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I'm Sorry, But It Was Never Just About The Music

MUSIC TODAY (Hypebot) –

"Musicians should concentrate on being musicians."

"How can I make music when I'm expected to spend all my time on Twitter and Facebook?"

I'm sorry if this comes as a surprise, but it has never been enough to just make great music. Every generation of musicians has had to face their own challenges which forced them to go beyond creation and recording.

Frank Sinatra made movies to reach a bigger fan base. Elvis's hips and haircut were as much a part of his success as his recordings were. David Bowie learned that image and imagery could propel him to greater heights. After Saturday Night Fever, dance steps helped propel many live shows and for a time MTV made being visual an important component of success.

Whether it's getting in a van and giving an endless string of memorable performances or sitting on the phone for hours talking to journalists, there have always been skills beyond just making music that, if not required, certainly made success more likely. – Bruce Houghton

So when Amanda Palmer tweets her latest exploits and Imogen Heap spends hours answering questions in a forum, they are just doing a modern version – their own version – of costumes, haircuts and dance lessons.

Great music is where it all begins and ends, but in between the path to success is always changing.