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«COUNTING THE NOTES The economic contribution of the UK music business A report by the National Music Council – November 2002 Preface This is the ...»

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(a) includes sponsorship, donations, gift aid and pairing award income (b) 48% BBC subsidy, 3% Arts Council; 14% operating income, 35% from recordings and broadcasting

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Classical concerts take place in a wide variety of venues – Knowing the Score 2 found a total of 268 had been used by orchestras responding to its survey in the 1999/2000 concert season. Nearly all centres of population in the UK with more than 30,000 people are within 20 miles of one of these venues. Many of these halls are used for a wide variety of different activities, musical and otherwise. In the smaller centres, multi-purpose halls may be used for a variety of events. 11 of the leading concert venues in the UK are described in Knowing the Score. All these venues have a mixed programme of events. The Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican and Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall have programmes which are at least 50% orchestral concerts; each of the 11 venues has an orchestral concert season and seven have ‘resident’ orchestras. An analysis of their concert programmes is shown in the following table. Within the research time frame, these concert halls presented a total of 2,431 concerts, of which 900 were orchestral. The analysis showed that only 67 concerts were by foreign orchestras, less than 8% of the total.

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Local authorities run a large number of venues outside London. Most of these will also have a wide variety of uses, but some are classified as concert halls by their local authorities. Leisure & Recreation Statistics 2001-2002 gives details for local authority managed concert halls in England and Wales. It lists 117 halls, with a seating capacity of 66,449. 19,289 performances or events were organised during the year, attracting an audience of 6.1 million. 757 full-time equivalent staff were employed.

Universities also host concerts, both professional and amateur. Some have dedicated concert halls open to the public, a number of others have arts centres with musical programmes. Little research has been focused on the amount of music and other performing arts activities within universities.

The Making Music 2000 survey of its membership (see below for details) showed that educational establishments and places of worship and church halls were the most frequently used venues for amateur

and semi-professional concerts. Groups promoting these concerts used venues as follows:

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5.3 Classically focused festivals Knowing the Score 2 analysed the contribution of orchestras to festivals throughout the UK during 1999/2000. Of 158 festivals in membership of the British Arts Festivals Association (BAFA), 58 included performances by professional orchestras. Freelance chamber orchestras were particularly well featured, appearing at 29 festivals. Festivals also featured foreign orchestras prominently, with overseas ensembles appearing at 19 festivals.

The only purely orchestral festival in the UK is the BBC Promenade Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The table below shows a breakdown of The Proms: BBC orchestras of course feature the most, but they were closely followed in 2001 by foreign orchestras.

Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, London, 2002.

No distinction is made between musical and other events, however.

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Although the recording market was perceived by orchestras responding to the ABO survey to be declining, many were making recordings to at least the level of the previous year. Since the early 1990s, all of the BBC orchestras have entered the recording market. Others have established their own recording labels, recording live concerts.

The broadcast of live performances and concerts is largely the remit of BBC Radio 3. Orchestral broadcasts formed 20% of the Radio 3 output in 2000, with two-thirds of this accounted for by the BBC orchestras.

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The first edition of Knowing the Score showed the growth of education and community work by orchestras; in 1998/9 this comprised 40% of overall orchestral activity. For the second edition of research on this sector a survey of educational work was undertaken – responses were received from 15 orchestras which represented all categories. Administrative staff working in education departments varied from one to eight, with an average of two per orchestra. The average percentage of players involved in education and community work was 48%. 13 orchestras reported a total income of £1.3 million for educational work, although one orchestra accounted for a third of that total. This income was derived from public and private sources, with charitable Trusts and Foundations being the most important. Local authority contributions were also significant, but project funding from the Arts Councils amounted to only 1%.

The range of activities undertaken by orchestras under the general heading ‘education’ is very large.

The major part of the work is in schools (more often primary than secondary) but venues may also include colleges, prisons, community centres, hospitals and work with groups with special needs. Orchestras may also work with young musicians from youth orchestras and choirs; most promote schools concerts.





5.6 Brass Bands

Brass bands are represented by the British Federation of Brass Bands, which has over 900 members. In 2000, it is estimated that 60,000 people are actively participating. The bands are generally self-financing, although some have received help in instrument purchase via Lottery awards.

It is also referred to at the conclusion of the Education chapter.

– page 29 Counting the notes – the National Music Council report on the economic contribution of the music business 5.7 Military bands According to information provided by the Ministry of Defence, there are currently 29 regular army bands, comprising seven bands with up to 49 musicians and 22 with 35 musicians. The total number of personnel employed in the bands and training staff is 1,155. No current figures are available for the cost of military bands, but The UK Cultural Sector (Sara Selwood ed, PSI, 2001) estimated the net cost to be £5.18 million in 1998/99. Value added for military bands is estimated at £25million.

5.8 Other freelance musicians

There are, in addition to orchestral musicians, a number of individuals working on a freelance basis as soloists, chamber musicians, conductors and singers. Many of them combine their musical careers with other employment such as teaching. In 1999, Equity, the British trade union representing performers and artists, undertook a survey (quoted in The Music industry: Skills and training needs in the 21st Century, published by Metier, 2000) of a random sample of its membership, which includes singers, actors, directors, stage managers, dancers, variety artists and non-classified performers. From the replies received, it is possible to estimate that 6-7,000 singers are Equity members. Singers were asked in which area they did most of their work (the majority worked in more than one area). 36% responded that they worked in clubs and cabaret, 23% in the music business, 16% in television, 16% in the West End and 15% in regional theatre, the total presumably including some who worked equally in two areas. There were also other areas of employment open to singers. On average, respondents had been paid for only 16 weeks of professional work during the previous year, a quarter of the sample reporting no work at all.

