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Top Paying Careers in the Music Biz

If it’s not in the stars to be the next Jennifer Lopez, or perhaps you are just waiting for your chance to step into P.Diddy’s shoes, there are several alternatives to being in the musical spotlight. Music is an ever-growing business, not only in that spotlight, but in other arenas surrounding it. From CD graphic designers, to sound check technicians and grade school music teachers, music career opportunities are everywhere. Here are the top paying music careers, for the year ending 2009:

1.) Music Director – Average Pay: $49,289/Year
A music director generally works with a musical group; orchestra, symphony choir, or otherwise. They develop and/or coordinate concerts, rehearsals and programming. This position often works with outreach programs, directing fundraising projects, activities and lectures. A musical director career requires a Bachelors of Arts in music, initially, and most likely will also require a Master’s degree in the field. If the fit is right between the musical director and the company he/she is working with, this is a long-term position in most cases.

2.) Sound Engineer for Live Events – Average Pay: $46,550/Year
These sound wizards normally have a mixed background in electrical engineering, music/fine arts and/or audio production. Who wouldn’t want to operate the microphone when a top artist hits the stage, ready to sing? Some of the best sound engineers have Bachelors degrees in Audio Production or Audio Engineering, but there are the few that get behind the scenes with their simple charm, connections and electrical know-how.

3.) College/University Professor of Music – Average Pay: $50,280/Year
Summers off aren’t the only perk of this high paying music career. These accomplished musicians have the opportunity to learn and talk about their craft all day! Professors of music are responsibly for developing solid curriculums, grading performance and assisting students in their musical goals. Music professors also attend several seminars, performances and other learning programs, themselves, to always be up on the music scene, new and old.

4.) Artist/Band Managers – Average Pay: $54,070/Year
The witty business persons take their own creativity and connections to market their particular artists. In charge of contract negotiations, scheduling, planning tours and building relationships with music’s heavyweights, this is a full-time job! Most managers have a degree in Business Administration, Business or Marketing. Although, there are several well-paid managers that have been successful without these credentials. It seems that an artist’s manager is always filling the gaps where they cannot. But the rewards and opportunities are endless.

5.) Film-Making Sound Editor – Average Pay: $68,620/Year
This may not be one of the most glamorous careers in Hollywood, but once a sound editor has proven his/her self in the film industry, the work is quite steady. A sound editor can spend hours in front of a computer monitor, scraping seconds of sounds varying from the waves of the ocean to screams of horror. Every movie, cartoon and television commercial requires a sound editor; and for anyone who has sat in front of the television long enough – opportunity is out there. The highest paying sound editors work with just as high-paid actors in movies seen internationally. Although, building a resume off of small gigs, temporarily, is a great start.

So if being a musician isn’t in the stars for you and yet you love music, at least you do have alternatives.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit

The Many Genres of Country Music

Country music, which was popularized in the Appalachian Mountains and the South, goes back as far to the 1920s. It is a blend of gospel, folk, Celtic, and old traditional music. The blends of the different sounds made it appealing to all types of people; old, young, southern, country, rock, and even Northerners liked the sound. The legendary Elvis Presley made his debut as a country singer and his fame and fortune can be accredited to not only his great voice and stage presence, but to the sounds and popularity of country music. Country music has been through many faces as would any type of music that has been around for so many years. There are a lot of different types, or genres, of country music. Which genre do you like to listen to?

County pop is perhaps the most listened to today as far as country music goes. It is a blend of country and hip hop and is the sound of many modern artists such as Taylor Swift, Jessica Simpson, and Shania Twain. Pop country artists are classified under this genre if their country songs cross over and make it onto the top 40 radio pop list. This genre first appeared in Nashville during the 1960s. Most songs include musical sounds from guitars (electric and acoustic), bass, drums, and amazing vocals.

During the 1940s, Bluegrass made its way onto the music scene. It is a fusion of country music, jazz, ragtime, and traditional music. Typical sounds and instruments unique to this genre are: fiddles, guitars, bass, drums, banjo, harmonica, mandolin, and vocals. If you’ve seen the movie “O Brother Where Art Thou” then you’ve heard bluegrass. Dolly Parton is a popular, iconic figure that sings Bluegrass Country music.

Rockabilly, also known as hillbilly music, became popular in the 1950s. Honky tonk, swing, country, and rhythm and blues heavily influenced the sounds that are known as rockabilly. Guitar, drums, double bass, and piano are instruments you will typically find in these types of songs, and they are what make the sound unique. Elvis Presley was a major influence in making this type of music popular and was given the nickname the “Hillbilly Cat.” Buddy Holly is another name that comes to mind when you think of rockabilly.

