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Live music experience

The renaissance of the Swiss concert scene

The renaissance of the Swiss concert scene
Swiss audiences are in the mood for physical live experiences. Thanks to SUISA’s concert tariff, authors and publishers receive remuneration when their music is performed.
Photo: Tabea Hüberli & Dirk Hoogendoorn
By Irène Philipp Ziebold
The Swiss concert scene is experiencing a remarkable recovery. Venues have been revitalised after the crisis, artists are performing actively and audiences are flocking in droves. The rise is a vital step forward for the music landscape in Switzerland. The public’s longing for a physical live experience is increasing in parallel with the advancement of technology in everyday life and culture.

Not only do live events offer artists a platform to showcase their talent, they also fulfil the longing of those attending for the emotional connection and shared experience that only a live concert can provide. On top of that, concerts are an important source of income for performers, promoters and the entire music industry.

The role of SUISA and the concert tariff

SUISA plays a central role when it comes to the regulation and remuneration of music usage, particularly in the area of live performances and concerts. With the services it provides, SUISA is ensuring that composers, publishers, lyricists and publishers are fairly remunerated.

If you look at SUISA’s total revenue in 2023, it is remarkable that, in addition to the expected rise in remuneration from online usage, collections from concerts have also increased significantly. The copyright royalties collected under the Common Tariff K totalled around CHF 27 million. Especially the major pop/rock events contributed to this excellent result.

The annual result emphasises the economic importance of the concert tariff for authors and publishers of music. After lengthy negotiations, the Federal Arbitration Commission set out in January 2024 what the new CT K will look like from 2025. Certain simplifications will facilitate the application of the tariff. The licence fee level will not be reduced so that the rightsholders can continue to expect fair remuneration when their works are performed live.

Artificial intelligence a challenge

Copyright royalties from concert performances represents a significant financial pillar for composers, lyricists and publishers. Indeed, copyright is one of the few instruments with which creative services can be monetised. Music must be created and the creative activity must be remunerated if the intangible asset is exploited.

Technological developments have repeatedly put the principle of copyright to the test and raised questions. The latest challenge is artificial intelligence. AI systems can generate music, texts, photos or films. The input for their training consists of works that were previously created by humans.

How artificial intelligence is compatible with copyright law is one side of the coin. How AI-generated results are handled and what they trigger in us – are they artificial or artistic? –, are a completely different issue.

ChatGPT is writing a song

We put it to the test and asked ChatGPT to write a song for us on a current topic. The result is shown below. What do you think? Would you listen to the piece without any further human editing? Or would you rather go to another live concert soon?

Please write an English song lyric (including chords) about the threat of AI-generated music to human music creators

Reply ChatGPT
Verse 1:
I used to write my songs in solitude
A Bm
A pen and paper, my only tools
But now there’s a new kid on the block
A Bm
AI generated music, can’t ignore the shock

It’s a threat to my creativity
A Bm
And I fear for my industry
Will human art be replaced one day?
A Bm
By machines who have no soul to sway

Verse 2:
I used to pour my heart into my work
A Bm
But now algorithms call the shots
Their melodies may sound just fine
A Bm
But they lack the essence that’s uniquely mine

Chorus: repeat

Can a computer truly feel?
A Bm
Or is it just an imitation that’s unreal?
I believe in the power of human touch
A Bm
Let’s not forget the heart that we clutch

Chorus: repeat

We must keep creating with our hearts
A Bm
Let the machines do their part
But never forget what makes us unique
A Bm
Our art, our soul, our human physique.

3 responses to “The renaissance of the Swiss concert scene

  1. Dragonetti says:

    Oui, le texte est pas mal effectivement mais ce serait mieux si l’on pouvait l’écouter.
    En effet une chanson se compose d’un texte, d’une mélodie et d’une harmonie avec un interprête et éventuellement un arrangement,
    Ici nous n’avons que le texte et l’harmonie et donc c’est difficile de juger.

    Philippe Dragonetti

  2. Cristof Carrion says:

    Oui, le texte est acceptable, mais à part une suite d’accords (I-IV-V-VI) surexploitée dans la chanson, nous n’avons rien, même pas de mélodie… Où se trouve l’œuvre?

    Tout reste à créer à partir de là

    Bonne journée

    Cristof Carrion

  3. Diane Tripet says:

    C’est la catastrophe pour les auteurs. N’importe qui pourra créer des chansons, voire en faire des tubes.
    Dans le cas présent, une fois qu’on a les accords notés, ce n’est pas un problème de faire une mélodie (enfin en ce qui me concerne). C’est là que l’auteur et l’interprète intervient avec son talent.

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