Only 28% of the sample had worked for 21 weeks or more. Earnings were correspondingly low: a quarter had earned nothing from professional engagements and a half £10,000 or less. Only 3% had earned £50,000 or more.

5.9 Amateur music

The amateur sector in classical music and brass bands is largely characterised by established music groups such as bands, orchestras and choral societies. 1970 or so of these (in 2001) are members of Making Music, the National Federation of Music Societies, which represents and supports amateur and semi-professional music groups throughout the UK. The most recent survey of Making Music’s membership took place at the end of 2001 and revealed the following information, although it should be borne in mind that not all amateur groups in the UK are members.

Making Music’s membership is divided into 343 promoting groups and 1,612 performing groups, the vast majority of performing groups also promoting their own concerts. Its societies have a membership of around 138,000 people. Making Music societies presented 8,093 concerts during the year (about a third containing copyright music), as well as 558 music workshops separate from 176 educational events.

Performing societies had an average audience of 204 and promoters an average attendance of 132.

Nearly 1.5 million people attended music and performing society concerts.

The average price of a ticket was just over £8. According to Making Music, their members employed 29,000 professional artists, paying £8.9 million for their services and spent £916,500 with music publishers during 2001. Amateur music societies also make a very significant contribution to the income of composers, commissioning an average of 221 works per year.

5.10 Employment, value added, consumer spending and overseas activities It will be clear from the above description that classical orchestral music is a complex area of activity. The information available on key economic factors within in the area is at best partial.

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In terms of employment, comparatively few musicians are full-time salaried employees. Data compiled from the ABO survey and information from the Arts Council of England indicate that orchestras employ (both as musicians and in other areas) about 3,500 people. The number of professional freelance classical musicians is unknown, but industry sources suggest a figure in the region of 2,000.

Salary levels are also unknown. However, on the basis of detailed analysis undertaken for A Sound Performance and using the total income figure of orchestras surveyed by the ABO, the value added of the London, regional and BBC orchestras is estimated to be £52million. The value added contribution of freelance musicians is estimated to be £30million. This figure includes musicians employed by chamber orchestras.

5.10.2 Consumer expenditure

Attendance figures and box office takings for classical concerts are not available. In the absence of such data, a tentative estimate can be made; market research (British Market Research Bureau Target Group Index – see Chapter 8.2 for details) suggests that annual attendance at all types of classical concerts is in the region of 16.8 million per annum. Taking a low estimate of £8 paid per concert ticket produces an estimate of consumer expenditure of £134million.

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The ABO survey reported overseas earnings from orchestral concerts of £9.9million. There is no equivalent figure available for foreign orchestras visiting the UK.

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The history of professional opera in the UK has been characterised by two principal developments. First, the number of permanent opera companies has increased since 1960. At that time there were only three permanent opera companies: The Royal Opera, Sadler’s Wells and the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company (Glyndebourne Festival and the English Opera Group undertaking limited annual seasons). In the three decades that have followed, Glyndebourne Touring Opera was established (1968), the Welsh National Opera and Scottish Opera have become full-time operations, and Opera North, set up as the northern satellite of English National Opera, became a fully-fledged independent company in 1980. The end of Arts Council of Great Britain revenue funding for Kent Opera in 1989 has left six major companies.

Secondly, developments in the 1980s and 1990s centred on the expansion of middle- and small-scale opera. A 1992 report on small-scale touring and musical theatre reported that there were between 40 and 50 small companies presently working in Britain. In the wake of the Devlin report, the Opera and Music Theatre Forum was established as a branch of the Association of British Orchestras, and in 2000 became a separate organisation. Opera For Now: A Profile of Opera and Music Theatre Companies in Britain characterises subsequent developments as an ‘opera boom’. There are currently 147 companies known to the OMTF. Many of the very small companies necessarily have a very brief existence, but some survive to become on-going operations. The Opera for Now report surveyed opera and music theatre companies, receiving 54 responses. The largest six companies all replied, together with what the OMTF considered to be a representative selection of small and medium sized operations.

Of these 54, almost half had been founded during the 1990s.

The Opera for Now report showed that the preferred method of employment for creative staff was the freelance contract. 65% of companies had at least one paid manager or administrator. 96% of the companies used live music at all times and 4% did occasionally – none were wholly reliant on recorded music. The 54 respondents had produced at least 160 productions during the year. 80% of the companies toured and 37% had a home venue, which might be anything from an opera house to an arts centre used for a few performances each year, the smaller companies would usually producing smaller scale work Beggars’ Opera, Graham Devlin, Gulbenkian Foundation, 1992 Opera & Music Theatre Forum/Arts Council of England, 2001 A weakness of the report is that it treats all the companies together, when the income figures clearly show that there is a gulf between the large companies and the rest.

– page 31 Counting the notes – the National Music Council report on the economic contribution of the music business better adapted to more modest venues. Apart from the obvious venues, companies had performed in leisure centres, prisons, parks, marquees and hospitals, among others. The numbers attending ranged from a few hundred to many thousands during the year; some smaller companies do not have the means to keep detailed attendance records. The median attendance figure excluding the six largest companies was about 13,000 annually.



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