Other types of country music or sounds that aren’t main stream are categorized as alternative country. The term was coined in the 1990s, but can be attributed to any type of country music that was played during a time when it wasn’t popular according to main stream standards. It is a vague term used to describe different genres and sounds of country music.

There are many different genres of country. Other genres are: Bakersfield Sound, Texas Country, Red Dirt, Western Swing, and country rap to name a few. You can listen to country hits as well as other genres of music on free Internet radio

About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit

The Age of Hip Hop

Hip hop music, or as it is also called, loop, rapping, freestyle, DJing, scratching, sampling and beatboxing, stemmed from the Bronx during the 1970s. Professionals say that even though the term rap is used synonymously with hip hop, it denotes its own practices of an entire subculture.

To differentiate the terms, rapping, also called MCing, is a vocal style in which the artist speaks lyrically, in rhyme and verse, generally to an instrumental or synthesized beat. Beats are almost always in 4/4 time signatures and can be created by looping portions of other songs, usually by a DJ. Modern beats incorporate synthesizers, drum machines, and live bands. A rapper may write, memorize or improvise their lyrics.

The father of the term hip hop is Keith Cowboy, a rapper from the 70s who performed with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Cowboy came up with the word when teasing a friend who was in the U.S. Army, mimicking the cadence of marching soldiers he sang hip/hop/hip/hop. The term was quickly picked up by others during the time and it stuck.

Hip hop grew in popularity in the 70s with the increase in block parties, especially in New York City’s Bronx. At these block parties, a DJ was used, spinning popular genres of music. Getting creative, the DJ began isolating the percussion breaks of popular songs. This style was drawn out to include funk, soul and disco, drawing out the then short percussion breaks with an audio mixer and two records.

This in turn created various turntable techniques such as beat mixing and matching, scratching, beat juggling and remixing. DJ’s and MCs would then often add call and response chants, often comprised of a basic chorus, which allowed the performer to gather his thoughts. This evolved into the MC getting more varied in their vocal and rhythmic approach, incorporating brief rhymes with a sexual or scatological theme.

By the 80s, the usage of drum machines influenced the sound of hip hop. What was called over time sampling technology became more advanced. Lyrics began to change as well with words that were more metaphorical and complex. Some rappers brought the sound to mainstream audiences with appearances in commercials. Artists like LL Cool J also became a household name due to his success.

Hip hop was primarily an American sound and was almost completely unknown outside of the United States during the early 80s. When breakdancing became popular in places like Germany, Japan, Australia and South Africa, rapping and hip hop followed.

In the late 90s, hip hop started to diversify. The 90s is primarily known though for its hip hop rap artist Eminem. Eminem brought hip hop even further into main stream culture with his successful platinum album The Slim Shady. In the year 2000, Eminem sold over ten million copies of The Marshall Mathers album. Alternative hip hop became popular as well with artists such as The Roots, Gnarls Barkley and Mos Def.

By 2005, sales of hip hop music in the United States took a dive. Many questioned whether mainstream hip hop was dying. Speculation of the decline was that people were tired of the violence, degrading and negative lyrics.
Will hip hop continue to survive or will it evolve into another form and style of music as most music already has?

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit

ACL and other Big US Music Festivals

A few weeks ago, the Austin City Limits Music Festival took place in Austin, TX drawing in crowds of more than 65,000 people a day for the three day festival. The lineup included more than 130 bands that played nonstop for three days on eight different stages. The bands range from hip hop, to folk, to rock, to other types of music genres. It is a three day festival where music lovers meet up to enjoy the sounds of up and coming stars as well as classic bands. This year at ACL, Pearl Jam was the headlining band and they brought together people of all ages to rock out and enjoy the sounds of amazing music. Free Internet radio was lucky to have had a presence at the festival and gave live Twitter updates and accounts from the day with micro blogging. Besides ACL, there are other big music festivals in the U.S. such as Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Coachella. The music festivals promote good music and showcase bands that have proven to be worthy of radio hits or have produced hits that have made them key players in the music industry.

Bonnaroo takes place every year in Manchester, TN at the 700 acre Great Stage Park. Similar to ACL, the festival has food and drink vendors, retailers, and other attractions at the festival. Bonnaroo first took place in 2002 to feature jam bands and has since expanded their horizons to include bands from all types of music genres. The festival can last between four and five days and goes nonstop. They have tents set up with bands and even comedy acts to entertain the crowd all day and night.

