quantities of shockingly good free software becomes available. What happens to the profession of software development? What happens to the paid musicians? I don’t know. But I defy you to look at this overspilling wealth and call it a problem.