The “classical music” format is broken.

One of the phrases at New Music Gathering 2016 in Baltimore that stuck with me was “The format is broken.” I was watching a panel on developing boards for non-profits and the speaker is the artistic director of an ensemble.

Having read Christopher Small’s Musicking in college, I’m acutely aware of the ritual surrounding human activity. Classical and contemporary art music have so much ritual around them. The whole experience is often a participatory monument to power and authority — where the power and authority don’t reside with the audience (or even the musicians).

The following three videos by Melissa Snoza, of music entrepreneurial supergroup 5th House, are about building audience. And they help to outline one method of rethinking format.

Video 2 is focused on the “persona” method which I, personally, find less useful than more direct methods of audience identification. However, the “persona” method is still better than what most people are doing. So use it as stepping stone to deeper customer development processes.

Video 3 gets back on track with actual data and deeper thinking.