Lollapalooza is another annual music festival. The three day festival takes place in Chicago at Grant Park and features rock bands. What makes this festival different from others is that it acts as a platform for political and non-profit groups. Originally Lollapalooza was supposed to be a farewell tour for the band Jane’s Addiction until the lead singer Perry Farrell partnered with C3 to start a music festival. The festival almost didn’t make it and has had some ups and down. It was an annual festival from 1991 until 1997 and then didn’t start back up again until 2003. Lollapalooza was down for two years and then restarted as an annual festival in 2005 and has continued to go on strong every year. This festival features rock bands and caters more towards that music genre.

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, another annual festival, takes place in California at the Empire Polo Fields located in Indio. Besides being a musical influence, the festival also showcases art. Coachella features all types of music genres but focuses on bands with alternative, hip hop, and electronic influences. What makes this festival unique is that it offers an area for attendees to camp out during the weekend. Like ACL, it has one main stage for headlining bands and a number of other stages for bands to perform on.

About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit

Music of the 90s – Good or Bad?

Some have labeled the music of the 90s the worse in history. But others think it some of the best music due to its originality and variety. Which is it?

The 90s was a time of new subgenres, old bands coming back to life and an era of one-hit-wonders. It was a time when hip-hop was displacing metal as the top-selling genre. Subgenres that were being created included things such as rap-rock. And then there were bands like Creed and Nickelback who were labeled as creating what was called butt-rock, music which focused less on complexity and musical talent and more on radio-friendliness as well as emotional impact on its listeners. And yet, the 90s was the era of pop hits that you either found annoying or loved such as Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus, Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice, Macarena by Los Del Rio, and Candle In The Wind by Elton John.

The early years of the 1990s began with a surge in popularity for music genres like techno (often called dance or house music). Groups like Technotronic entered the Billboard charts with big hits like “Pump Up the Jam” and “Get Up (Before the Night is Over)”. Similarly, the hip-hop music scene achieved popularity with artists like MC Hammer and Tone Loc.

Between 1992 and 1993, with the popularity of sexual lyrics dominating the airwaves, alternative music began making mainstream radio. Bands like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden became common names. Their lyrics were new and words that people who felt outside of society connected to. Songs like Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” marked the beginning of the grunge and alternative rock phase that remained popular throughout the mid-1990s. 

The hopelessness that grunge bands sang about started wearing thin by late 1995.

And people were looking for something fresh and new, something that felt happy. To fill the niche were bands like Hootie and the Blowfish, Sister Hazel, and The Bodeans. Melodies were upbeat and lyrics were positive. These bands also created a resurgence in songs that dealt with love and relationships through ballads and happier-sounding songs. “All For You” by Sister Hazel was a popular song about the things a person does for another in a relationship while, contrastingly, “Let Her Cry” by Hootie and the Blowfish dealt with a tearful breakup that deeply hurt both people. 

”Happy rock” paved the way for the “bubblegum pop” that followed in the waning years of the decade. Artists such as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera quickly dominated the mainstream pop music scene well into the late 1990s and beyond. Surprisingly enough, the sexual lyrics and innuendos also came back in the songs of this era that was one popular in the early years of the decade, but they were more blatant than before. Videos were more sexual in nature as well.

Then there were the boy bands. The Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, and N’Sync found a resurgence that older boy bands such as the New Kids on the Block from the late 1980s may have seen. 

Was the 90s a time of great music or confusion? Such a decision may be too subjective to make. Professionals say one can’t judge pop music until another generation of kids are born – will they be drawn to it and recreate it or think it is the worse thing they ever heard. Seems like only time can tell.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit

The Age of Electronic Music

Electronic music hasn’t been around long in the realm of music’s timeline, due to the fact it has only been with technology that it came into being. What does the term Electronic Music mean exactly? Its formal definition is ‘music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production’.

Others say electronic music is that which is composed using electronic techniques (sampling, synthesizing, filtering, etc) and the focus of the piece is on the electronic aspects. So vocals can be part of an electronic composition, but they need to support the other electronic elements. Other definitions state that it is any music made with any electronic device.

While electronic music started in the late 19th century with the ability to record music it didn’t become popular until late 1960s due to the availability of affordable music technology. Today electronic music includes many varieties and ranges from experimental art music to popular forms such as electronic dance music.

Electronic music became experimental in the seventies with bands such as The Residents and Can. The band Can was one of the first bands to use tape loops for rhythm sections and The Residents created a custom built drum machine. Other artists in the 1970s who composed primarily electronic instrumental music were Jean Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and Vangelis. More notorious bands of the 70s who were incorporating synthesizers into their traditional rock arrangements included bands such as Genesis or The Cars. In British realms, there is David Bowie and Roxy Music.

