giovedì 4 ottobre 2007

Interview to Sandro Pasqual

Sandro Pasqual has got a diploma in cello and has graduated in modern history. He’s an expert on music economics and he’s taking an active part in the divulgation of the main problems that torment the professional musicians. He has published several articles and volumes, such as a manual of music economics entitled “Make music”. He writes for the monthly “Music Paper”, the bimonthly “World Music Magazine” and he’s a partner of the broadcaster “Classic Radio”. He teaches “Entertainment Law” at the Conservatory of Ferrara.

Hi Sandro. Thank You for having allowed me a little time for this interview. I’ve just read your book and I loved it because it has been written for all people, also for the non-musicians, as you call them. How did you start to write it? And why? Did you find difficulties on its publication or have you already got an editor?

According to the recent reform of the Conservatory, even the classical musicians can complete their course of studies with a biennial specialized degree. Besides music, they must study other complementary matters such as “Entertainment Law”. When I was called to teach this matter I realized that the first problem was how to find an intermediate language between the sophistry of law and bureaucracy and what the musicians really need. The editor Gianni Rugginenti who is very solicitous to the music needs asked me to publish my notes for students into the manual “Make music”. The aim of the book is to permit a double reading. As a manual is useful for those who are searching for immediate answers about the specific problems of the professional musicians (but they also regard the fans). As a lesson for those who want to test their strength against the three fields of music that I conventionally identify with genius, business and market.

You are also one of the promoters of “Note legali” that makes internet a successful source. The association is young but it has already achieved important goals. This is because when it was born you had precise ideas about the services you could offer. What is the future? Have you got other projects in mind or unfulfilled dreams? How can this association improve the music panorama?

You must talk with the very active man Andrea Marco Ricci, the president of the association, who will be very happy to answer to all questions. As an enthusiastic member of the association I dare say that there are two important aspects explaining the presence of the association. The first consists of passing from an amateur beginning to music to a more expert and professional level. Our society is convinced that the musicians are satisfied only by their love for music and so that they can’t have other rights. Unfortunately people usually thinks that the musician doesn’t live by his work. By the slogan of “Note legali” that is “we know your worth” we want to render explicit the economic intent of the association. The second is that we think that politicians, managers and business men are mostly indifferent to the world of music. That’s why we need persons to “cross the bridge” between music and politics. This people live daily the needs of music and musicians, and at the same time they speak the same language of politicians, managers and business men and they can translate it.

That’s a straight answer. I also declare the freedom of music but inside a specific, clear and recognized rule. On this subject let’s talk about an important theme for both, probably for opposite reasons, the author’s rights. Dutch SIAE has already recognized the Creative Commons licences (http// This means two things. The first is that the partners of the association will have major freedom of decision on their rights. The second is that these new half-free licenses are becoming more important. What do you think about it and what are the probabilities of some changes in Italy?

My answer will be very long, so that I must simplify my thought. I think that music must move economically in two or three directions, that of market laws or state finances (or as a third hypothesis both the directions). I beg the pardon of whom doesn’t think like me but I don’t want to consider the hypothesis of a music world made only by amateur musicians (as in the old societies).
In these last days the state finances have been very important for the survival of some music fields. But it’s quite hard that politics will continue in this direction. We must follow the choice of the market laws - a market in which the audience must be expert on “music listening” - . Even if the “Creative Commons” licenses are considered as an incomplete and not generalized answer to the absence of rules, they represent a progress towards other impracticable schemes of “cultural anarchy” recently supported. But I’m afraid that the attention on these new horizons must be too concentrated on particular aspects (commercial music, internet distribution) that cannot represent the whole world of music.

The C.C. were born even to cross the world of editors/producers that has taken away from the artists and has made a market from itself. Probably the artists let themselves to be bought. The C.C. don’t want to be only a renounce of all rights, but of a part of them. The author can choose the licences to grant. Why don’t we acknowledge them inside the SIAE?

I’m quite agree with this experiment, but I always recommend not to precipitate things. The aim is to change “a certain way to do the editor/producer” and not to question the importance and the benefits of the great editors that must be necessary for the music. This point is stressed in my book several times in order to avoid a disastrous mistake. As you tell (this is my secret dream, the objective I want to reach) the problem could be solved with a major participation by the artists, they must stop to be passive or puppet in people’s hands. That’s why on one hand I’m suspicious of “Creative Commons”. They are technically a way of distribution, but in my global view of music that considers everyday life, every segments of population and every way of communication their effectiveness is limited. We need other actions to transform our society. But on the other hand I’m quite happy because the Creative Commons have established a system of rules (as Linux has already done) in which we can and must make progress. The Creative Commons can solve a little part in the direction of rights on Internet for an author who enter the SIAE. He’s free to manage the direction of the rights on Internet.

The opinions represent the authors, and even in the freedom given to all who want to read and take the contents, no changes must be justified only if it is authorized by the subscriber.

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