BANGLADESH MUSIC WEEK-2015 : Speakers stress need for industry regulation

Cultural Correspondent

Musicians and music experts at a seminar series on Friday came up with a number of solutions to strengthen the struggling music industry in Bangladesh including government intervention to tackle piracy and promotion of musicians at grass-roots level.
The problems and demographic features of the music industry, including that of band music, were also discussed in the seminars that marked the first day of a two-day Bangladesh Music Week-2015, which was held at the Seminar Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
The programme has been jointly organised by the Norwegian embassy in Bangladesh, LiveSquare and Concert Norway with the collaboration of Norway-Bangladesh Music Cooperation, the cultural affairs ministry and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Noted band musician Maqsood Haque, Manzurur Rahman, joint secretary of the culture ministry, and Anne Moberg, head of the international projects of Concert Norway, spoke at the first of the four panel discussions of the day.
It was moderated by Nafis Ahmed, managing director of Livesquare.
Maqsood started his speech by highlighting the general shift in attitude of musicians towards releasing their songs on Internet. ‘What is needed right now is a strong intervention from the government to ensure intellectual property rights for the songs released on Internet,’ he said.
Anne Moberg stressed the need for promoting musicians living outside the capital in order to create a congenial atmosphere for musical practices across the country. ‘Bangladesh can follow the example of Norway that promoted musicians working at the grassroots level, by organising concerts across the country,’ she said.
Nafis Ahmed, in his speech, presented the findings of a study that concluded that, while choosing music to listen to, 80% of the youth consider its language while 20% consider the musical genres. The study also found that Bangladeshi men are more inclined to music than women.
‘We have also found that 80% of the survey respondents prefer to collect songs from their friends rather than purchase them,’ he added.
Emmanuelle De Decker, a French music activist, while making a presentation at the second panel discussion, said bands should consider their music as products and design their marketing policy accordingly.
‘It is really important to have a manager who will handle all the schedules, legal matters and public relations on behalf of a band,’ said Decker, who also stressed on using social media and Internet for the purpose of promotion.
Today, a number of panel discussions on various topics related to music will also be held at the same venue.

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