Successful hit electronic singles in the early 1980s included “Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode, “Don’t You Want Me” by The Human League, “Whip It!” by Devo, and finally 1983′s “Blue Monday” by New Order, which became the best-selling 12-inch single of all time. There was also Prince, Peter Gabriele and Depeche Mode who featured synthesizers and gave electronic music a boost.

Today, within the electronic music genre, there are numerous styles, they include: Ambient, Breakbeat/Breaks, Downtempo,IDm, Hardcore Technology, Industrial, Jungle/D’n'B, Techno, Trance, and House.

Within each of these groupsigs are further subgroupings. Each style is identified by its beat. For example, Breakbeat is identified by its use of intricate rhythms for their drum patterns with heavy amounts of syncopation in a 4/4 beat with the bass hitting the 1st and 3rd beats and the snare hitting the 2nd and 4th beats. It is different from the steady beats seem in other styles such as house.

Computer technology and software has also helped the electronic music industry evolve. As technology and software becomes more advanced, opportunities for musicians or producers has increased.

Such tools provide viable and cost-effective alternatives to typical hardware-based production studios, and with advances in microprocessor technology, professionals say it is now possible to create high quality music using little more than a single laptop computer. These advances have lead to a large increase in the amount of home-produced electronic music available to the general public via the Internet. Artists can now also individuate their production practice by creating personalized software synthesizers, effects modules, and various composition environments. Devices that once existed exclusively in the hardware domain can easily have virtual counterparts.

There may be no end to the world of electronic music as more types of sounds are discovered through manipulating electronics and then reconstructing them into tempos. While electronic music may not have been around for a while, we may only be experiencing its very beginnings only to see it evolve quite significantly into the future.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit

Rock and Rolls Origin and Name

The term ‘rock and roll’ is now so familiar to us that few ask where it got its origins and how the name came about. While there are many theories on the beginnings of rock and roll, many agree it was dubbed this name after World War II. The sound, was then born from a fusion of rhythm and blues along with influences from the African American culture as well as from America’s country music and gospel music scenes. Some say rock and roll dates back further in country records of the 1930s, blues records of the 1920s even though it was never labeled as such.

Despite the uncertainty of the timeline of rock and rolls true beginnings, it is believed that the sound did originate in the south due to a conglomeration of different music traditions from the region. From there, it grew due to the migration of many freed slaves and their descendants to major urban centers like Memphis and north to New York City, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland and Buffalo. In these cities, black and white residents were living in close proximity of one another and as a result began emulating one another’s style.

In the 1930s jazz and swing were among the first types of music to present African American sounds for a predominately white audience. This was followed in the 40s by horns, saxophones, shouted lyrics and boogie-woogie beats. During and immediately after World War II, with shortages of fuel and limitations on audiences, large jazz bands were less economical and tended to be replaced by smaller combos, using guitars, bass and drums. This was followed by the development of “jump blues” with its guitar riffs and prominent beats.

Rock and roll continued to evolve for many reasons, one being technology. With the development of the electric guitar, amplifier and microphone, came huge changes in the sound and industry.

Subgenres of ‘rock and roll’ also came out of the changes in the music style. Fusion sounds such as folk with rock coined the term ‘folk-rock’ In the 1970s, rock also included soft rock, glam rock, heavy metal, hard rock, progressive rock, and punk rock. In the 1980s there was New Wave, hardcore punk and alternative rock.

As far as the term “rock and roll”, this may have stemmed either from sexual or spiritual connotations. “Rocking” was a term used by black gospel singers in the American South to mean something akin to spiritual rapture. In 1916 “The Camp Meeting Jubilee,” recorded a song whose lyrics include “We’ve been rocking and rolling in your arms / Rocking and rolling in your arms / In the arms of Moses.” And yet, in 1937, Chick Webb and Ella Fitzgerald recorded “Rock It for Me”, which included the lyric, “So won’t you satisfy my soul with the rock and roll”. At the time, the term ‘roll’ meant having sex. Others say the term rock and roll have nothing to do with sex or being spiritually moved but by the motion of a ship at sea or a train in motion. Nobody knows for certain how the term came about or what it meant as it was quite possible it could have meant all of the above.

More important than the terminology or exact origins of rock and roll, this genre of music is known for its social effects, which were worldwide and on a grand scale. Some believe with the combination of sounds from so many cultures came the greater push for the civil rights movement due to the fact both African American teens and white American teens enjoyed the music. Later, rock and roll was thought to have been the emphasis behind the hippy movement, peace not war as well as the drug culture.

As ambiguous as rock and roll’s beginnings is its effects socially on cultures. Either way, people all over the world are enjoying its sound, whatever it may get called and whatever subgenre may get assigned to it.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit

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  • About the Author:
    Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile.

    For more information please visit
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