My Editor’s Choice for this go-round is from 1997—sixteen years ago. Here’s a little background just to put it in context. Our website, Polyphonic.org is part of the Orchestra Musician Forum, that was created in 2004 when Paul R. Judy made a gift of the financial and intellectual assets of the Symphony Orchestra Institute to the Eastman School. The publication of the SOI was Harmony and you can find all the issues of that periodical here on Polyphonic. Harmony also published two research papers on topics of importance to orchestras. Improving the Orchestra’s Revenue Position: Practical Tactics and General Strategies by Arthur C. Brooks was the first.
So why read a sixteen year old paper that is based on twenty-two year old data. Well, the reader might see that the same problems exist today as in 1991, but we can learn from them. The Internet was around, but not in wide-spread use. If the reader substitutes the word “Internet” when Brooks speaks of broadcasting, recordings, CDs, VCRs and DVDs, some interesting ideas might spring forth. Go here to read it.