Richard J. Burgess, The Art of Music Production (4th edition), Oxford University Press (Publication date: August 2013)
Richard (Wikipedia page) provided a brief history of the book and described its journey through various publishers to its current home at OUP. He discussed the initial rationale for the book (from 1994) and the way its context has changed as the ‘album development timescale’ has shrunk over the last 20 years. He notes that the wrong choice of a producer can jeopardise an artist’s career – and states that he partly wrote it to correct what he perceived to be the unhelpfully poor producer selection by some A&R people.
The new book is substantially rewritten for a different context and climate. He notes the increasing loss of the apprenticeship system, commenting that some students leaving college are not coping well in the studio system, and he laments the lack of timescale to develop the necessary interpersonal skills in young producers/engineers. His own learning about the education system is reflected in the new edition.
He specifies that although he considers the technical side of production to be very important, this book does not deal with this area. Rather, it deals with culture, learning and behaviours in the studio environment. The new edition has a broader mix of styles and genres than all previous editions.
Richard now describes the 4th edition as being completely rewritten, fully cited and indexed with a glossary and bibliography [he cites these as the main reasons for moving to an academic publisher], and separated into theory (20 pages) and practice (288 pages!). He next talks us through the theory chapter, where he categorises producer types by functional/subset typologies, analogous structures and leadership styles. He speaks at length about these types, the contextual structure in which these producers develop & function, and how leadership styles develop and function [the latter taken partly from leadership theory].
We’re short of time, so Richard gives a more rapid overview of the practice part of the book. There are sections on becoming a music producer and then being a producer, on the timeless ingredients in a hit, career expectations, success and money, controversies and, inevitably and desirably, a speculative ‘what now?’ chapter.
The book will be released on 1st Sept 2013 on OUP. Amazon link here.
OUP themselves describe the book as follows (more info and full contents here);
Examines leadership styles amongst producers
Looks at both the corporate and the musical roles music producers play
Offers special attention to music producers who are themselves musicians
Looks across a comprehensive set of musical genres
Lays out innovative options for producers including alternate revenue streams, marketing techniques, and social media
Features a comprehensive index as a resource for students and instructors
Gives attention to twenty-first century technologies, including a section on the internet and social network marketing
Now in its fourth edition, The Art of Music Production has established itself as the definitive guide to the art and business of music production and a primary teaching tool for college programs. It is the first book to comprehensively analyze and describe the non-technical role of the music producer.
Author Richard James Burgess lays out the complex field of music production by defining the several distinct roles that fall under the rubric of music producer. In this completely updated and revised fourth edition of a book already lauded as “the most comprehensive guide to record production ever published,” Burgess has expanded and refined the types of producers, bringing them fully up to date. The first part of the book outlines the underlying theory of the art of music production. The second part focuses on the practical aspects of the job including training, getting into the business, day-to-day responsibilities, potential earnings, managers, lawyers, and – most importantly – the musical, financial, and interpersonal relationships producers have with artists and their labels. The book is packed with insights from the most successful music producers ranging from today’s chart-toppers to the beginnings of recorded sound, including mainstream and many niche genres. The book also features many revealing anecdotes about the business, including the stars and the challenges (from daily to career-related) a producer faces. Burgess addresses the changes in the nature of music production that have been brought about by technology and, in particular, the paradigmatic millennial shift that has occurred with digital recording and distribution. Burgess’s lifelong experience in the recording industry as a studio musician, artist, producer, manager, and marketer combined with his extensive academic research in the field brings a unique breadth and depth of understanding to the topic.
Readership: Educators/professors teaching the topic of music production; students studying music production; practicing music producers, general readers interested in independent study of the field